The opening keynotes at this week’s Semantic Technology and Business Conference saw two industry giants pump up the volume about how, and why, to apply semantic technology in the enterprise.
At Viacom, the largest pure-play media company in the world, the sheer number of perspectives across an exhaustive portfolio that includes more than 160 networks and 500 digital media properties globally, as well as entertainment behemoth Paramount Pictures Corp., was a factor in giving semantic tech a start. Its pain point, chief architect Matthew Degel told attendees, involved dealing with issues like the creative variations that come with the territory – U.S. vs. international versions of digital assets, or the MPEG-2 take on a clip for broadcast in this country vs. H.264/MPEG-4 formats for streaming the same clip online. “How do you track all this and say that I have 23 files, they are all sort of different but they’re talking about the same thing,” Degel said. “We thought semantics could help address that.”
Multi-platform being the rule of the day, the company faced the challenge of making its material reuseable, findable, searchable and purposeable, Degel said. As it takes steps to its goal of providing a corporate-focused, general purpose application of the technology, Degel explained that the view he takes on semantic technology is to think of it as “helping you deal with a certain amount of uncertainty and chaos.”