The Gilbane Advisor

Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Gilbane Advisor 10-20-21 — Learn like a human, enterprise software futures

This week we have articles from John Ball and Stephen O’Grady. News comes from Cloudinary, Coveo and Qubit, Contentful and Conscia, Alation and Lyngo, and DataStax.


Opinion / Analysis

Solving the NLU crisis: next steps

“Crisis” may seem a dramatic way to describe the current state of natural language understanding given the impressive demonstrations of large language models. But there is an inflection point here, or coming soon, where progress stalls. Last week’s recommended article by Walid Saba argued that current ML approaches are flawed.

This week, John Ball makes the case for combining linguistics, neuroscience, and computer science for an approach to NLU that is closer to how humans learn, without “reading thousands of books and memorising colocation patterns and probabilities”. He provides an example to explain how this works (with a link to a short video that is helpful after reading the article). This is not a silver bullet since there is domain expertise, effort, and their cost in application, but it does promise better NLU results.

Saba and Ball both have companies in stealth mode but regularly publish articles on their approaches with supporting research for further evaluation.

https://medium.com/pat-inc/solving-the-nlu-crisis-next-steps-5ce23ec7eef9

Fragmentation leads to abstractions which lead to what?

Buyers of enterprise software have a wider and richer range of choices than ever, but this comes with increasingly complex decision-making as central versus functional needs diverge, and increasing software fragmentation costs make integrated software services appealing even when not optimal. Will AWS, Google, and Microsoft compete on native integrated services? How will independent software / service suppliers deal with this? How will enterprise customers react? Stephen O’Grady provides some useful thoughts on how this will play out.

https://redmonk.com/sogrady/2021/09/20/fragmentation-abstractions/

More reading…

All Gilbane Advisor issues


Content technology news

Cloudinary updates products

Media Optimizer and DAM enhancements: Media Optimizer self service, Apps for Digital Asset Management, and WordPress Plugin.
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/cloudinary-updates-products/

Coveo acquires Qubit

Their combined ecommerce experience provide solutions for retailers North America and Europe to meet consumer expectations around relevance.
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/coveo-acquires-qubit/

Contentful and Conscia launch Unify

A multi-space, no-code orchestration solution for personalization and headless commerce for all channels.
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/contentful-and-conscia-launch-unify/

Alation acquires Lyngo Analytics

Business data consumers without SQL expertise can ask questions in natural language and find data and insights without data analysts.
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/alation-acquires-lyngo-analytics/

DataStax extends Stargate

The new GraphQL API in Stargate allows developers to create tables and define schemas in Apache Cassandra without the need to work directly with CQL.
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/datastax-extends-stargate/

All content technology news


The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish recommended articles and content technology news weekly. We do not sell or share personal data.

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Cloudinary updates products

Cloudinary, a media experience platform including Media Optimizer and Digital Asset Management (DAM) for brands announced several updates designed to enhance the customer experience and make it easier for brands to optimize their assets so they can continue to deliver fast and engaging visual experiences. Updates include:

  • Media Optimizer Self Service. Cloudinary is making its automated, no-code Media Optimizer product available to self-serve users. Users will be able to sign up and start using the product from the Cloudinary website via both free and paid plans.
  • Apps for Digital Asset Management. Apps for DAM provides one-click access to bulk asset procession abilities. The API-based apps can be used to automate and streamline complex tasks including asset manipulation, multi-step approval, interactions with other key business systems.
  • WordPress Plugin enhancements. Will allow users to deliver engaging visual experiences within minutes. Users will benefit from a new and intuitive UI and automatically optimize, transform, and deliver assets with exact pixel accuracy over multiple content delivery networks (CDNs). And with Cloudinary’s DAM solution embedded into the Plugin, searching and managing of assets is easier allowing users to publish faster from within the WordPress environment.

https://cloudinary.com

Cloudflare collaborates with Microsoft and search engines to help improve websites’ search results

Cloudflare, Inc. announced it will work with Microsoft, Yandex, and other search engines to help businesses get the most timely and relevant search results to their customers. By participating in the IndexNow.org initiative, Cloudflare will allow websites to automatically notify search engines whenever content is created, updated, or deleted so they can be more efficiently crawled. Now, all Cloudflare customers can ensure users see the most up-to-date version of their content, all with a single click.

Search engines use a complex network of bots to crawl the ever-changing content on the Internet so people can find relevant, timely content. Today, approximately 45% of Internet traffic comes from web crawlers and bots. To help improve the efficiency of crawlers on the web, Cloudflare launched Crawler Hints, an easy way to signal to bot developers when content has been changed or added to a site, so they can make more efficient choices about what to crawl. Website owners will be able to improve site performance by reducing unnecessary bot traffic and to provide timely content, which ultimately helps improve search rankings. Now, Cloudflare is using the IndexNow standard to bring Crawler Hints to major search engines.

https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-now-supports-indexnow/ https://www.indexnow.org/index

Syncro Soft announces the release of Version 24 of the Oxygen XML suite of products

Syncro Soft announced the immediate availability of version 24 of its XML suite of products, Oxygen XML Editor, Author, Developer, Web Author, Publishing Engine, WebHelp, PDF Chemistry, and Oxygen XML Scripting.

This new release brings enhancements to the validation support with the DITA validate and check for completeness action being available as a validation unit that can be added to validation scenarios, dynamic publishing for DITA by converting various types of non-DITA resources to DITA, including MS Word, MS Excel, HTML, and Markdown, Enterprise Edition users can upload and publish DITA to the Zendesk Help Center. The DITA to WebHelp transformation features improved navigation, and the PDF Chemistry engine allows controlling the generated PDF security permissions and metadata.

The JSON support is improved constantly to match the support Oxygen offers for XML and version 24 brings a visual diagram editor for JSON helpful for increasing productivity when working with simple JSON Schemas and for visualizing, understanding, and editing complex JSON Schemas.

With a focus on authoring experience and collaboration, the Oxygen XML Web Author has a re-designed interface, a new visual merge tool that enables you to easily resolve conflicts, and the Concurrent Editing feature now comes bundled with Web Author.

More functionality is exposed as part of Oxygen Scripting to enable automation/continuous integration and delivery workflows, including generating diff reports, as well as formatting and indenting XML documents.

Coveo acquires Qubit

Coveo, a Relevance Platform and applied AI provider that transforms digital experiences with AI-powered search, recommendations, and personalization, announced the acquisition of Qubit, a provider of AI personalization technology for merchandising teams to accelerate Coveo’s expansion into the UK and European markets.

Coveo and Qubit’s combined ecommerce experience provides solutions for retailers who need to compete as the digital shift accelerates and will help them meet new consumer expectations around relevance through AI. The combined offering will also help drive customer lifetime value, from acquisition, through conversion, and retention with the addition of tools for merchandisers to deploy their promotions, test what’s working, and rapidly iterate. The acquisition expands the Coveo Relevance Cloud to:

  • Tap into AI Commerce Search that detects shopper intent and determines individual context
  • Equip merchandising teams to shape the shopper journey, from personalized search to product and content recommendations, from guided browsing to product listing pages, optimized through A/B and Multivariate testing and analytics
  • Engage shoppers from chatbot to mobile applications, from digital store to marketplaces, and enabled through plug-in UI components, headless API, and open commerce support
  • Be relevant across the customer lifecycle with shared personalization across customer self-service, assisted support, and customer communities.

https://www.coveo.com/en/company/news-releases/2021/coveo-acquires-qubithttps://www.qubit.com

Alation acquires Lyngo Analytics

Alation Inc., a provider of enterprise data intelligence solutions, announced the acquisition of Lyngo Analytics, a Los Altos, Calif.-based data insights company. The acquisition will elevate the business user experience within the data catalog, scale data intelligence, and help organizations drive data culture. Lyngo Analytics CEO and co-founder Jennifer Wu and CTO and co-founder Joachim Rahmfeld will join the company.

Lyngo Analytics uses a natural language interface to empower users to discover data and insights by asking questions using simple, familiar business terms. Alation an intelligent and user-friendly machine-learning data catalog. By integrating Lyngo Analytics’ artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) technology into its platform, Alation deepens its support for the non-technical user, converting natural language questions into SQL. Business users can acquire and develop data-driven insights from across an enterprise’s broad range of data sources. This means even data consumers without SQL expertise can ask questions in natural language and find data and insights without the support of data analysts.

https://www.alation.com/press-releases/alation-acquires-artifical-intelligence-vendor-lyngo-analytics/

Gilbane Advisor 10-13-21 — NLP ≠ NLU, zombie subscribers

This week we have articles from Walid Saba and Sarah Scire. News comes from Sinequa, Sitecore, WP Engine, John Snow Labs, and Copyright Clearance Center.


Opinion / Analysis

Machine learning won’t solve natural language understanding

Walid Saba argues that “it is time to re-think our approach to natural language understanding, since the ‘big data’ approach to NLU is implausible and flawed”, and that the main problem is due to what he calls the “missing text phenomenon”. We recommended an earlier article of his where he discussed this in the context of ontologies and knowledge graphs, but this article is more focused on the key problem and his best explanation for a broad audience. Given the importance of both natural language processing and natural language understanding for machine learning applications, combined with issues surrounding the dependence on large language models, this is an important read. Afterwards see Saba’s response to objections to the article here.

https://thegradient.pub/machine-learning-wont-solve-the-natural-language-understanding-challenge/

How news publishers are turning casual infrequent readers into paying subscribers

The longer you’re in the market with your subscription product, the more light-reading subscribers you are going to have,” the report notes. “The majority of conversions come from light readers. The proportion of conversions that come from this cohort grows the longer that you are in the market.

Plus, approximately 40% subscribers are “zombies”. Note the report (which I have not read) mentioned is about and for news publishers, so mileage may vary.

https://www.niemanlab.org/2021/10/how-news-publishers-are-turning-casual-infrequent-readers-into-paying-subscribers/

More reading…

All Gilbane Advisor issues


Content technology news

Sinequa announces Starter Apps

Helps customers build and deploy custom Insight Apps with tailored search experiences faster and more easily.
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/sinequa-announces-starter-apps/

Sitecore launches Sitecore Manager Experience Cloud

The cloud-native CMS (content management system) offering is a new addition to the Sitecore Digital Experience Platform (DXP).
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/sitecore-launches-sitecore-manager-experience-cloud/

John Snow Labs announces free no-code natural language processing tools

The data labeling solution for teams enables annotation of documents, images, and videos. The NLP Server grants access to pretrained NLP models.
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/john-snow-labs-announces-free-no-code-natural-language-processing-tools/

WP Engine launches Atlas Content Modeler

ACM is a WordPress CMS plugin to create custom post types and fields for headless WordPress sites. ACM integrates seamlessly with WPGraphQL.
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/wp-engine-launches-atlas-content-modeler/

CCC adds SciBite Semantic Search capability within RightFind Navigate

Enables researchers to find relevant content more quickly through contextualized discovery that is based on machine learning and smart data.
https://gilbane.com/2021/10/ccc-adds-scibite-semantic-search-capability-within-rightfind-navigate/

All content technology news


The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish recommended articles and content technology news weekly. We do not sell or share personal data.

Subscribe | Feed | View online | Editorial policy | Privacy policy | Contact

Contentful and Conscia launch Unify

Conscia, a content intelligence platform, announced a partnership with Contentful, a content platform for digital-first business, coinciding with the launch of the Unify app. Purpose-built for new and existing Contentful customers, the Unify application joins together content from multiple Contentful spaces and other applications, and provides a unified API response for front-ends to enable a composable architecture for all digital channels.

Unify, powered by Conscia, sits on top of Contentful’s multi-space architecture and provides a no code way to assemble localized and personalized experiences for all channels to accelerate the digital supply chain. Unify’s ability to federate content, from legacy and siloed enterprise applications into Contentful’s global delivery infrastructure, capitalizes on Contentful’s ability to deliver content globally to all digital channels, such as web, mobile, voice, chatbots, call center and more. Many organizations currently undertaking the challenge of orchestrating content do so using custom GraphQL back-ends, application integration platforms and other home-grown architectures. Unify eliminates the need to build bespoke architectures to solve the challenge of digital experience orchestration.

https://conscia.ai/unify/

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