Amy Plitt of the Daily Traveler reports, “Travel-booking website Skyscanner partnered with 56 experts, including researchers from Google and Microsoft, as well as UK consulting firm The Future Laboratory, to determine what the future of travel might look like. The company released its findings this week, and unsurprisingly, emerging technology will make traveling both easier and more intuitive. The first part of the report focuses on planning and booking trips. According to the experts surveyed, one of the biggest changes will be the development of ‘Digital Travel Buddies,’ virtual companions that will guide you through every step of the process and help you once you’re on your trip. (Think Apple’s Siri, but way better at knowing what you want before you want it.) Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Siri’
As The Semantic Web Blog discussed yesterday here, the Virtual Personal Assistant is getting more personal. Microsoft officially unveiled Cortana as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone software at its Build event yesterday, and the service effectively replaces the search function on Windows smartphones, both for the Internet and locally.
This statement served as the theme from corporate vice president and manager Joe Belfiore: “Cortana is the first truly personal digital assistant who learns about me and about the things that matter to me most and the people that matter to me most, that understands the Internet and is great at helping me get things done.”
The Bing-powered Cortana is launching in beta mode, and was still subject to a few hiccups during the presentation. For example, when Belfiore asked Cortana to give him the weather in Las Vegas, it reported the information in degrees, and was able to respond to his request to provide the same information in Celsius. But he couldn’t get her to make the calculations to Kelvin. But, he promised attendees, “Try it yourself because she is smart enough to tell you the answer in Kelvin.”
Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla of the Calgary Herald recently wrote, “Apple’s Siri intelligent personal assistant has been around for nearly four years and standard on iOS devices for three years. The peppy and often humorous artificial intelligence has evolved in terms of features and the number of services it can access. Siri is also getting some stiff competition from Google Now, which along with answering user-initiated queries like Siri, it also passively delivers information to the user by way of visual flash cards… Named after a character in Microsoft’s popular Halo video game franchise, the Cortana personal assistant is expected to come to Windows Phone devices, Xbox and possibly tablets in April… A recent leak with details and screenshots of BlackBerrys upcoming BB 10.3 operating system, reveals that the company formerly known as RIM has been working on an Intelligent Assistant feature to rival Siri and Google Now.” Read more
Aaron Taube of Business Insider recently wrote in the SF Gate, “Apple is thinking about how it can figure out exactly how you feel at any given moment in order to show you the most relevant advertisements. In a patent application the company filed Thursday, Apple describes a hypothetical system that would analyze and define people’s moods based on a variety of clues including facial expressions, perspiration rates, and vocal patterns. To be clear, Apple patents just about everything it does, with most applications never amounting to anything with regard to the actual products Apple releases. Still it’s interesting to see how Apple is thinking about predictive, contextual advertising at such a granular level, especially in light of its battle with companies like Google and Facebook to offer search products (Siri, the App Store) that know precisely what a user is looking for — even if the user has not expressly communicated his or her desire.” Read more
Jon Reed of iPhoneFAQ reports, “Apple’s overhauled Photos application that debuted with iOS 7 earlier this year introduced automatic photo sorting by date and location. A new patent application that surfaced at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday suggests that Apple wants to improve upon this idea by allowing users to tag photos and search for them using Siri. The patent, entitled ‘Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching,’ describes how the idea works in its abstract: ‘The electronic device provides a natural language text string corresponding to a speech input associated with the digital photograph. The electronic device performs natural language processing on the text string to identify one or more terms associated with an entity, an activity, or a location. The electronic device tags the digital photograph with the one or more terms and their associated entity, activity, or location’.” Read more
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.
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.
As we prepare to greet the New Year, we take a look back at the year that was. Some of the leading voices in the semantic web/Linked Data/Web 3.0 and sentiment analytics space give us their thoughts on the highlights of 2013.
Phil Archer, Data Activity Lead, W3C:
The completion and rapid adoption of the updated SPARQL specs, the use of Linked Data (LD) in life sciences, the adoption of LD by the European Commission, and governments in the UK, The Netherlands (NL) and more [stand out]. In other words, [we are seeing] the maturation and growing acknowledgement of the advantages of the technologies.
I contributed to a recent study into the use of Linked Data within governments. We spoke to various UK government departments as well as the UN FAO, the German National Library and more. The roadblocks and enablers section of the study (see here) is useful IMO.
Bottom line: Those organisations use LD because it suits them. It makes their own tasks easier, it allows them to fulfill their public tasks more effectively. They don’t do it to be cool, and they don’t do it to provide 5-Star Linked Data to others. They do it for hard headed and self-interested reasons.
Christine Connors, founder and information strategist, TriviumRLG:
What sticks out in my mind is the resource market: We’ve seen more “semantic technology” job postings, academic positions and M&A activity than I can remember in a long time. I think that this is a noteworthy trend if my assessment is accurate.
There’s also been a huge increase in the attentions of the librarian community, thanks to long-time work at the Library of Congress, from leading experts in that field and via schema.org.
The holiday shopping window is starting to close. How far along have you gotten?
To help out, we’ve compiled a list of some gift-giving ideas with a little bit of smarts to them.
Anki DRIVE: Artificial intelligence comes to the video game world. This one’s getting a lot of buzz – some are even heralding it as the season’s hottest toy. TIME Magazine has put it on its Top 25 innovations list, too. Each car, the company says, thinks for itself. The recipient of your gift can control it with an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or iPad Mini to go up against friends or AI-enabled opponents, but the car can drive itself and make its own decisions as it does so, becoming more sophisticated the more you drive and even deciding to take out players. The game comes with a physical track, two intelligent cars and the downloadable Anki DRIVE app. Check out the video here.
In their recent Technology Quarterly issue, The Economist discussed how predictive intelligence will lead to better virtual assistant applications that will leave Siri in the dust: “The next generation of assistant software aims to go one step further by pursuing an approach known as ‘predictive intelligence’. It exploits the fact that smartphones now have access to fast internet links and location data, and can draw upon personal information, address books, e-mail and calendars. The aim of these new assistants is to anticipate what information users need, based on context and past behaviour, and to provide it before they have even asked for it. Such an assistant might, for example, spontaneously suggest that you leave early for a meeting, because it has spotted heavy traffic en route; present directions to your hotel when you arrive in a foreign country; offer to book a taxi or hotel based on analysis of an incoming e-mail or text message; or offer personalised suggestions for dinner in the evening.” Read more
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