Crossroads

At the intersection of technology, finance and the Pacific Rim.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Natural Language

Last week we discussed voice recognition, with a key point being that this technology has been in development for decades and is showing signs of increasing life. Natural language is another one of those technologies that has had a similar path....long road......little return. So I read with interest how natural language is being used in web apps. Note that natural language or what people today are calling semantic applications seeks for the system to understand more deeply what the user is saying--to understand the difference between "I blew", "I am blue" (as in sad) and "I am blue" (as in the color). With this understanding computers can then respond more precisely to user needs/requests. For a look at these applications, Read Write, a leading IT blog put together a list of 10 such applications now available on the web. RWW writes:

"Tripit is an app that manages your travel planning. With TripIt, you forward incoming bookings to plans@tripit.com and the system manages the rest. TripIt is one of those apps that amazes people when they first use it. Its challenge now is to grab a foothold among mainstream users"

I tried it out and was pretty amazed.

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