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Language Technology News for 2011

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IBM hopes to bring Watson Technologies to Enterprises
IBM plans to introduce technologies from its Watson computer, which beat humans on the game show "Jeopardy," for information-discovery use in enterprises. The company hopes that Watson's underlying technologies will provide precise answers to complex queries using natural language interfaces, said Guru Rao, an IBM fellow last week. When applied in enterprises, underlying Watson technologies will be able to analyze warehouses of structured and unstructured data to determine answers with high levels of confidence.
Identifying humour through software
As it turns out, identifying humour through software is hard. For decades now, artificial intelligence (AI) researchers have been trying to solve the NLP (or Natural Language Processing) problem. This field of computer science and linguistics is concerned with the building of systems that can understand normal language as spoken by humans. This is normally considered a hard task, as the meaning of a sentence will often vary based on the context in which it is presented, and this is something that is difficult to implement in software. When you add humour and puns — when words can have multiple meanings — this can get substantially harder.
Free Text Travel Searching to get more accurate with Eva
Eva, the Expert Virtual agent from Evature, is a natural language processing search utility that is open and available for incorporation in any travel website. It offers a natural language processing engine through its Evature Travel Search API, which is tuned to identify common travel parameters such as number of travelers, place names and locations, and fuzzy date ranges.
ThingWorx Named ‘Cool Vendor’ by Gartner for Connecting Technology
ThingWorx, a revolutionary platform designed to accelerate the development of applications connecting people, systems and physical world, today announced that it has been named a ‘Cool Vendor’ in the “Cool Vendors in Manufacturing Operations, 2011”. Founded in 2009, ThingWorx’s platform enables operational innovation in the areas of application development, problem solving and opportunity discovery and capture. ThingWorx’s disruptive technology provides all of the services and functionality required to quickly build and deploy secure, high-performance, connected applications regardless of whether they’re in the cloud, on an Intranet or on an embedded platform. The company’s platform extends the key functionality of Web 2.0, social media and the semantic web to the ‘world of things,’ creating a platform that amplifies the productivity of people through collective intelligence and user-driven information.
Why Wall Street is Betting on Your Social Media Data
Social media isn’t only about news, opinion and commentary. It’s also a potentially profitable form of raw data, at least if you ask Wall Street. An analysis by Andrew Graham (media strategist in New York) for Mashable.
The Backstory of IBM's Watson Supercomputer - an Interview with Dr. David Ferrucci
It was a stunning achievement, both for IBM's supercomputer and the team that created it. In the three-day Jeopardy! man vs. machine contest, the best humans on the planet were never seriously in contention.
UMD's Medical Education is Elementary to Watson
The University of Maryland School of Medicine is helping to educate a new student: a computer that gained fame on the TV quiz show, "Jeopardy." In mid-February, Watson, an IBM computer capable of answering verbal questions posed in natural language, appeared on "Jeopardy" and defeated champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Now, the University of Maryland medical school has joined IBM, software developer Nuance and Columbia University Medical Center to apply Watson's technology to medicine.
Connecticut hospital may get help from 'Watson' supercomputer
The supercomputer, which gained stardom on Jeopardy, that may soon be assisting physicians at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.
Speaking Software for Social Network Sites
The result of 12 years of research, the text-to-speech synthesis programme Vaja version 6 by National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec) is the first text-to-speech application for a social network site. Some social network users may have experienced the "post voice" application, a voice file service for Facebook or Twitter. The Vaja 6.0 system is useful in situations that are inconvenient for reading, such as driving, as users can just click and listen.
Future of Games: Generating Natural Language For Game Dialogue
Marilyn Walker, Director of the University of California, Santa Cruz's Games and Playable Media program's natural language and dialogue systems division, presented a talk at the school's Future of Games symposium today that delved into how the group hopes to get closer to generative dialogue that can respond to player interaction. Bringing up a screenshot she said while games have evolved, "for dialogue it still looks pretty much like it did 20 years ago."
Build your own Watson with open source software
Edward Epstein of IBM Research, explained that Watson was designed to work with natural language content and deep analysis drawing on all the available content. The big idea behind Watson is evidence based reasoning over natural language content. UIMA, which IBM developed and turned over to Apache Software Foundation, is composed of hundreds of complex algorithms. UIMA helps solve the interoperability issues to deliver just the data needed.
Evolution of Language takes unexpected turn
It’s widely thought that human language evolved in universally similar ways, following trajectories common across place and culture, and possibly reflecting common linguistic structures in our brains. But a massive, millennium-spanning analysis of humanity’s major language families suggests otherwise. Instead, language seems to have evolved along varied, complicated paths, guided less by neurological settings than cultural circumstance. If our minds do shape the evolution of language, it’s likely at levels deeper and more nuanced than many researchers anticipated.
Dotmatics provides its Web-based structure drawing tool, Elemental, to ChemSpider
Dotmatics Limited will provide its web-based structure drawing tool, Elemental, to the leading chemistry community website ChemSpider. Elemental provides a zero install drawing tool that lets users draw simple chemical structures or complex structure queries directly within a webpage.
Alchemy API unveils Sentiment Analysis in Cloud-based Text Mining platform
AlchemyAPI a leading provider of natural language processing technology, today announced the addition of advanced sentiment analysis functionality to its popular text-mining web service.
Web-Translations acquires Live Translation
Web-Translations is pleased to announce its acquisition of Batley-based company Live Translation. is the world’s first real-time translation service powered by human translators. It offers professional translation in minutes as well as a fully managed document and website translation service, making it the ideal complement to Web-Translations’ existing portfolio of services. With prices starting from as little as £1.99, Live Translation is ideal for translation of emails, text messages, and blog posts.