Archives: October 2012

Microsoft Turns to Machine Learning to Get Ahead of the Big Data Curve

Quentin Hardy of the New York Times recently discussed Microsoft’s efforts to gain an edge in Big Data analytics. Hardy writes, “Eric Horvitz joined Microsoft Research 20 years ago with a medical degree, a Ph.D. in computer science and no plans to stay… He remained at M.S.R., as Microsoft’s advanced research arm is known, for the fast computers and the chance to work with a growing team of big brains interested in cutting-edge research. His goal was to build predictive software that could get continually smarter. In a few months, Mr. Horvitz, 54, may get his long-awaited payoff: the advanced computing technologies he has spent decades working on are being incorporated into numerous Microsoft products.” Read more

Digilant Releases Audience Targeting System, Digiliant Multicultural

According to a new article out of the company, “Digilant™, the leading consolidated media-buying platform, today announced the release of Digilant Multicultural, a marketing system designed to pinpoint specific audiences including U.S. Hispanic, African American, Asian, and LGBT. Digilant Multicultural uses semantic language, geographic information, and other proprietary attributes to match an advertiser’s preferred audience in real-time to video, display, and mobile advertising placements. ‘Digilant Multicultural helps brands zero in on a very specific audience, which is arguably the most difficult point of any campaign,’ said Rafael Hernandez, vice president of multicultural initiatives at Digilant. ‘We’ve created a system that allows brands to better reach a defined audience and better value those members to increase overall advertising efficiency’.” Read more

The Star Trek Computer: Now Available from Google

Ever wish you could have the computer from Star Trek? Now you can. Jon Mitchell of ReadWriteWeb reports, “The new version of Google’s Search app for iOS is available in the App Store, and it’s a good thing, too. This app now offers Google’s version of the Star Trek computer.  Just speak a question in natural language, and Google will reply immediately with the answer. Google submitted this update to Apple in early August. It showed a demo on August 9 that blew my mind. The speed and accuracy of this app’s answers — which, of course, Android users are already used to — shows just how much Apple users are missing out due to Apple’s insistence on bypassing Google with Siri.” Read more

Introduction to: SKOS

Nametag: "Hello, my name is SKOS"SKOS, which stands for Simple Knowledge Organization System, is a W3C standard, based on other Semantic Web standards (RDF and OWL), that provides a way to represent controlled vocabularies, taxonomies and thesauri. Specifically, SKOS itself is an OWL ontology and it can be written out in any RDF syntax.

Before we dive into SKOS, what is the difference between Controlled Vocabulary, Taxonomy and Thesaurus?

controlled vocabulary is a list of terms which a community or organization has agreed upon. For example: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday are the days of the week.

taxonomy is a controlled vocabulary organized in a hierarchy. For example, we can have the terms Computer, Tablet and Laptop and the concepts Tablet and Laptop are subclasses of Computer because a Tablet and Laptop are types of Computers.

Read more

Trick or Treat: A Semantic Grab Bag Of Entertainment For the Occasion

Photo credit: Flickr/Erwiss, peace&love

It’s that spooky time of year again. With a happy Halloween to all, we present a selection of Halloween entertainment to dive into between answering the door for trick-or-treaters, or whenever you might like to have a little scarefest. They all come courtesy of searches done on some of the web’s semantically-enabled platforms.

Movies, from

A search on Jinni, the semantic movie and TV “taste engine” that we first covered here, for “serial killer” theme, set in the 20th century in small towns, brings up some classics in the list of 41 that’s displayed, as well as some you may have missed when originally shown in theatres. Some in the list:

Halloween (of course): The 1978 John Carpenter-directed classic that started Jamie Lee Curtis on her fright-girl career (long before the yogurt days).  As a line in the summary says, the film “turned the slasher movie into a viable, successful genre. Halloween has been copied, parodied and even turned into a franchise of its own, but the original is still considered the best of the bunch.”

Read more

Facilitating Digital Research with Bamboo DiRT

Seth Denbo, program coordinator of Project Bamboo recently discussed the goals of the project. He writes, “There is no lack of digitized cultural content available on the Web. This ever increasing bounty creates problems of discovery, management, and use of both content and metadata. Alongside the proliferation of content there’s a related burgeoning of tools for performing these tasks. A scholar faced with finding, curating, exploring and analyzing a collection needs reliable information about these tools and their use.” Read more

5 Open Source Big Data Tools to Watch

Tim Gasper of TechCrunch has created a list of five open source Big Data technologies that are making waves. He writes, “Did you know that there are over 250K viable open source technologies on the market today? Innovation is all around us… We have a lot of…choices, to say the least. What’s on our own radar, and what’s coming down the pipe for Fortune 2000 companies? What new projects are the most viable candidates for production-grade usage? Which deserve your undivided attention? We did all the research and testing so you don’t have to. Let’s look at five new technologies that are shaking things up in Big Data. Here is the newest class of tools that you can’t afford to overlook, coming soon to an enterprise near you.” Read more

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Release Details of Automatic Video Surveillance Tech

Declan McCullagh of CNET reports, “Computer software programmed to detect and report illicit behavior could eventually replace the fallible humans who monitor surveillance cameras. The U.S. government has funded the development of so-called automatic video surveillance technology by a pair of Carnegie Mellon University researchers who disclosed details about their work this week — including that it has an ultimate goal of predicting what people will do in the future. ‘The main applications are in video surveillance, both civil and military,’ Alessandro Oltramari, a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon who has a Ph.D. from Italy’s University of Trento, told CNET yesterday.” Read more

Centralized Data Repositories: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, And Gone

Is it time for the enterprise to lose the idea of the holy grail of a central repository of multi-sourced data?

Experts in the semantic web space think that’s the case. At the recent Semantic Web Technology and Business Conference in New York City, a few weighed in on the issue.

Read more

Concept Searching Tech Now Available in the Cloud

According to a new article out of the company, “Concept Searching, a global leader in semantic metadata generation, auto-classification, and taxonomy management software, and developer of the Smart Content Framework™, is pleased to announce that its technologies are available on both Microsoft Office 365 Software as a service (SaaS) platform and Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform as a service (PaaS) and will be demonstrated at the SharePoint Conference 2012, November 12th-15th, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at booth 957. Concept Searching has now deployed its technology platform on both the Microsoft Office 365 and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, and is able to offer clients a single code base to deploy offerings with increased flexibility whilst mitigating risk. Find full details in the ‘Managing Unstructured Content in the Cloud’ White Paper.” Read more