The Semantic Web


Hello Mr. Yukkamoto and welcome back to the GAP! – Minority Report

The web that binds us is becoming The Internet of Things (Bruce Sterling talk). Machine to machine communications enable sensor data, audio, pictures and video to be collected and analyzed — automatically. It’s becoming a practical and economic imperative.

Take Google’s purchase of YouTube. Software like Podzinger can create a text transcript of the entire video. That enables content search and advertising placement.

Niall Kennedy reviews the current state of image search:

How do image hosting sites provided by major search engines change the ability to search your latest still image? Yahoo!’s Flickr and Google’s Picassa encourage users to add extra descriptors to images to enable better discoverability and sharing.

Date and time of capture, camera settings, location, and copyright data may be described in formats such as Exif or XMP, adding even more context. A standalone GPS can synchronize its coordinates with a stand-alone digital camera based on the timestamp on each device. A bicyclist with a GPS receiver and a stand-alone digital point-and-shoot can combine data from each gadget and plot their entire bike ride complete with pictures.

An indexer might take a look at the photo and try to analyze its depictions. Facial-recognition technology can identify the same photo subject across multiple photo captures by analyzing patterns across common facial attributes. A photo publisher can install software on their desktop computer to analyze each photograph looking for people, places, and things.

Google acquired Neven Vision in August to boost their ability to extract information from image depictions. Riya is working on image recognition technology applied to image search.

Other image recognition technologies include;

  • 3VRS, headquartered in San Francisco, integrates facial, object, behavior, and motion analytics with digital video recording in a single unit.
  • A4Vision (Applications for Vision) develops and licenses identification systems for tracking and targeting with camera systems using 3Dface recognition technology.
  • BBN developed Podzinger can find embedded audio and video content using keyword search. It creates a text index of the words in the content. By a simple web search, PodZinger uncovers a previously hidden world of information in audio and video. Users can “jump-to” a specific location without listening to the entire file. BBN’s Broadcast Monitoring program pumps a TV channel — Al-Jazeera, say — through a set of servers, which do a quick-and-dirty transcription of the audio into Arabic text. Then, that text is ported into English.
  • BBN is also working with the City of Cambridge on a network of 100 streetlight-mounted sensor nodes, each equipped with a professional meteorological sensor package. They’ll detect wind speed, direction, temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, and rainfall. Through a gateway to the Internet, all data collected will be freely available to academic researchers throughout the U. S.
  • BorderNet is an ESRI based application that incorporates real-time mapping software and geo-location algorithms to provide a dynamic and accurate view. A MITRE team is working with the Border Patrol on a long-term effort to produce an upgraded technological and business infrastructure.
  • CallMiner analyzes all the content collected from Contact Center calls – and then applies sophisticated conversation analytics to extract meaningful information from it.
  • Cycorp (wikipedia), founded in 1994 to research, develop, and commercialize Artificial Intelligence, plans to create the world’s first true artificial intelligence, having both common sense and the ability to reason. Cycorp was a participant in Project Halo, a project funded by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures, to model the brain.
  • Panoramic cameras like iMove, Immersive Media, Panoscan, FLIR and Pyramid Vision, are being fused with ground sensors that detect vibration, sound, heat and other signals. iMove’s immersive imaging uses multiple cameras to capture and seamlessly display video from panoramic views up to complete 360° x 360°, placing the user in the scene with the ability to look in every direction and move through space.
  • Language Weaver uses statistical machine language translation rather than traditional rule-based approach to produce a high probability translation output.
  • MetaCarta bridges the gap between GIS and text search. Customers can place documents on a map-automatically. MetaCarta enables Google Earth users to access unstructured content.
  • Globe4D is one example of the new modality. It can have different surfaces projected on it (like earth or sun), “peel” off the crust or move in time. A companion to Google Earth.
  • PhotoSynth is a 3-D image “tourism” application being developed by Microsoft Research. Channel 9 has a preview of the application which can “map” public 2D images (like Flickr) to 3D space (like Second Life). Imagine Google Earth with photos mapped onto 3D building models. Those photos can be shot from a thousand different camera angles and by hundreds of different photographers. They’re fused together into a 3D flyby with PhotoSynth. Here’s a Live Demo and White Paper (pdf).
  • piXlogice makes the contents of images and videos automatically searchable. It indexes the logical visual objects in an image, or any text that may appear. A foreign traveler who doesn’t understand a local sign can take a picture of the sign and sends it over to a piXlogic-enabled service provider. The software reads the text in the image, which is then translated to the user’s native language and returned to him (by text, image or voice).
  • Rosum TV-GPS integrates signals from existing commercial TV towers with signals from GPS satellites to support positioning in all environments with good indoor coverage.
  • Spotfire speeds data analysis, importing multiple data sets into a visual, interactive environment. Graphic data is automatically generated directly from disparate data sources to see facts, gain insights and spot trends.
  • SRD’s identity recognition software goes beyond the obvious of knowing who is who, by incorporating non-obvious relationships and allowing organizations to share data anonymously while protecting privacy.
  • Tendril is leading the expansion of wireless sensor and control networks by developing the Tendril Service Broker which sits on top of a variety of wireless sensor networks and offer a distributed programming interface to instantiate, manipulate, and orchestrate previously non-computerized activities related to buildings, factories, cities, crops, homes, and other objects in the physical world.
  • TenXsys provides innovative solutions for remotely monitoring the physical health, activity, and location of both humans and animals. By combining physiological and environmental sensors, with novel communications systems, a wide range of applications, such as Sports telemetry can be served with the Company’s core technologies.
  • The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, launched last week, has a wiki handbook that surveys the field of research. MIT looks to give ‘group think’ a good name with projects on market prediction and global climate change.
  • Thetus develops knowledge discovery software solutions. Thetus Publisher, the company’s flagship product, can manage and discover information in large volumes of data collected by sensors and other instruments. The Columbia River CORIE Project uses Thetus software to filter real-time sensor data.
  • Traction’s TeamPage software creates a communications hub for business information that collects, organizes, links, and shares sources of information in context over time. Traction’s Wikipedia-style display supports group editing, review, and one click roll-back functions with permission based edit history and full audit trails.

Soon ubiquitous internet cameras, RF-ID, broadband wireless, license-plate reading software, image recognition and language understanding will be layered on top of the Semantic Web (wikipedia). Tagging documents with computer-processable meaning (semantics) on the World Wide Web will create a universal medium for information exchange.

Is this a good thing? Who can predict the future. It’s human nature to be both aggressive and collaborative. Technology is our leverage.

Perhaps we’ll collectively vote for a bug fix in Humanity 2.0. But there will be a Minority Report.

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Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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