Monthly Archives: February 2014

And they celebrate semantics in technology!

“It is a cold, hard world. There is no room for sentiments and emotions here”

Have you pronounced this as a leader, or heard it from your leader? Over time, as we collide with realities, we almost brainwash ourselves into believing this of our professional life. The optimists perhaps will try to balance this in their personal life.

But hey, pause for a minute. Why cannot sentiments and emotions be powerful tools in professional life? If social media is touted as enormously influencing, what does it play upon, if not the thinking and feeling of interconnected individuals, of social networks? And this thing they call semantic modeling – is that not an intuitive handshake of knowledge-based information?

We make such a great deal of killer apps (for example a ‘smart fridge’) that will tell us when the milk is sour or even get a replenishing order in. How boring! Really, how boring, when we compare it to the intriguing excitement of the human cognitive processes that decipher and decode language, expressions, movements and behaviors?  And when you add to this the spices of culture, context and persona, it is a heady brew!

IoT technologies. Crowdsourcing. Sentiment Analysis. Online Anthropology.Engagement Analytics. And each area has its own quota of trademarked tools.

Ah ha! What a difference packaging makes! When you call it so, it sounds so much more exotic, so much more ‘pedestal-worthy’ and so much more ‘jargon-attractive’! And the poor occupants of the trash bin named sentiment, emotion and intuition sadly wonder – but isn’t that me?

Actually they should neither be sad, nor should they wonder. They are the stars that are being featured in today’s buzz technologies – from the labs to practices in organizations. Researchers, solution providers, business users, and analysts are experimenting with text and speech analytics, natural language processing, semantics – and I am sure quite a few more I am not even aware of! Fast and furious, data is being acquired, integrated, visualized and adapted to transform them into business solutions.

Do I hear the ‘Internet of Things’ shouting? If so, the ‘Internet of Humans’ should yell!

For it is this internet of people and their sentiments that enable businesses and solutions to extend, improve and disrupt; to create, kill and expand. It is this recognition of people sentiments and human data that is being used in cognitive tools and systems. And in business solutions, to learn and interact with more people to extend what they can actually do on their own!

Ironic eh? To ask the human face before us to dump emotions and sentiments, and then have a garbage sifting system that actually recycles them to build tools!

Making machines of people and people of machines? Hmmm….