Posts Tagged ‘Google Now’

Schema.Org: The Fire’s Been Lit

schemaorgadoptspecificWhy has schema.org made the following strides since its debut in 2011?

  • In a sample of over 12 billion web pages, 21 percent, or 2.5 billion pages, use it to mark up HTML pages, to the tune of more than 15 billion entities and more than 65 billion triples;
  • In that same sample, this works out to six entities and 26 facts per page with schema.org;
  • Just about every major site in every major category, from news to e-commerce (with the exception of Amazon.com), uses it;
  • Its ontology counts some 800 properties and 600 classes.

A lot of it has to do with the focus its proponents have had since the beginning on making it very easy for webmasters and developers to adopt and leverage the collection of shared vocabularies for page markup. At this August’s 10th annual Semantic Technology & Business conference in San Jose, Google Fellow Ramanathan V. Guha, one of the founders of schema.org, shared the progress of the initiative to develop one vocabulary that would be understood by all search engines and how it got to where it is today.

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Drupal Deepens Semantic Web Ties

semtechbiz-10th-125sqAmong the mainstream content management systems, you could make the case that Drupal was the first open source semantic CMS out there. At next week’s Semantic Technology and Business Conference, software engineer Stéphane Corlosquet of Acquia, which provides enterprise-level services around Drupal, and Bock & Co. principal Geoffrey Bock will discuss in this session Drupal’s role as a semantic CMS and how it can help organizations and institutions that are yearning to enrich their data with more semantics – for search engine optimization, yes, but also for more advanced use cases.

“It’s very easy to embed semantics in Drupal,” says Bock, who analyses and consults on digital strategies for content and collaboration. At its core it has the capability to manage semantic entities, and in the upcoming version 8 it takes things to a new level by including schema.org as a foundational data type. “It will become increasingly easier for developers to build and deliver semantically enriched environments,” he says, which can drive a better experience both for clients and stakeholders.

Corlosquet, who has taken a leadership role in building semantic web capabilities into Drupal’s core and maintains the RDF module in Drupal 7 and 8, explains that the closer embrace of schema.org in Drupal is of course a help when it comes to SEO and user engagement, for starters. Google uses content marked up using schema.org to power products like Rich Snippets and Google Now, too.

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Is NLP the End of the Written Word?

Siri LogoJamie Carter of Tech Radar recently wrote, “With iOS devices now allowing the sending of voice messages and predictions for self-driving cars and voice-activated doors, lights and elevators (cue the internet of things), it’s clear that the future will be spoken, not written. The technology behind this shift in how we interact with our surroundings is natural language processing, a technology that enables computers to understand the meaning of our words and recognise the habits of our speech.” Read more

Hello 2014 (Part 2)

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Courtesy: Flickr/faul

Picking up from where we left off yesterday, we continue exploring where 2014 may take us in the world of semantics, Linked and Smart Data, content analytics, and so much more.

Marco Neumann, CEO and co-founder, KONA and director, Lotico: On the technology side I am personally looking forward to make use of the new RDF1.1 implementations and the new SPARQL end-point deployment solutions in 2014 The Semantic Web idea is here to stay, though you might call it by a different name (again) in 2014.

Bill Roberts, CEO, Swirrl:   Looking forward to 2014, I see a growing use of Linked Data in open data ‘production’ systems, as opposed to proofs of concept, pilots and test systems.  I expect good progress on taking Linked Data out of the hands of specialists to be used by a broader group of data users.

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Hello 2014

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Courtesy: Flickr/Wonderlane

Yesterday we said a fond farewell to 2013. Today, we look ahead to the New Year, with the help, once again, of our panel of experts:

Phil Archer, Data Activity Lead, W3C:

For me the new Working Groups (WG) are the focus. I think the CSV on the Web WG is going to be an important step in making more data interoperable with Sem Web.

I’d also like to draw attention to the upcoming Linking Geospatial Data workshop in London in March. There have been lots of attempts to use Geospatial data with Linked Data, notably GeoSPARQL of course. But it’s not always easy. We need to make it easier to publish and use data that includes geocoding in some fashion along with the power and functionality of Geospatial Information systems. The workshop brings together W3C, OGC, the UK government [Linked Data Working Group], Ordnance Survey and the geospatial department at Google. It’s going to be big!

[And about] JSON-LD: It’s JSON so Web developers love it, and it’s RDF. I am hopeful that more and more JSON will actually be JSON-LD. Then everyone should be happy.

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Where Schema.org Is At: A Chat With Google’s R.V. Guha

 

rvg Interested in how schema.org has trended in the last couple of years since its birth? If you were at The International Semantic Web Conference event in Sydney a couple of weeks back, you may have caught Google Fellow Ramanathan V. Guha — the mind behind schema.org — present a keynote address about the initiative.

Of course, Australia’s a far way to go for a lot of people, so The Semantic Web Blog is happy to catch everyone up on Guha’s thoughts on the topic.

We caught up with him when he was back stateside:

The Semantic Web Blog: Tell us a little bit about the main focus of your keynote.

Guha: The basic discussion was a progress report on schema.org – its history and why it came about a couple of years ago. Other than a couple of panels at SemTech we’ve maintained a rather low profile and figured it might be a good time to talk more about it, and to a crowd that is different from the SemTech crowd.

The short version is that the goal, of course, is to make it easier for mainstream webmasters to add structured data markup to web pages, so that they wouldn’t have to track down many different vocabularies, or think about what Yahoo or Microsoft or Google understands. Before webmasters had to champion internally which vocabularies to use and how to mark up a site, but we have reduced that and also now it’s not an issue of which search engine to cater to.

It’s now a little over two years since launch and we are seeing adoption way beyond what we expected. The aggregate search engines see about 15 percent of the pages we crawl have schema.org markup. This is the first time we see markup approximately on the order of the scale of the web….Now over 5 million sites are using it.  That’s helped by the mainstream platforms like Drupal and WordPress adopting it so that it becomes part of the regular workflow. Read more

Google Now Cards: Content That Searches for You

Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land recently wrote, “When it comes to search, we are accustomed to queries that are initiated client-side and not server-side. But, Google Now and similar services are altering this long-standing trend. Search, by definition, implies user-initiated actions. How is this changed by technology such as Google Now and Google’s Knowledge Graph? First, what is Google Now? Available within the Google Search mobile app, Google Now not only answers user-generated queries but also uses predictive technology to provide the user with information he or she might need throughout the day in the form of ‘cards.’ According to Google: ‘Google Now cards are displayed when you’re most likely to need them. Most are based on information available to your Google account, such as your current location, recent searches, or calendar entries’.” Read more

Google Now Comes To Google Search

The next few days will see Google upping the search ante again, whether you’re looking for information in Gmail, Google Calendar or Google+. In Google Search, users will be able to ask questions like what is their flight status or when an expected package will arrive, without having to troll through their emails or delivery tracking information, according to the company’s blog.

Essentially, Google Now capabilities for Android, iPhones and iPads, is coming to Google Search, for all U.S. English-speaking users on tablets, smartphones and desktops too. Both voice and typed search queries are supported. According to the blog, users will be able to get information on their upcoming flights and live status on current flights; see dining plans or hotel stays by querying for their reservations; see what’s on the charge card and order status by asking about their purchases; view their upcoming schedules by asking about tomorrow’s plans; or explore images – by what’s in them or their relationship to trips or events – that they’ve uploaded to Google Plus.

Google is pulling from its swath of connections “trying to understand you,” says David Amerland, author of the new book, Google Semantic Search.

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New On The Speech Recognition Scene: Droids With NLP Processors And More

There are new Motorola Droid devices in town: The three Verizon Android 4.2 smartphones unveiled at a press event yesterday include the Motorola Droid Mini, Ultra and Maxx. The line includes what the company touts as the longest-lasting 4G LTE smartphone in the Maxx, with the vendor claiming 48 hours on a single charge, and what it says is the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone around in the Ultra. The smartphones reportedly all come with a unique Kevlar fiber 3D unibody design and a few months’ free Google Music All Access subscription, too. But what will catch the eyes of readers of this blog is the proprietary Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System that’s behind the sleek-looking handsets.

In addition to the graphics and application processor cores found within the eight-core System are two new low-power cores, one to power contextual computing and one aimed at natural language processing. Read more

Talking the Talk — And Walking The Walk — About The Beauty Of Search At Google I/O

“With more features in the Knowledge Graph and more languages, with conversational voice search and hot-wording coming to Chrome on desktops and laptops, and with new Now functionality like reminders….search is becoming a really beautiful and ubiquitous experience that intelligently answers your questions and assists you throughout the day across all screens.”

That’s how Google Fellow Amit Singhal summed up the evolving search experience at today’s Google I/O event. Here’s more about the latest features:

  • Google’s Knowledge Graph, now some 570 million entities strong and growing, is taking it to the stats. Now, users will get important stats powered by the Knolwedge Graph, he said. “Already you can find answers to questions like what is the population of India,” he told the audience, “but starting today we will anticipate your next question,” which may be how that population compares to the population of other countries. So, you’ll get the answer alongside the trends line and see all that in comparison to the population of the two countries whose population is most often compared to India, China and the U.S. Google Knoweldge Graph is also boosting its language support, adding to the existing eight Polish, Turkish, simplified and traditional Chinese.
  • Users in the Gmail search trial already have the capability of finding answers – like when is their upcoming flight or restaurant reservation — without having to sift through email, docs and calendar data. But, said Singhal, things can get better when it comes to letting users get those answers in the most natural way possible, which means Google has been working hard on technologies like voice recognition and natural language understanding. To that end, conversational search, already available on Android and iOS, is coming to all desktops and laptops through Chrome, he said.
  • Joining conversation search is hot-wording, a new interface, or, as he calls it, a “no interface,” where users can ask their search questions without clicking on the mike. Just preface a voice question with, “OK Google,” and Google will speak back the answer to you, drawing among other sources on its Knowledge Graph for the response. Google product manager Johanna Wright gave a demo of the voice experience courtesy of Chrome on a mobile device, working her way through planning a day trip to Santa Cruz through to images of its beach boardwalk, asking “OK Google, how far from here to it?,” where Google, in speaking back the answer, recognized that it referred to the boardwalk and that here was her current location.
  • Enter Google Now: Singhal talked up anticipation (it’s more fun if you pronounce it like Tim Curry in the Rocky Horror Picture Show number), and the usefulness of having the right answer suggested at the right time, even before a user asks. That’s what is set to happen with an on-the-way feature that lets users set reminders in Google Now to show up when they need them. Also launching on the Google Now front are other new cards: public transit commute time cards and more cards for music albums, tv shows, and video games. Google is now “even more useful as an assisted tool,” he said.

Of the new age of search, Singhal said it’s not around the corner, that it will be some time before this becomes the predominant search experience. “There are lots of complex and scientific problems to solve, but our investment and commitment to getting there sooner rather than later is immense.”

 

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