Author Archives for Fran

Descent of man

Data as a liquid asset and the AI future

April 19, 2017 5:25 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Getting back into the swing of meetups again, last night I went to the MTLData meetup – a group of data scientists and enthusiasts who are looking to raise the profile of data science in Montreal. The event featured a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Build vs Buy?’ when considering software for data solutions. The panellists were Marc-Antoine Ross, Director of Data Engineering at Intel Security, Maxime Leroux, consulting data scientist at Keyrus Canada, and Jeremy Barnes, Chief Architect at Element AI. The chair was Vaughan DiMarco of


Lincoln Cathedral

Making KO Work: integrating taxonomies into technology

March 17, 2017 2:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The recent ISKO UK event Making KO Work: integrating taxonomies into technology offered four very different but complementary talks, followed by a panel session. These provided a good overview of current practice and largely concluded that although technology has advanced, there is still need for human intervention in KO work. Can You Really Implement Taxonomies in Native SharePoint? Marc Stephenson from Metataxis gave a clear and helpful overview of the key terms and principles you need to know when using taxonomies and folksonomies in SharePoint. SharePoint is very widely used as an enterprise document repository, and although its taxonomy management... Read more »


Murmur

Fake news and virtual reality – You can lie to my face, you can’t lie to my heart, can you?

February 23, 2017 6:02 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

On Monday I went to an in_collusion event which showcased two companies producing works in Virtual Reality, one focused on its use in marketing (Fusion Works), the other uses VR to make art (Marshmallow Laser Feast). The presentations were excellent and the demonstrations of the technology were a lot of fun, but I left feeling equally thrilled and terrified. In a world where people seem increasingly unable to tell the difference between fact, opinion, belief, biased news, erroneous news, propaganda, and downright lies in the form of flat websites and screens, how easy will it be to manipulate people through... Read more »


25th International World Wide Web Conference in Montreal

April 23, 2016 8:35 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The 25th International World Wide Web Conference was held in Montreal, which meant I was able to attend the whole week. Nevertheless, with 118 papers, 72 posters, 30 demos, 21 workshops, and 7 tutorials, I still had to miss plenty of intriguing-looking sessions. One in particular I was sorry to miss was the presentation of a paper on how the qwerty arrangement of letters on a keyboard affects perceptions of the positivity of words – words with more “right hand” letters are considered more positive that those with more “left hand” letters. So, presumably, anything with an “-ing” ending is... Read more »


Inadvertent Cruelty – Algorithmic or Organizational?

February 17, 2015 4:20 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In 2013 I asked whether social media were mature enough to handle bereavement in a sensitive manner. Last week Facebook released the options either to have your account deleted when you die or to nominate a trusted legacy manager to take it on for you as a memorial (Facebook rolls out feature for users when they die ). This was in response to the distress of relatives who wished to retrieve a lost loved one’s account or did not want to undergo the the eerie experience of receiving automated reminders of their birthday or seeing their name or image appear... Read more »


We don’t know where you live…

October 19, 2014 7:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Earlier this month the Estonian government opened its “digital borders”, allowing registrations for “e-citizenship” (there are two interesting pieces about this in New Scientist: E-citizens unite: Estonia opens its digital borders and Estonia’s e-citizen test is a test for us all). Does the new form of citizenship mean the end of the nation state? The Estonians appear to be creating a new category of “nationality” and the move has prompted a flurry of debate on whether or not this heralds the end of the nation state. “Nationality” has always been a problematic and somewhat fluid concept. Although people are often... Read more »


Aggregations and basic categories

October 4, 2014 4:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I recently enjoyed reading about the work Safari are currently and doing to create a controlled vocabulary and topic aggregation pages to underpin navigation and discovery of their content. Iterate, again I very much liked the mix of manual and automated techniques the team used to maximise capturing value from existing resources while using machine processing to help and support the human editorial curation work. Lightweight iterative approaches have become standard in some areas of design, but achieving high quality information structures also usually requires several stages of revision and refinement. It is not always possible to predict what will... Read more »


Semantic Theatre gets practical

May 10, 2014 11:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I have started to look into the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model for cultural heritage metadata as part of my investigation of the concept of Semantic Theatre. An events-based approach is used in a lot of ontological modelling. Thanks to Athanasios Velios, I learned that bookbinding can be broken down into a sequence of events, and this is an obvious route to try when thinking about how to model a performance event. I think there is potential for relating the “objects” in the play – the performers as well as set, props, etc, – to concepts within the play. So far,... Read more »


ship sailing into the full moon on the horizon

Adventures in Semantic Theatre

March 29, 2014 4:51 pm Published by 2 Comments

I have been investigating the idea of using semantic techniques and technologies to enhance plays, along with the Montreal Semantic Web meetup group. There have been far fewer Semantic Web projects for the humanities than the sciences and even fewer that have examined the literary aspects of the theatre. Linked Open Data sets associated with the theatre are mostly bibliographic, library catalogue metadata, which treat plays from the point of view of simple objective properties of the artefact of a play, not its content: a play has an author, a publisher, a publication date, etc. Sometimes a nod towards the... Read more »


The value of forgetting

February 22, 2014 9:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Two years ago I was thinking a lot about social media and bereavement and I wrote a post (I friend dead people – Are Social Media Mature Enough to Cope with Bereavement?). Today, by strange coincidence, I happened upon this post: AI resurrector lets people Skype their dead relatives. As the post points out, this appears to be an incarnation of an episode of Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker, so apart from worrying about which other of his dystopias people are going to invoke next, I was again prompted to think about forgetting and remembrance as information processes. In the... Read more »