Natural language processing

Why Nuance is pushing for a new type of Turing test

Nuance Communications is sponsoring a contest called the Winograd Schema challenge that aims to replace the usual conversation-based attempts to pass the Turing test. According to its backers, the Winograd challenge places more emphasis on intelligence and less on trickery.

IBM goes freemium with new natural language analytics service

IBM is getting into the freemium space, targeting individual business users with a new data analysis service called Watson Analytics. It helps users analyze data using natural language queries, and could help IBM fend off the myriad products threatening its analytics business from the bottom up.

Why we’re all so obsessed with deep learning

Deep learning is all the rage among the tech scene right now, and that’s more a result of its utility than because it sounds cool. Some questioned the feasibility of the Secret Service’s requested “sarcasm detector,” but deep learning could help there, too.

Let’s build a semantic web by creating a Wikipedia for relevancy

The relevancy-defining, edge-weighting algorithms of Google’s Knowledge Graph, Facebook’s Open Graph and Gravity’s Interest Ontology are closely guarded company secrets. Imagine if that data was available to everyone — it would be as disruptive as Amazon Web Services. The internet would be a better place.

Xbox One voice search: Powered by deep learning

You didn’t think all the research Microsoft has done around deep learning was just for show, did you? The company’s deep learning models are now powering voice commands on the Xbox One platform, thanks to a direct connection to Bing.

This is why big data is the sweet spot for SaaS

When it comes to using big data technology effectively, there’s a lot to like about SaaS. When companies like BloomReach create and analyze massive web-wide data sets, they automate insights that almost no individual company could discover on its own.

Researchers mine 2.5M news articles to prove what we already know

A group of British researchers recently analyzed 2.5 million newspaper articles in order to prove that new data analysis techniques, such as machine learning and natural-language processing, can accurately classify media content. They hope their approach can save academicians untold hours of manual labor.

Google explains how more data means better speech recognition

A new research paper from Google highlights the importance of big data in creating consumer-friendly services such as voice search on smartphones. More data helps train smarter models, which can then better predict what someone say next — letting you keep your eyes on the road.

Hey devs, want to add voice to your app? OneTok makes it easy

Now that touch input has revolutionized the mobile device market, what’s next? Voice interaction and natural language processing (NLP) surely have to be high on the list. But it’s not always easy for app developers to enable voice features. Enter OneTok, a cloud-based NLP solution.

Google opens prior-art patent search to the entire web

In yet another move to simplify the process of patent search, Google is now tackling the particularly tough problem of prior with a new feature. But all this innovation begs the question of whether Google, not the USPTO, should become the de facto patent search engine.

Where chicken wings and big data collide

The moods of men can be captured by a web app, which can then recommend the appropriate spiciness of chicken wings they should eat, and even suggest appropriate mood music thanks to Spotify. Welcome to the data-driven future. Adjust your personal privacy setting accordingly.

DataPop scores $7M for custom-built ads

DataPop, a startup using big data to deliver custom online ads, has raised a $7 million Series B round. The company’s technology uses big data techniques such as natural-language processing and semantic association to automatically generate online ads based on what a web user has searched for.

How social media is making polling obsolete

Companies are hot on social media for a number of reasons, but perhaps chief among them should be that social platforms can create focus groups at a scale never before possible. Given the right big data tools and techniques, the insights can be fantastic.

The coming age of the smart personal assistant

We’re entering the age of the smart personal assistant, as computers increasingly listen and understand what we’re saying and fulfill our requests in real time. Siri and Watson have gotten a lot of attention but we’ll see this type of service in a variety of areas.

Social Q&A platform Beepl goes live

Beepl opened its social Q&A site to the public, with the hopes of challenging Quora and others by finding specialists to answer user questions. It does that with technology that matches users with the queries that they are most interested in and most qualified to answer.

Report

Why the next front in big data might be psychological

Big data is often talked about as a phenomenon that lets organizations create narratives from their volumes of data. That is an apt characterization when we are talking about connecting the dots among disparate and possibly disconnected data sets. However, when we are talking about anything involving human beings — customer behavior, the spread of disease, attitudes toward products or people — all that many current analytical efforts deliver is the end of the book, or what happened. The end is a fine place to start with regard to big data, but working backward — that is, figuring out why people made the decisions they made — might prove even more valuable for everyone involved.

Nuance CTO: Speech tech will be mobile tech

Speech technology is poised to be a game-changer for smartphones, especially as they get embedded into operating systems and hardware. Nuance CTO Vlad Sejnoha said speech is transforming from an alternative to text input into a powerful tool that can connect users more quickly to information.

With reQall Rover, Your Phone as Personal Secretary

Thanks to a slew of recent technology advances, the smartphone is turning into a truly personalized information assistant that can handle everything from your appointments to traffic reports. A new Android app called reQall Rover wants to turn your smartphone into an intelligent information assistant.