Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Category: Gilbane Advisor (Page 2 of 12)

The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish weekly via email and on our blog except for August and December.  Subscribe here

We do not sell or share personal data. See our privacy policy, and our editorial policy.

Gilbane Advisor 6-2-21 — cookiepocalypse, query understanding, news

I mentioned last week I would be combining our monthly reading recommendations and weekly news into a single weekly publication, while keeping the size of the email about the same (4 +/- min). The late March-like weekend weather here in Boston inspired me to move quicker than planned.

Our new format includes recommended articles in our Opinion / Analysis section. In our News section we have the full text of some of our edited news stories with links to the original source, and snippets of additional news items with links to our edited version.

This week we suggest articles by Benedict Evans and Daniel Tunkelang, and have news from Elastic, Librestream, Varada, Microsoft, Squirro, Fluree and Lead Semantics, and AtScale.

Always interested in hearing what you think!


Opinion / Analysis

Apple, Fedex and the cookie apocalypse

If you’ve been following the consumer privacy versus advertising discussions, you know that Apple’s and Google’s moves are a big deal, but what will result? What will the three-way push-and-pull between advertisers, publishers, and consumers look like? How will each change their model or behavior? What impact will the reactions of rent seekers and regulators have? Nobody knows. Benedict Evans reviews the current state of affairs, suggests some changes, and helpfully looks at the bigger picture.

As cookie-based ads go away, does the targeting move from the cloud to the client, or from the reader to the content? Does this make the strong stronger? Or does the money go to Fedex instead?

https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2021/5/25/apple-fedex-and-the-cookie-apocalypse

AI for query understanding

We know that Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others are working hard to determine search intent to create better search results and assistant responses. There is also a lot of interest in replacing inverted indexes with neural information retrieval. Search expert Daniel Tunkelang argues for prioritizing the use AI tools on query understanding before using them to improve retrieval and ranking. He explains more in this short article, and provides useful links for those of us who might need a refresher on search technology terminology.

https://dtunkelang.medium.com/ai-for-query-understanding-d8c073095fff


Content technology news

Elastic adds features in Elastic Enterprise Search 7.13

May 27, 2021 – Elastic announced new Dropbox integrations, the beta release of the Elastic App Search precision tuning API, and enhanced custom source APIs across the Elastic Enterprise Search solution in the 7.13 release. Elastic Enterprise Search includes expanded content sources for Elastic Workplace Search, now supporting Dropbox Paper and complete document-level permission synchronization across all Dropbox content. Teams that rely on Dropbox to collaborate, create, and coordinate can use Workplace Search to find the content they need alongside relevant chat messages, wiki pages, PDFs, and other content.The new Elastic App Search precision tuning API, now available in beta, allows customers to adjust the recall and precision of their websites or application search results. Through a single API call or parameter at query time, search admins can easily unlock granular search optimization by configuring how broad or narrow their search results should be to suit the exact needs of their users.New custom source management APIs, also introduced in Workplace Search 7.13, simplify data ingestion and enable users to manage content from any source, including legacy and custom applications. The new APIs allow for programmatic, on-the-fly creation and operation of sources without the need for manual setup. Users can create high-quality ingestion pipelines for any source alongside other day-to-day tools, all with unified relevance.

https://www.elastic.co/blog/whats-new-elastic-enterprise-search-7-13-0

Librestream enhances knowledge-sharing with AI Connected Expert

May 27, 2021 – Librestream, provider of augmented reality (AR) and remote collaboration solutions, launched new capabilities for its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Connected Expert vision giving industrial workers access to the content, people, smart data and guidance needed to efficiently and safely perform their work.

The new components to the Onsight platform include natural language processing (NLP) with real-time translation capabilities to bridge language barriers amongst global workers, and an industrial-first AR experience for the Microsoft HoloLens 2 platform. The advancements build on the AI Connected Expert workforce vertically-trained computer vision, reducing human cognitive load, and enabling faster time to competency for employees, as well as IoT sensor data visualizations within the Onsight experience.

Onsight Translator, Librestream’s NLP capability, enables users to simply and securely translate “speech to text,” including live transcription (captions) displayed on-screen and live translation of calls from one language to another. Whether a field technician works with a subject matter expert on an asset repair task, communicates with a supplier in a different country or assists with a remote inspection, Onsight Translator’s speech recognition and machine translation bridges language gaps.

Onsight Connect for HoloLens 2 provides hands-free experience across collaborators, incorporating the mixed reality features of the HoloLens 2 such as holographic visual interface and support for gestures, voice-driven commands, and 3D audio experience.

https://librestream.com/press-releases/librestream-unveils-workforce-collaboration-and-knowledge-sharing-enhancements-as-part-of-ai-connected-expert-vision/

Varada delivers text analytics on the Data Lake for SQL Consumers

May 27, 2021 – Varada, a data lake query acceleration provider, announced its platform now supports text analytics workloads and helps data teams deliver faster time-to-insights on exabytes of string-based data. Varada’s solution for interactive text analytics, integrated with open source search engine Apache Lucene, works directly on the customer’s data lake and serves SQL data consumers out-of-the-box. Varada’s text analytics feature is deployed in the organization’s own environment, so the data is not duplicated and never leaves. Plus, it incorporates all data from any source without modeling with results that are both thorough and precise. Varada’s dynamic and adaptive indexing technology enables text analytics workloads to run at close to zero latency response time.

Varada’s adaptive and autonomous indexing technology leverages machine learning capabilities to dynamically accelerate queries to meet evolving business requirements. Varada indexes data directly from the data lake across any columns. Based on the data type, structure, and distribution of data, Varada automatically creates an optimal index from a set of indexing algorithms including text-optimized search and index (based on Apache Lucene) as well as bitmap, dictionary, trees, etc. Indexes also adapt to changes in data over time.

https://varada.io/

More recent news…

Microsoft Build — selected news

Lots of news this week at the annual Microsoft Build developer conference. They did produce a very helpful “Book of News” (at about 8,800 words) with a table of contents to cover it all. Below is a selection of announcements our readers are most likely to be interested in, followed by a link to the …

https://gilbane.com/2021/05/microsoft-build-selected-news/

Squirro launches new Squirro App Studio

Squirro, an Augmented Intelligence solutions provider, has announced the launch of its new Squirro App Studio, a no code / low code platform to build and set up AI-powered apps such as Cognitive Search quickly and easily. The platform enables users with no background in data science to build a Cognitive Search app, leveraging Artificial …

https://gilbane.com/2021/05/squirro-launches-new-squirro-app-studio/

Fluree and Lead Semantics announce TextDistil

Fluree, provider of an immutable semantic graph data platform, announced a technical partnership with Lead Semantics to provide an integrated solution, TextDistil, for enterprise data management teams building semantic-capable, secure data fabrics. A focus for the integrated solution includes regulated industries, with a greater magnitude and scope of requirements needed to prove compliance, including fintech, …

https://gilbane.com/2021/05/fluree-and-lead-semantics-announce-textdistil/

AtScale announces AtScale CloudStart

Semantic layer eliminates the friction of moving BI, artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads to the cloud. …

https://gilbane.com/2021/05/atscale-announces-atscale-cloudstart/


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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Gilbane Advisor 5-25-21 — Twitter, Teams, Slack, blockchain, BI & AI

First, an update on some upcoming changes. Last November I started a weekly content technology news newsletter to complement the monthly Advisor. I kept them separate to gauge the level of interest in curated product news. It’s clear that the vast majority of you are interested in both, so starting soon we’ll be combining the two types of content into a single weekly that will contain both recommended reading and product news. Those of you more interested in the opinion and research articles will now have something to read every week.

I’m still working out how much of each type of content to include for an optimal experience for busy readers. There may be a bit of experimentation involved, and I look forward to your thoughts. You can reach me anytime at frank@gilbane.com.

Thanks for being a subscriber!
Frank

In this issue we have recommended reading on Twitter and subscriptions, collaboration platforms, AI meets BI, blockchains for content creators and publishers, an open source alternative to GPT-3, automated image content generation for marketing, and CMS adoption and use tips, and the return of the Journal of IA.

Our content technology news weekly will be out Wednesday as usual.


Market-Making on the Internet

Has Twitter finally found a path to growth that leverages its appeal, assets, and market position? Are they getting their mojo back? It is certainly not unreasonable to be skeptical, but they have made lots of moves in the last few weeks. The most interesting are the acquisitions of Substack competitor Revue, and Scroll, which provides publishers an alternative to ad-dependence for revenue. Twitter plans to use both these products in a new subscription offering that includes newsletters and websites.

Stratechery’s Ben Thompson has an enthusiastic take on this and digs into why he thinks this is an excellent monetization strategy for Twitter. (This article is not behind his paywall.)

Illustration: Ben Thompson

Salesforce and Microsoft have an uphill battle to own collaboration

This may sound unlikely given the popularity of Teams and Slack combined with the resources of the parent companies. But the pincer movement of integration requirements from legacy solutions and new insurgent applications are an expense and drag on growth for all platforms. And the ceaseless battle for customer facing control guarantees software applications will continue to add their own collaboration capabilities. Microsoft and Salesforce will be fine (all applications have some integration needs), but so will a growing number of insurgents. Protocol’s Joe Williams goes into more detail.


A media ownership model: Why subscribe when you can invest?

Jarrod Dicker, who you may know from the Washington Post, Blockchain startup Po.et, Time, Huffington, and The RebelMouse content management system, has been pushing for a blockchain-based platform for content creators and publishers for years. He was, may still be, a little ahead of the curve, but this article was published on Mirror, a platform implementing this structure for writers today.

This new media structure will be wholly owned by the creators, operators and consumers themselves. It will be a product of both the public and its producers and will not limit participants to a single company. These media companies can be looked at as collectives, with their own identities, where creators and consumers are encouraged to flow interdependently throughout various collectives. All of which results in everyone investing in both the development of each collective and sharing in the value of the collective’s upside.


When AI meets BI: 5 red flags to watch for

Business intelligence is an obvious use case for machine learning and shares getting-started challenges with other applications. This article starts with well-known warnings, but then goes deeper, describing the need for an “AI teacher”, getting into specifics of master data requirements, and explaining why a knowledge graph is critical for BI.


Also worthy


The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We also publish curated content technology news weekly We do not sell or share personal data.

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

Content technology news | Contact

Gilbane Advisor 4-27-21 — EKGs on HOGs, CDWs, docs vs cats, blockchain

In this issue we take you on a trip through enterprise knowledge graph lands, look at how blockchain is helping companies smooth collaboration, consider disruptive ecosystems forming around CDWs, and introduce you to a new effort to improve the management and utility of business documents.

Our content technology news weekly will be out tomorrow as usual.


From Flatland to HOG Heaven

Large-scale enterprise knowledge graphs (EKGs) are still a rare beast in enterprises in spite of their promise which is ably demonstrated by implementations at the largest tech companies. Mainstream scarcity of EKGs is understandable given the amount of change involved – both in how we think about information management problems, and of course in how we marshal the troops to plan and deploy. 

Dan McCreary takes you on an amusing journey through four lands with distinct characteristics and cognitive styles, to help you envision the who and what you need to reach HOG (Hardware Optimized Graph) Heaven. 

Hog heaven

How blockchain can simplify improve collaboration and simplify partnerships

There are many potential applications for blockchains and enterprises in multiple industries have built private blockchain applications. Information sharing and collaboration are areas where most organizations could benefit from blockchains. This non-technical Harvard Business Review article takes you through some of the ways blockchain is being used to significantly improve collaboration, and what to watch out for in practice.


Will Snowflake be the next great platform?

Gabriel de Vinzelles suggests it will, and as an investor is looking at the evolving ecosystem around cloud data warehouses (CDWs), and the startups who are looking to “rebuild many product categories such as Data Ingestion, Data Transformation, Data Governance, Data Quality, etc.”. There is certainly a lot of opportunity here, especially for unstructured data based on inquiries we see.

Of course Snowflake is not the only CDW and Vinzelles isn’t only talking about them. The ecosystems around other CDWs will also be disrupted by the same, or similar companies he is tracking.


Docugami

Documents have always been the problem child of information management because of the infinite varieties of content, structure, format, and the relationships between them. Even with the advances in machine learning, natural language processing, and graph databases we struggle with the complexity and and cost of managing documents and their content. But the combination of these technologies can help, and that is startup Docugami’s goal. Their product is in semi-stealth mode, but this TechCrunch interview with Docugami Co-founder Jean Paoli will give you an idea of what they are up to, and why we refer to “docs vs cats” in this issues’ subject line.


Also worthy


The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We also publish curated content technology news weekly We do not sell or share personal data.

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

Content technology news | Contact

Gilbane Advisor 3-29-21 — low-code, data catalogs, platforms, search, AI

In this issue we have recommended reading on creating a modern data workspace, enterprise search & AI, enterprise AI trends, no-code / low-code companies, Medium’s latest pivot, Facebook’s new publishing platform plan, and Wikipedia getting the big guys to pay.

Our content technology news weekly will be out Wednesday as usual.


Decoding the no-code / low-code startup universe and its players

No-code and low-code companies are sprouting up everywhere and whatever your initial impression has been, it’s time to consider their increasing utility and role in even complex application development environments. No-code / low-code can democratize and speed development by bringing business analysts and software developers closer together. Pietro Invernizzi and Ben Tossell have put together a very helpful resource looking at 145 companies with lots of detail and access to an Airtable spreadsheet. (Click the image for a version you can read)

No-code & low-code startups

We failed to set up a data catalog 3x. Here’s why

Prukalpa Sankar generously and delightfully describes what she and her team learned from multiple attempts at creating a “modern data workspace”. Some of you will be familiar with the problems and lessons, but the approaches, tools used, and specific examples, will still be instructive.


When explainable AI meets enterprise search

Lack of transparency in AI is in general an unsolved problem even though there is obviously huge value in its application across domains. Martin White has some thoughts and advice on what this means for enterprise search.

Enterprise search presents a special challenge when it comes to AI transparency. Most other enterprise processes are close to linear in execution, so the impact of AI on performance can be relatively easily assessed and monitored. In the case of search, every query is a new workflow as it is dependent on the knowledge of the individual and the intent behind their search.


The mess at Medium

Lots of activity in the independent writing/publishing platform space recently: the Substack Pro controversy, Twitter‘s acquisition of Revue, Facebook’s announcement of a new platform for independent writers, and Medium’s latest pivot. None of these companies has figured out a sustainable business model, and none provide writers a safe long-term way to control their brand and content. They can in some cases be supplemental marketing and delivery channels if you own and control your content and publishing capability however. 🙂

Casey Newton reports on the changes at Medium…

Medium’s original journalism was meant to give shape and prestige to an essentially random collection of writing, gated behind a soft paywall that costs readers $5 a month or $50 a year. Eleven owned publications covered food, design, business, politics, and other subjects… But in the end, frustrated that Medium staff journalists’ stories weren’t converting more free readers to paid ones, Williams moved to wind down the experiment…


Also worthy


The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We also publish curated content technology news weekly We do not sell or share personal data.

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

Content technology news | Contact

Gilbane Advisor 2-18-21 — graphs, stacks, apps, meshes, privacy

In this issue we look at enterprise knowledge graph semantics, how to move to a distributed data mesh, a helpful case study on UX improvements, “best-of-breed” stacks, and personal data privacy, first party ads, and consumer contradictions.


A definition of “Enterprise” in EKGs

Enterprise knowledge graphs are on the rise, but terminology and even conceptual understanding is inconsistent. Dan McCreary’s article is a good place to start to organize your own thoughts before diving in…

Many people co-mingle the terms from open linked data world and the semantic web stack’s role with the concepts related to sustainability and scalability of enterprise knowledge graphs.


How to move beyond a monolithic data lake to a distributed data mesh

If you haven’t yet had a reason to develop a complete understanding of what a distributed data mesh is, or how it relates to looking at data as a product for multiple enterprise functions, there is a good chance you will before long. Some familiarity will be important for many roles beyond pure data management. This in-depth article by Zhamak Dehghani covers the why and how, and likely answers most questions you have.


Quantifying UX improvements

Nielsen Norman Group‘s Kate Moran presents a case study, with before and after screen shots and metrics, illustrating how an informed information architecture can increase customer self-service and improve both customer experience and sales efficiency.


Best-of-breed stacks

Debates on the relative merits of vendor suites versus best-of-breed application solutions have been going on for decades. The data was scarce and questionable, the arguments “qualitative”, and the conclusions invariably “it depends…”.

Scott Brinker has a lot to say about today’s version of this debate with the more complicated and flexible software architecture options available. For his latest post on the topic he came up with a great way to apply some neutral data to his view that stacks are growing and increasingly best-of-breed.


Also, on personal data, privacy, ads…


The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We also publish curated content technology news weekly We do not sell or share personal data.

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Gilbane Advisor 1-19-21 — TSDBs, platishers, AI ethics, facets

The rise of the time-series database

This certainly caught me off guard. Graph databases have been leading the popularity contests for the last five or six years, but in the last twenty four months Time Series databases have leapt ahead, as this DB-Engines chart dramatically demonstrates. Peter Wayner looks at why.

Medium is adding ebooks to its business

Business models based on being both a publisher and a platform have always been fraught. In some ways Medium has managed this better than most. They just acquired “social ebook platform” Glose, but it’s not clear how this fits into their platform/publisher model. One clue may be Ev Williams’ earlier statement that Medium’s…

top-line metric is “TTR,” which stands for total time reading. It’s an imperfect measure of time people spend on story pages. We think this is a better estimate of whether people are actually getting value out of Medium.

But in a short post about the acquisition Williams says they “are not planning to bundle books into Medium Membership, though there could be book-related benefits. TBD.”

Ethical issues in privacy, advertising and machine learning

Informed and interesting interview with Oxford philosopher Dr. Carissa Véliz. Don’t worry, this is not a long dry treatise, but an engaging and accessible discussion that does not require a technical or philosophical background.

Facets of faceted search

Both search engine developers and users treat facets as useful for refining broad search queries. But there’s a tendency to conflate broad queries with ambiguous queries. There’s an important distinction between the two.

Fortunately, we have the ever-reliable Daniel Tunkelang to explain.

Also…

The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We also publish curated content technology news weekly We do not sell or share personal data.

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

Content technology news | Contact

Gilbane Advisor 11-11-20 — web fix, ad bubble, dev exp, cloud myths

Thank you veterans! Have a great Veteran’s Day.

A new era of innovation and trust in data​

Says Tim Berners-Lee in his announcement of “the first enterprise-ready version of a Solid Server, Inrupt’s ESS”. Solid (Socialized Linked Data). Solid is a standards based open source project Berners-Lee and others from MIT started around 2015, and Inrupt is a company created to build a commercial ecosystem for decentralized Solid applications that allow for personal control of online data access and use. The question since then has been whether his vision of the future of the web, which was certainly appealing,  would work commercially.  What’s important about this announcement are working implementations of Solid at media, financial, and government organizations, and its availability for any organization.

Solid Project and Inrupt logos

To learn more about the Solid Server…

Ad Tech could be the next internet bubble

That ad tech and microtargeting are a mess is probably not news to you, and you (advertiser, publisher, and consumer) may be looking forward to a reckoning, especially for the smiling ad salespeople, faceless middlemen, fraudsters taking cuts, and ad-filled tracking websites. But it is worth paying attention to the various repercussions, including worst case scenarios. Gilad Edelman mentions one such outcome in the title of his post and points to the same cause in his subtitle, “The scariest thing about microtargeted ads is that they just don’t work.”

The developer experience gap​

Stephen O’Grady’s (1,827 word) piece is an excellent read for anybody interested in developer productivity, as well as for developers.

Fragmentation makes it impossible for vendors to natively supply the requisite components for a fully integrated toolchain. That does not change the reality, however, that developers are forced to borrow time from writing code and redirect it towards managing the issues associated with highly complex, multi-factor developer toolchains held together in places by duct tape and baling wire. This, then, is the developer experience gap. The same market that offers developers any infrastructure primitive they could possibly want is simultaneously telling them that piecing them together is a developer’s problem. The technology landscape today is a Scrooge McDuck-level embarrassment of riches.

Debunking seven common myths about cloud​

McKinsey…

Many of today’s beliefs about cloud are based on misconceptions fed by stories of adoptions gone wrong or fears of significant change. These beliefs get in the way of deeply understanding the positive business, operational, and economic impacts of cloud and must be addressed to enable organizations to capture cloud’s full value.

Also…

The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

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

Content technology news | Contact

Gilbane Advisor 10-7-20 — GPT-3, Qubits, AGI, Wayback

AI democratization in the era of GPT-3

The recent announcement of Microsoft’s exclusive license to OpenAI’s GPT-3 says that in addition to using it for their own products, they will continue to work with OpenAI to help “democratize AI”. The GPT-3 code is not open source, but OpenAI provides free access to GPT-3 via an API, and says it will continue to do so. We’re left to speculate what this means beyond that. Will future models provide free access? Will they be exclusively licensed to Microsoft (an investor) or others? What does democratization in this context mean? Without making a value judgement about this, it’s clear that those building applications using GPT-3 API will have a lot of additional questions.

This article by Professor Mark Riedl from Georgia Institute of Technology is a great place to start.

Are you ready for quantum computing?​​

Quantum computing isn’t ready for prime time for practical business application yet, but it has lots of promise for industry use beyond encryption. Quantum computing is difficult for most of us to get our head around, nonetheless, senior executives and strategists need to track its progress and consider potential use cases. Fortunately, Professor of Physics and Computer Science, Shohini Ghose has provided a short and accessible general introduction, hype-free status update, and some good advice for business leaders.

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), a type of artificial intelligence that is at least as capable as human intelligence, is not a near-term reality. Ben Medlock agrees, and argues that humans have an unfair advantage in the scope and richness of our model, and that though we don’t know how, our bodies play a critical role in creating and maintaining our model.

This means that when a human approaches a new problem, most of the hard work has already been done. In ways that we’re only just beginning to understand, our body and brain, from the cellular level upwards, have already built a model of the world that we can apply almost instantly to a wide array of challenges. But for an AI algorithm, the process begins from scratch each time.

The weaponization of web archives: Data craft and COVID-19 publics

An enlightening academic look at provenance-hijacking tactics focused on current pandemic health misinformation.

Using provenance information such as original context, technical specificities, and unique characteristics of online resources from web crawls, and social analytics data from the Crowdtangle API we find that web archives like the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine are being weaponized to propagate and preserve health misinformation circulating on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Also…

The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

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

Content technology news | Contact

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