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Throwing Some Semantic Fun Into the April Fool's Web Mix

By   /  April 1, 2013  /  No Comments

Image Courtesy Flickr/ Sean MacEntee

It’s April Fool’s Day on the Web, and we’re sensing some semantic allusions and downright sentiment analytics assertions in today’s pranks. Have a look:

  • Head over to your Google search engine and you’ll be teased to find out what that smell is with Google Nose. or, as they describe it, the new scentsation in search.  Go beyond type, talk, and touch for a new notation of sensation, it promises. The Internet sommelier, Google explains, comes with an expertly curated Knowledge Panels to pair images, descriptions, and aromas. While it credits new technologies such as StreetSense (responsible for Google inhaling and indexing millions of atmospheric miles), and Android Ambient Odor Detection (which collects smells via the mobile OS), it seems to me that the Knowledge Graph had to have a hand in this one.
  • In addition to that – and some other Google fun, like treasure maps on Google Maps Street View and a contest for the best YouTube video – there was a lot of buy-in for the Google+ posting of Google+ Photos, which “is all about sharing your experiences and emotions with the people you care about. We’re constantly looking for ways to help you create richer, more expressive photographs,” and this one purportedly involved plumbing “the emotional depths of everyone in the photo, then [summarizing] their feelings with a beautifully crafted, emotion icon.”
  • Speaking of Google, Google Glass has nuthin’ on Guardian Goggles, the latest in motion-sensitive eyewear that overlays “the wearer’s view of their surroundings with a real-time stream of specially curated opinions from the paper’s reporters, critics and commentators” for a truly immersive Guardian experience. It’s taking context-sensitive to the max, and poking fun at itself with a pitch about letting the Goggles do the thinking for you. No need, it explains, to have to memorize its feature on ethically sourced foods, for example, when perusing a restaurant menu or grocery shopping. Other features include an algorithm that’s “designed to detect frequently recurring viewpoints — for example, that the Guardian should not be wasting valuable Internet space by running blog posts about fashion or celebrities” and an app in development to “allow readers with strong feelings about postings on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free site [to] simply to yell their objections out loud, for example in the street, or on a bus. A voice-recognition system will then add their opinions to the relevant web page within 30 seconds.” Get ‘em, Goggles!

  • Social intelligence vendor Netbase wants in on the April Day’s action, and to that end it’s announcing intergalactic language support to languages outside the human race. Hey, aliens are people too and brands need to start taking that into account! Coming to its comprehensive foreign Natural Language Processing (NLP) support are the following tongues: Klingon, Goa’uld, Dothraki, Ewok, Vulcan, Elvish, and Shriiwook (Wookie).  Have a look:

  • Eastwick, which provides strategic technology communications and PR services (including to Netbase) chimes in with the announcement of the launch of the NOOB (Neo-Organizational Optimization Brainstorm) (Patent Pending) technique. NOOB is aiming at accounting for every buzzword you can think of, in and out of the semantic space, proclaiming that it aggregates social collaboration platforms, neural networks, Big Data analytics, sentiment tools, and virtual payment systems to finally reveal the enigmatic logistics and inner workings of the cloud. Apparently, this is how the cloud functions:


If you come across any more semantically-inspired April Fools’ fun, let us know!

About the author

Jennifer Zaino is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in business and technology journalism. She has been an executive editor at leading technology publications, including InformationWeek, where she spearheaded an award-winning news section, and Network Computing, where she helped develop online content strategies including review exclusives and analyst reports. Her freelance credentials include being a regular contributor of original content to The Semantic Web Blog; acting as a contributing writer to RFID Journal; and serving as executive editor at the Smart Architect Smart Enterprise Exchange group. Her work also has appeared in publications and on web sites including EdTech (K-12 and Higher Ed), Ingram Micro Channel Advisor, The CMO Site, and Federal Computer Week.

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