Posts Tagged ‘Keith DeWeese’

Semantic Tech: It’s Moving Mainstream, Playing To The Data-Is-An-Asset Crowd, And Living Life Out Loud

At the recent SemTech conference in NYC, The Semantic Web Blog had an opportunity to ask some leaders in the field about where semantic technology has been, and where it’s going.

David Wood, CTO, 3RoundStones:

The short take: Hiring has been on in a big way at semantic tech players as enterprises are moving in greater numbers to buy semantic software, recognizing their traditional vendors won’t solve their interoperability issues. Sem tech vendors should have a happy 2013 as semantics continues going mainstream.

The full take:

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Semantic Technologist Gets In On The Ground Floor

One of the exciting things about being a semantic technologist is the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of things as companies revamp, revise, and renew their infrastructures for the Web 3.0 world.

That’s the position that Keith DeWeese finds himself in. DeWeese recently moved from The Tribune Company, where he led efforts in applying semantic technology to the publisher’s content (see story here), to Ascend Learning, a company that provides technology-based education products with a focus on the healthcare sector.

There, as principal content architect he is again championing the power of semantic technology for online content. “What’s cool is that Ascend is in a state of redefining what it does, how it works, its whole platform,” DeWeese says. Ascend wants to be able to take people from the beginning stages of their career, when they’re learning the basics, and work with them throughout their life, so that as they progress in their careers and become more knowledgeable about their profession or specialization and work toward different exams, it’s got the tools to engage with them at that part of their lifecycle.

“It’s really great because there’s an openness and willingness to try different approaches to making content available to end users.”

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At The Tribune Company, The Semantic Tech Evolution Is Cultural, Too

While much of the publishing industry still is getting up to speed on what semantic technology can do for business, it’s already deep within the DNA of The Tribune Company – to the point where Keith DeWeese, Director, Information and Semantics Management, can comfortably use the word “ontology” in discussions with non-tech employees, and enjoy the fact that they’re equally comfortable using it themselves.

DeWeese has been with the company since 2007, putting in place a sophisticated semantic system for auto-tagging and indexing content using natural language processing and controlled vocabularies, and leveraging its taxonomy for projects such as providing advanced search functionality. Thanks to building a collaborative communication channel with Tribune executives, producers, and editors, “now I actually am in meetings with executives who say how exciting it is that we now can be part of a community of people applying semantic technologies to content,” he says. “The other day I was at a meeting where a top executive used the word ontology all the time. I kept smiling and later I thanked her.”

Closely engaging with his business customers also is helping make it possible to push the semantic vision further at the company.

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Scratching the Surface: Applying Semantic Technologies at the Tribune Company

A little over a year ago, the Tribune Company launched its Topic Galleries, http://chicagotribune.com/topic, the result of semantic technologies used, in great part, to generate a product.  Other Tribune products are “spinning off” the vocabularies and the underlying logic intelligently surfacing the content in the Galleries.  However, to date, the Topic Galleries provide the most comprehensive presentation of a discovery process intended, in part, to plumb the depths of Tribune content well beyond the limited topic coverage conveyed in a given headline or in the first few sentences of an article, in order to surface the new, the unknown, and even the unusual in the news.  All in all, for this controlled vocabulary and applied linguistics developer avid word gamer, working with the semantic technology to mine the Tribune’s content has been a great way to spend the last 18, or so, months.

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