Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Calendars Get Smart With Tempo.AI

semtechnyclogoSRI International, which spearheaded the CALO (Cognitive Agent That Learns and Organizes) intelligent assistant for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), has had more than one semantic project up its sleeve. One of them was Tempo.AI, which was spun off by SRI at the end of 2011. Earlier this year, the smart calendar app for the iPhone was formally launched, with Thierry Donneau-Golencer as co-founder and AI lead.

Donneau-Golencer, having also worked on CALO, clearly has a strong history of work related to dealing with information and how to make sense of it. “A lot of it had to do with semantic analysis, deriving meaning and useful information from content,” says Donneau-Golencer, with Tempo representing the next step in smart search across content by making the job more proactive.

At October’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference in NYC, Donneau-Golencer will share with attendees insights into the role semantic technology has in helping find and correlate information for users, with the least input possible required.

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“Coverlet Meshing” Weighs in on PRISM

The debate about PRISM continues. One of the latest volleys was posted in InformationWeek by Coverlet Meshing (a pseudonym used by “a senior IT executive at one of the nation’s largest banks.”) Meshing wrote: “Prism doesn’t scare me. On 9/11, my office was on the 39th floor of One World Trade. I was one of the many nameless people you saw on the news running from the towers as they collapsed. But the experience didn’t turn me into a hawk. In fact, I despise the talking heads who frame Prism as the price we pay for safety. And not just because they’re fear-mongering demagogues. I hate them because I’m a technologist and they’re giving technology a bad name.” Read more

Privacy Reforms and Web TVs

Liat Clark of Wired reports, “The European Commission is off-track and will stifle innovation with its data protection proposals because it’s only just catching up with web 2.0, a term coined in the 90s, according to James Leaton Gray, head of information policy and compliance at the BBC. He issued this warning at the Westminster eForum seminar on eprivacy, flagging up the impracticalities of the proposed reforms, pointing out that the future of computing is in your TV — and the proposals aren’t taking this into account. ‘It makes me extremely nervous,’ said Gray. ‘If you look at IPTV, you’re connected to the internet and directly to thousands of TV channels across the world. The present remote control will become a search engine — it won’t be things you type into, it will be about the semantic web, accessing and exchanging data. The idea that it’s confounded to computers and a computer-based world is a fallacy’.” Read more

Google Glass Powers Ahead, Though Privacy Battle May Be On The Horizon

The NY Times reports today that Google acknowledged it had violated people’s privacy during its StreetView mapping project. Thirty-eight states had brought a case against Google on the grounds that the project resulted in people’s passwords and other personal information being unknowingly recorded by the search giant. Google has agreed to settle it by paying a $7 million fine as well as by becoming more aggressive in ensuring that its employees’ efforts don’t violate privacy and informing the public about how to avoid having their privacy compromised.

In its discussion of the settlement, the article brings up that the way now is paved for another privacy battle, this time over Google Glass. Concerns are that Google Glass eyewear also can be used to record photos, videos and audios of the wearer’s surroundings, without the permission of the individuals featured in those surroundings. With Google Glass, users can use their voice to input commands to take a picture or make a video, as well as to take steps less likely to compromise privacy, such as search for facts about landmarks or events.

How that privacy question plays out is yet to be seen. But concerns aren’t stoping the project – which was demonstrated at last week’s SXSW conference – from moving ahead. Google yesterday announced that the glasses will accommodate frames and lenses that match users’ eye prescriptions, for example.

Getting Google Glass to respond to voice commands and searches appears to leverage capabilities it has developed for its Voice Search App for Android, as well as its semantically-driven Knowledge Graph database of hundreds of millions of entities and billions of facts, and their relationships to each other.

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Google Now, Privacy, and a Better Internet

Matt Cilderman of Seeking Alpha recently discussed the rise of Google Now, the service’s potential, and its effect on our privacy. He writes, “In Google’s ’2012 Update from the CEO,’ Larry Page explains the importance of one of their free services, Google Plus: ‘Imagine how much better search would be if we added… you. Say you’ve been studying computer science for awhile like me, then the information you need won’t be that helpful to a relative novice and vice versa. If you’re searching for a particular person, you want the results for that person – not everyone else with the same name. These are hard problems to solve without knowing your identity, your interests, or the people you care about… Google+ helps solve this problem for us because it enables Google to understand people and their connections…This kind of next-generation search in which Google understands real-world entities – things, not strings – will help improve our results in exciting new ways. It’s about building genuine knowledge into our search engine’.” Read more

A Look into the Future of Data Mining and Privacy

Frederic Filloux recently weaved a tale of how Generation Y could be negatively impacted by the privacy sacrificed by participating in social media like Facebook. He writes, “Denver, Colorado, spring 2018. Tina is now 24. She’s finishing her law degree at Colorado State University… While Tina had her share of downs, she also has her ups. Living in Denver she never missed an opportunity to go hiking, mountain biking, or skiing — except when she had to spend 48 gruesome hours in the dark, alone with a severe migraine. But she remains fit, and she likes to record her sports performances on health sites — all connected to Facebook — and compare with friends. Seattle, winter 2020. In a meeting room overlooking the foggy Puget Sound, Alan Parsons, head of human resources at the Wilson, McKenzie & Whitman law firm holds his monthly review of the next important hires. Parsons is with Marcus Chen, a senior associate at Narrative Data Inc., both are poring over a selection of resumés.” Read more

Twitter Releases Transparency Report

Mary Long of our sister publication, MediaBistro.com, recently reported that Twitter has released its first Transparency Report. A constant source of valuable data, Twitter’s transparency report focuses on sharing “government requests received for user information, government requests received to withhold content, and DMCA takedown notices received from copyright holders. And here’s some interesting info to check out. It dates back to January 1, 2012. You’ll note that the report shows whether or not Twitter took action on these requests. And you’ll also note that most of the requests come from the U.S. – a staggering amount really, when compared to other countries (see above).” Read more

Tim Berners-Lee Speaks Out About Privacy & the Web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee recently spoke out against UK government plans to monitor citizen’s internet use, Ian Katz reports. Katz writes, “The government’s controversial plans to allow intelligence agencies to monitor the internet use and digital communications of every person in the UK suffered a fresh blow on Tuesday when the inventor of the world wide web warned that the measures were dangerous and should be dropped. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who serves as an adviser to the government on how to make public data more accessible, says the extension of the state’s surveillance powers would be a ‘destruction of human rights’ and would make a huge amount of highly intimate information vulnerable to theft or release by corrupt officials.” Read more

A Marriage Made For The Global, Digital Economy

At the recent SemTech Berlin conference, husband-and-wife team Michael Trevor McDonald and Kim Chandler McDonald, CTO and Executive VP, respectively, of KimmiC, led a session that discussed a marriage of a different sort: that between the Semantic Web and the user interface.  The session was described as providing the audience insight into the benefits of the semantic web, given that so much of the world’s economic brain/ecosystem is tied up in the relationships between companies, consumers and suppliers – an interaction between systems and people that is a real-life ‘Matrix’ whose ubiquity is hampered by the lack of a common way of talking about things such that they can be utilized and shared simply, and in a confidential, secure, and vendor-neutral manner.

The Semantic Web Blog had an opportunity to have an email discussion with the Australian-based minds behind KimmiC, and its FlatWorld cloud-based technology for enabling the global, digital economy, to learn more about the SemWeb/UI marriage.

Semantic Web Blog: Help us better understand this idea of The Matrix in the context described – considering the movie, is that a positive analogy and what does the Semantic Web have to do with it?

Michael: I think we can use the analogy pretty well as is. What we have seen in the market is essentially a few large companies trying to subvert the intent of the web into a controlled matrix (controlled by them) that they can exploit – it is, in fact, the cornerstone of their business models.

We view that consumers, once they become more aware of it, will see themselves as a “knowledge/insight” commodity in that they a) control their information and b) control who, when and where (what part) companies/friends/family etc. have access to them – it is most probably the next big frontier.

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A Positive Take on Google’s New Privacy Policy

Christopher Dawson has commented on Google’s recent changes to their privacy policy. Dawson writes, “I live, eat, breathe, work, and play Google and there aren’t many people more aware of Google’s business model and the amount of data it collects than I. So is it just sheer stupidity and naiveté that has me utterly embracing the Google ecosystem and relatively unconcerned about newly announced privacy policies that have caused so much consternation this week? Before you jump down to the talkbacks to tell me how stupid I really am, read on for another couple paragraphs.” Read more

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