Language Technology News for 2011
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- A Review of Language Service and Technology Predictions for 2011 by Common Sense Advisory
Predictions are a popular pastime for industry analyst and research firms in every sector, and the market for language services and technology is no different. How did we fare with our predictions for 2011?
- Search & Mobile Marketing Trends: SEO Apocalypse 2012 by SEW
This has been a year where search marketing truly matured. Mobile became one of the largest growth components, with its share of the overall search market now reaching 20 percent. Looking ahead, expect 2012 to be the year when we push further into the Mobile Semantic Web 3.0, which presents opportunities that will drastically change SEO as we know it.
- WordSeer - Reducing your Time in Stacks
Certain topics, like literary passages and history require a lot of research to form a thesis. Technologies like Google Scholar have smoothed the process to a certain extent but one still has to swim through thousands of results before filtering out the needed few. In response to this, UC Berkeley graduate Aditi Muralidharan has designed a sophisticated text-analyzing tool, WordSeer, as a part of her doctoral thesis. WordSeer aims to speed literary searches for humanities scholars and other researchers. Yes, there are many tools today that drive searches for words and phrases, but WordSeer packs the ability to distinguish grammatical structure as well as stylistic features. The program uses structure language to associate human logic and interpretation of search results.
- Cherokee Nation Joins International Language Consortium
The Cherokee Nation has joined the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit formed in 1987 to set international software standards, to help promote growth in use of the Cherokee language. “Our program [the Cherokee Nation Language Technology Program] focuses on getting all kinds of technology to support the Cherokee language. So, we’ve done work with Apple to get Cherokee on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and we’ve worked with Facebook to get some of the localization of that into the syllabary. We’ve worked with Google doing the same thing,” said Roy Boney Jr., a language technologist with the Cherokee Nation.
- Mobile Internet increasingly available, but EU still missing out on growth-creating high speed broadband
Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, welcomed figures just released which show a solid increase in the availability of both mobile internet and basic quality fixed broadband lines. At the same time the Commissioner warned that Europe risked missing out on badly needed economic growth if it does not step up a gear and increase the capacity of its broadband networks. Studies show that a 10 percentage point increase in broadband take-up boosts annual GDP growth by 1 to 1.5%.
- Nuance to acquire Vlingo
Nuance Communications, Inc. announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Vlingo, Inc. Fueled by unprecedented demand for intelligent voice interfaces that combine voice, language understanding and semantic processing, Nuance and Vlingo will combine their deep innovation and R&D expertise to deliver next-generation natural language interfaces across numerous markets and industries.
- Acrolinx initiates international research project in MT with partners
Acrolinx, the universities of Edinburgh and Geneva, the software manufacturer Symantec, and the non-profit organization Translators without Borders launched the international research project ACCEPT. The goal of ACCEPT – an acronym for Automated Community Content Editing Portal – is the development of innovative technologies in the field of machine translation. The consortium has just received funding from the European Commission in the amount of 2.8 million euros. The joint project starts in January 2012 for a duration of 36 months.
- IBM Research calls Voice Biometrics one of the top five innovations with life-changing potential
Voice biometrics is expected to hit its stride in the next five years as its usage rises in the enterprise, among consumers, and in conjunction with other biometrics capabilities, according to recent IBM research. Voice biometrics was a focal point of IBM's sixth annual "IBM 5 in 5," a list of innovations that, according to IBM, have the potential to change the way people work, live, and interact during the next five years. IBM found that problems with voice biometrics, such as error rates in voice recognition, have been greatly reduced as the technology has developed. "We have seen great progress in the last three years," David Nahamoo, IBM fellow and chief technology officer for speech, says. "As performance gets better, we are seeing more adoption, and voice biometrics will hit the prime time, from small adoption to large, in the next five years."
- Google Working On Siri Alternative ‘Majel’
Once the ooing and ahhing about the Siri intelligent virtual assistant subsided a bit when the application appeared on Apple’s iPhone 4S in October, the tech press conjured questions concerning potential Siri competitors. Now comes evidence from the blog Android and Me that Google’s answer to Siri is a natural language processing enhancement to its Voice Actions application that is code-named “Majel.” Majel refers to Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the actress who voiced of the Federation computer from Star Trek.
- Big Data and Smart Content: New Challenges for Content Management Applications
Content is getting bigger--way bigger--and this is scary to many technologists. At the same time, it's also getting smarter, bringing more complexity and sophistication to applications, but also more options to information and enterprise architects. How will these changes impact content management technologies? It's difficult to predict exactly, but there is insight to be found and used to plan for the future.
- Facebook Timeline to rollout worldwide
Facebook's new look, first shown at a Facebook developers conference in September, rolled out worldwide. The feature offers users a visual personal history that is similar to a digital scrapbook or vanity license plate. Some have even compared its look to Myspace.
- Shopping Goes Geek for the Holidays With Wolfram|Alpha
Just in time for the holidays, Wolfram|Alpha is introducing a new functionality that provides consumers with a unique approach to shopping for consumer electronics. By leveraging data from Best Buy's public APIs, Wolfram|Alpha users will now be able to browse through more than 35,000 appliances and consumer electronics products. Wolfram|Alpha's intuitive, natural-language interface helps you hone in on the precise products you need, while its powerful data visualization capabilities give you an innovative overview of any shopping category.
- Google gets Alfred but it's certainly no Siri
Siri, a voice-controlled virtual personal assistant that relies on artificial intelligence, is the most advertised feature of the new iPhone 4S from Apple. Apple has done an excellent job at integrating Siri with other apps on the phone. Google’s Android has been losing high-end business to Apple because of the popularity of Siri. Now, Google is taking its first step to battle Siri with Alfred. Google has acquired Clever Sense, the maker of Alfred.
- NLM plus: A new app for better biomedical data search results
WebLib, a small international technology startup of experts in information retrieval, natural language processing and medical informatics, recently released NLMplus, a semantic search and knowledge discovery application that utilizes a variety of semantic resources and natural language processing tools to produce improved search results from the vast collection of biomedical data and services of the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
- The EC launched Open Data Strategy for Europe with an expected economy boost of 40 billion Euro
The Commission has launched an Open Data Strategy for Europe, which is expected to deliver a €40 billion boost to the EU's economy each year. Europe’s public administrations are sitting on a goldmine of unrealised economic potential: the large volumes of information collected by numerous public authorities and services. Member States such as the United Kingdom and France are already demonstrating this value. The strategy to lift performance EU-wide is three-fold: firstly the Commission will lead by example, opening its vaults of information to the public for free through a new data portal. Secondly, a level playing field for open data across the EU will be established. Finally, these new measures are backed by the €100 million which will be granted in 2011-2013 to fund research into improved data-handling technologies.