March 8, 2014
Ontotext delivers very interesting services to their clients. All of their products are associated with semantic technology and utilizing big data to benefit its users. On their Web site, the company describes itself as:
“Ontotext develops a unique portfolio of core semantic technologies. Our RDF engine powers some of the biggest world-renowned media sites. Our text-mining solutions demonstrate unsurpassed accuracy across different domains – from sport news to macro-economic analysis, scientific articles and clinical trial reports. We enable the next generation web of data and we can efficiently extract information from today’s structured web – be it recipes, adverts or anything else.”
It offers services for job extraction, hybrid semantics, and semantic publishing for industries such as life sciences, government, recruitment, libraries, publishing, and media. Ontotext has a range of products to help people harness semantic technology. The most interesting to us is the Semantic Biomedical Tagger that is described as an extraction system that creates semantic annotations in biomedical texts. Ontotext also has the requisite search engine and semantic database. Its product line is fairly robust and we intend to keep an eye on its offerings.
March 7, 2014
Good news for Expert System! According to their press release archive, “Expert Systems Raise $27 Million In IPO.” Expert System specializes in semantic technology. The $27 million was raised in the company’s IPO on the Italian stock exchange AIM Italia, making it the largest in AIM history. With the new funding, Expert System plans to invest in its US firms with a new San Francisco office and additional sales and technical staff.
Expert System saw record growth in 2013. The company offered a range of new products, including its first semantic intelligence API and an end-to-end taxonomy management and categorization platform.
Expert System expects to increase its size in 2014:
“The growing reliance on information to solve business problems is placing increasing demands on software to enhance the effectiveness of search, capture weak signals in information streams and support customer interactions. Expert System is responding to these needs by increasing development of integrations and connectors that brings the power of its semantic technology to existing platforms and traditional applications.”
With that amount of funding and decent product line, Expert System will continue to grow, especially as semantic technology demand rises.
January 27, 2014
We learned about a new semantic search engine. A public demonstration is available at http://www.asknet.ru/EN/index.htm. Some chatter about the system appeared on LinkedIn. Like many of the next-generation search systems, there were some questions and comments from the “experts” who participate in the LinkedIn search discussions.
According to the Web site:
AskNet search technology is its main product and the focus of the commercial licensing and development. The search engine combines the speed of an index with the functionality of linguistic analysis. The AskNet search engine reverses the search result process. Traditionally, search engines provide links to large numbers of documents that contain reviews. They leave the users to hunt their answers in thousands of pages and millions of words. AskNet`s linguistic analysis makes it possible to provide meaningful answers to searches as quickly as traditional search engines. No linking required!
One LinkedIn expert pointed out:
AskNet Search ( online service asknet.ru) is the demo version. Not all algorithms are implemented for asknet.ru. All of them are implemented in the enterprise search engine. AskNet Search realized metasearch functions using snippets from Google. These text snippets are not whole sentences. Therefore, the quality of linguistic search AskNet Search could be better, when it used sentences for search, rather than a snippets from Google.
We suggest running some test queries and determining if the system delivers useful results. Keep in mind that a technology demonstration is usually set up to make it easy to get a “feel” for the basics of a system.
With regard to semantics and analytics, the supporters of today’s hottest technologies often are like supporters of the Liverpool football team. The coach is usually wrong and one or two players are terrible. The team concept, however, is one to support to the death. Rational? Nah. Part of today’s standard operating procedure? You bet.
My view is:
- Many vendors are recycling old algorithms with a Project Runway touch up. The basic design, however, is recognizable as a cute little red carpet number. Innovation is a bow or a tuck.
- Some so-called experts (folks I describe as poobahs, azure chip consultants, of people with a dog in the fight) see their clients’ products as truly wonderful innovations. The notion that a researcher in 1980 hit upon a method and created a product based on that method is of little or no consequence. Who cares what Julius Caesar said after the battle of Alesia. Ancient history.
- Prospects may not be looking for a better search solution. Prospects may be looking for a system that is less of a problem than the incumbent solution. Therefore, the procurement team is trying to keep their paycheck, not revolutionize information retrieval.
- Many systems work only if the user knows what he or she is looking for. Predictive search (go with the search history and the norm for a cluster) is good enough. Who has time to do deep dive research in today’s rush-rush-rush business climate.
The buzzword blizzard makes it difficult to figure out what system delivers what. I know I am easily confused, and my hunch is that others may face the same hurdle. Will Sochi feature a confusion jump involving leaps of faith over search vendor claims?
Stephen E Arnold, January 27, 2014
January 22, 2014
Did you know that there was an open source version of ClearForest called Calais? Neither did we, until we read about it in the article posted on OpenCalais called, “Calais: Connect. Everything.” Along with a short instructional video, is a text explanation about how the software works. OpenCalais Web Service automatically creates rich semantic metadata using natural language processing, machine learning, and other methods to analyze for submitted content. A list of tags are generated and returned to the user for review and then the user can paste them onto other documents.
The metadata can be used in a variety of ways for improvement:
“The metadata gives you the ability to build maps (or graphs or networks) linking documents to people to companies to places to products to events to geographies to… whatever. You can use those maps to improve site navigation, provide contextual syndication, tag and organize your content, create structured folksonomies, filter and de-duplicate news feeds, or analyze content to see if it contains what you care about.”
The OpenCalais Web Service relies on a dedicated community to keep making progress and pushing the application forward. Calais takes the same approach as other open source projects, except this one is powered by Thomson Reuters.
January 15, 2014
The article on the Thetus blog titled Thetus South is Now in Business celebrates the opening of a Thetus office in Nashville, Tennessee. With headquarters in Portland, Oregon, Thetus was incorporated in 2003 and has since developed semantic modeling technologies. Savanna 3.3 is analytic software that offers search and discovery, among other tools. The article on the blog mainly examines the building Thetus will now call home.
The article states:
“Located in the heart of Nashville’s historic arts district, the newest addition to the Thetus family embodies the classic Thetus feel while creating its own identity in unique and historic Cummins Station. Originally built in 1907 , Cummins Station is famous for once being the warehouse for Maxwell House Coffee. Over a century later, it’s making a new mark on Nashville as a fabulous and creative LEED Gold mixed-use space…. a perfect match for Thetus!”
The company offered some pictures of the gorgeous windows in the space, and gave some details about enhancements made (such as removing the paint from the brick and removing the carpet. Cummins Station is home to over 140 businesses ranging from IT to restaurant to a gym. The blog also encouraged job-seekers to apply. They are also embracing Nashville’s culture, sponsoring the 2013 Hack Nashville, a coding event.
Chelsea Kerwin, January 15, 2014
January 3, 2014
I am sure that you have heard that Big Data is capable of working with all data types. According to Information Week’s article, “Variety’s The Spice Of Life-And Bane Of Big Data” the newest trend has problem and the biggest is handling the variety of data. The article argues that it is impractical to funnel ad hoc data source into a central schema. The better alternative is to use optional schema also known as RDF standards or semantic web technologies. How can trading one schema for another make a difference?
The article states:
“When data is accessible using the simple RDF triples model, you can mix data from different sources and use the SPARQL query language to find connections and patterns with no need to predefine schema. Leveraging RDF doesn’t require data migration, but can take advantage of middleware tools that dynamically make relational databases, spreadsheets, and other data sources available as triples. Schema metadata can be dynamically pulled from data. It is stored and queried the same way as data.”
RDF acts like a sieve. It allows the unnecessary data information to run through the small holes, leaving the relevant stuff behind for quicker access. It sounds like a perfect alternative, except it comes with its own set of challenges. The good news is that these problems can easily be resolved with a little training and practice.
Whitney Grace, January 03, 2014
December 28, 2013
The article titled How Semantic Search is Killing the Keyword on iMedia heralds the end of keyword-driven search in place of semantic search, or the user’s intention. Based mainly on Google’s work on the Knowledge Graph, a web of information that attempts to connect related data and provide a user with answers to questions they might not have known to ask. The article goes so far as to call keyword-centered content a thing of the past.
The article explains:
“Current trends in search engine marketing and optimization have been underscored by Google’s Knowledge Graph and its Hummingbird update. Both emphasize the importance of not only having high-quality content but also adding semantic markup… to your content, which makes it possible for machines to detect meaning or intent. Marking up your site’s content is crucial to its success in search engines… It not only improves the display of search results, but it makes it much easier for users to find desired web pages.”
The article goes on to describe what exactly would replace boring text-based search results. With semantic markup, the search results can consist of more visuals, ratings, reviews, anything to keep the user interested (the article considers semantic markup search as having more “personality.” Who needs words anyway?
Chelsea Kerwin, December 28, 2013
December 20, 2013
Partnerships develop when companies each possess a strength and then combine forces to build a beneficial relationship. The CogBlog, Cognition’s Semantic NLP Blog, announced a new relationship in the post, “Cognition To Power Grabbit’s Online Recommendation Engine.” Cognition is a leading name in semantic analysis and language process and Grabbit is the developer of a cloud-hosted suite of Web services. Together they have formed a strategic partnership that will combine Cognition’s natural language processing technology with Grabbit’s patent-pending system for making online recommendations of products, content, and people. The idea behind pairing the two technologies is that the semantic software would analyze social media content and then Grabbit’s software would then make product recommendations based on the data.
The article states:
“Cognition provides a powerful set of semantic tools to power Grabbit’s new web services. The scope of Cognition’s Semantic Map is more than double the size of any other computational linguistic dictionary for English, and includes more than ten million semantic connections that are comprised of semantic contexts, meaning representations, taxonomy and word meaning distinctions. The Map encompasses over 540,000 word senses (word and phrase meanings); 75,000 concept classes (or synonym classes of word meanings); 8,000 nodes in the technology’s ontology or classification scheme; and 510,000 word stems (roots of words) for the English language. Cognition’s lexical resources encode a wealth of semantic, morphological and syntactic information about the words contained within documents and their relationships to each other. These resources were created, codified and reviewed by lexicographers and linguists over a span of more than 25 years.”
Why do I get the feeling that online shopping is going to get even more complicated? Personal qualms aside, Cognition and Grabbit are not the first companies that come to mind when it comes to social media analytics and e-commerce. This partnership is not the first endeavor to cash in on Internet sales.
Whitney Grace, December 20, 2013
December 18, 2013
The article titled The Stealthy Rise of Semantic Search on Search Engine Journal relates the outmoding of SEOs with natural language search. The article explains that Boolean expressions leaped search forward with the abilities of query modifiers. Many people use semantic search without realizing it, but it works nonetheless to determine intent instead of just matching search terms.
The article explains:
“Vertical search engines such as Hakia, Lexxe, and VSW were at the forefront of semantic technology long before Bing, Facebook, and Google. These engine providers built their business around that potential and are using it to create new distribution and business models to deliver options for content makers well beyond keyword search and SEO.
Advertisers will reap huge benefits from semantic search because it increases the relevance of all forms of advertising.”
Semantic search will also decrease the likelihood of ads being paired with unsuitable content. Soon, users will be presented with information they “didn’t even know they wanted.” This may even lead to interconnected devices within the home. The article offers the possibility of the refrigerator notifying the homeowner that they are running low on milk. (Smart House, anyone?) Whether scary or exciting, the article would have us believe that these developments are inevitable.
Chelsea Kerwin, December 18, 2013
December 13, 2013
EasyAsk Ranked Among Top Four Providers of E-Commerce Technology, an article on Virtual-Strategy Magazine, recognizes the achievements of EasyAsk, the natural language search company. EasyAsk was recently named one of the top 4 vendors (out of 1,000) in driving e-commerce sales by the E-Retailers Guide. Craig Bassin, CEO of EasyAsk, expressed no surprise at this, since reports show that 43% of visitors to a given website will head straight for the search box.
Bassin expanded on his company’s progress:
“”EasyAsk is poised to capture a significant share of the growing spend on e-commerce technology, said Bassin. “EasyAsk eCommerce Edition delivers amazing value to our clients. EasyAsk is embedded within Infor Storefront and has out-of-the-box integrations with the leading e-commerce platforms, such as IBM Websphere Commerce, Magento, Hybris and Netsuite. Our customers consistently tell us we help them turn shoppers into buyers.” Gartner Inc. estimates that retailers spent about $3 billion on e-commerce technology in 2012. “
Semantic search has become unavoidably important, with Google and Microsoft adopting their own offerings since in the last two years. But EasyAsk stands out as offering “natural language search for e-commerce enterprise, on-premise and cloud platforms.” Their work in raising online revenue by allowing users to search in plain English and receive specific and relevant results has made them a leader in the field.
Chelsea Kerwin, December 13, 2013