Technologies

RDF 1.1 and the Future of Government Transparency

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Following the newly minted “recommendation” status of RDF 1.1, Michael C. Daconta of GCN has asked, “What does this mean for open data and government transparency?” Daconta writes, “First, it is important to highlight the JSON-LD serialization format.  JSON is a very simple and popular data format, especially in modern Web applications.  Furthermore, JSON is a concise format (much more so than XML) that is well-suited to represent the RDF data model.  An example of this is Google adopting JSON-LD for marking up data in Gmail, Search and Google Now.  Second, like the rebranding of RDF to ‘linked data’ in order to capitalize on the popularity of social graphs, RDF is adapting its strong semantics to other communities by separating the model from the syntax.  In other words, if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” Read more

Musicians Can Now Include Official Tour Dates in Google Knowledge Graph

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The Google Webmaster Central blog reports, “When music lovers search for their favorite band on Google, we often show them a Knowledge Graph panel with lots of information about the band, including the band’s upcoming concert schedule. It’s important to fans and artists alike that this schedule be accurate and complete. That’s why we’re trying a new approach to concert listings. In our new approach, all concert information for an artist comes directly from that artist’s official website when they add structured data markup.” Read more

Is A Knowledge Graph-Related Acquisition In Yahoo’s Future?

sdtechIs SindiceTech about to be acquired by Yahoo? Just last month The Semantic Web Blog reported on the formal relaunch of the company’s activities following the finalization of its separation from its university incubation setting at the former DERI institute in Ireland. Now, according to the Sunday Independent, Yahoo – which the article says had originally planned on buying the company late last year but saw negotiations collapse – may resume talks on the matter.

Yahoo, the article says, “refused to comment on the Sindice-Tech deal, calling it as ‘rumour and speculation.’” SindiceTech CEO Giovanni Tummarello also says that he cannot comment on this. He did note, however, that media, search and advertising are prime sectors for employing Knowledge Graphs. “In scenarios where there is much more (semi-structured) information than one knows how to leverage right away, Big Data graph-like knowledge management and moving from search to relational and entity search is a common theme these days,” he wrote in an email to The Semantic Web Blog.

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“Webize” Your Data with JSON-LD

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Benjamin Young of Cloudant reports, “Data is often stored and distributed in esoteric formats… Even when the data is available in a parse-able format (CSV, XML, JSON, etc), there is often little provided with the data to explain what’s inside. If there is descriptive meta data provided, it’s often only meant for the next developer to read when implementing yet-another-parser for said data. Really, it’s all quite abysmal… Enter, JSON-LD! JSON-LD (JSON Linked Data) is a simple way of providing semantic meaning for the terms and values in a JSON document. Providing that meaning with the JSON means that the next developer’s application can parse and understand the JSON you gave them.” Read more

RDF 1.1 is a W3C Recommendation

RDF 1.1Almost exactly 10 years after the publication of RDF 1.0 (10 Feb 2004, http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-concepts/), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced today that RDF 1.1 has become a “Recommendation.” In fact, the RDF Working Group has published a set of eight Resource Description Framework (RDF) Recommendations and four Working Group Notes. One of those notes, the RDF 1.1 primer, is a good starting place for those new to the standard.

SemanticWeb.com caught up with Markus Lanthaler, co-editor of the RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax document, to discuss this news.

photo of Markus LanthalerLanthaler said of the recommendation, “Semantic Web technologies are often criticized for their complexity–mostly because RDF is being conflated with RDF/XML. Thus, with RDF 1.1 we put a strong focus on simplicity. The new specifications are much more accessible and there’s a clear separation between RDF, the data model, and its serialization formats. Furthermore, the primer provides a great introduction for newcomers. I’m convinced that, along with the standardization of Turtle (and previously JSON-LD), this will mark an important point in the history of the Semantic Web.”

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SindiceTech Announces Freebase Distribution in the Cloud (Video)

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With the support of Google Developers, SindiceTech has announced the availability of its Freebase Distribution for the cloud. According to SindiceTech, “Freebase is an amazing data resource at the core of Google’s ‘Knowledge Graph’. Freebase data is available for full download but today, using it ‘as a whole’ is all but simple. The SindiceTech Freebase distribution solves that by providing all the Freebase knowledge preloaded in an RDF specific database (also called triplestore) and equipped with a set of tools that make it much easier to compose queries and understand the data as a whole.”

Your Own Private Freebase

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Meet Spaun: The Future of Artificial Intelligence

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Naomi Eterman of McGill Daily recently discussed a technology developed in 2012 by scientists at the University of Waterloo: “Spaun, short for Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network, is the largest computer simulation of a functioning brain to date. It is the brainchild of Chris Eliasmith, a professor in philosophy and systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo, who developed the system as a proof-of-principle supplement to his recent book: How to Build a Brain. The model is composed of 2.5 million simulated neurons and four different neurotransmitters that allow it to ‘think’ using the same kind of neural connections as the mammalian brain. Read more

The Future of Artificial Intelligence & The Semantic Web

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Charles Silver of Algebraix recently shared his opinions on artificial intelligence‘s recently revamped popularity and growing plausibility. Silver writes, “Just a few months ago, the phrase ‘artificial intelligence’ suddenly started being tossed around presentations, blogs, headlines, seminars — even a Facebook earnings meeting — as if it were the most benign concept in the world. AI could actually win an Oscar, thanks to Scarlett Johansson’s riveting voice-only performance as Samantha, the AI-enabled OS in the new movie ‘Her’. One reason for AI’s new respectability: Big steps have been made in solving the problems of artificial intelligence, especially in speech recognition and concept communication. Just think about how casually we now accept machines that can understand and talk, from Apple’s Siri to IBM’s ‘Jeopardy’-winning Watson.” Read more

JSON-LD is an official Web Standard

JSON-LD logo JSON-LD has reached the status of being an official “Recommendation” of the W3C. JSON-LD provides yet another way for web developers to add structured data into web pages, joining RDFa.The W3C documentation says, “JSON is a useful data serialization and messaging format. This specification defines JSON-LD, a JSON-based format to serialize Linked Data. The syntax is designed to easily integrate into deployed systems that already use JSON, and provides a smooth upgrade path from JSON to JSON-LD. It is primarily intended to be a way to use Linked Data in Web-based programming environments, to build interoperable Web services, and to store Linked Data in JSON-based storage engines.” This addition should be welcome news for Linked Data developers familiar with JSON and/or faced with systems based on JSON.

SemanticWeb.com caught up with the JSON-LD specfication editors to get their comments…

photo of Manu Sporny Manu Sporny (Digital Bazaar), told us, “When we created JSON-LD, we wanted to make Linked Data accessible to Web developers that had not traditionally been able to keep up with the steep learning curve associated with the Semantic Web technology stack. Instead, we wanted people that were comfortable working with great solutions like JSON, MongoDB, and REST to be able to easily integrate Linked Data technologies into their day-to-day work. The adoption of JSON-LD by Google and schema.org demonstrates that we’re well on our way to achieving this goal.”

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The Internet of Things is All Around You

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Drew Hendricks of Sys-Con recently wrote, “Over the course of the past decade, there’s been a lot of hype pertaining to the Internet of Things (IoT) and how China leads the U.S. in this technology – yet many who are active on the Internet are still unaware of its existence. In its simplest form, IoT is an evolving wireless network of objects and devices that will eventually all be connected with each other. Using RFID, Bluetooth, GPS and other emerging semantic technology, and working in tandem with cloud computing, Web portals and back-end systems, in essence our “things” will be be able to “talk” with each other.” Read more

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