With the launch of our newest white paper “Semantic Technology: What it Means and Why it Matters” we interviewed one of the creators of our flagship Cogito semantic technology, Marco Giorgini. This is the last of three posts.

Technological advances have made it possible to provide services that we once thought impossible. How does Cogito find the world of the smartphone?

Marco Giorgini: Today, our smartphones are now considered like an out-of-body, “cyber” part of us. It is now our memory (reminding us about birthdays, anniversaries or even phone numbers). Often, it is our main communication organ (we connect to some people only through it) and, using internet services, it has became the source (a big one) of our information (permanent information,  like historical data, or even to retrieve a recipe for something we want to prepare for dinner, and dynamic, like traffic or weather info).

So it’s inevitable that we want, well, we need, our smartphone to actually be smart, but also to understand us in a deeper kind of way. For this, semantics helps. We are seeing this already in some services that are usable with natural language requests.

But strong semantic analysis, like the one we’re working on, usually doesn’t make real the difference in the understanding of a human query. We use our tools to do that of course, and it’s already possible even with less complex engines, where the main difference it makes is the result of brute force effort—time , people, resources—used for teaching the system.

Strong semantic technology makes a real difference on the other side of the matter: discovering and preparing the data we’re looking for. Using semantics we can provide a smartphone app with the ability to deal with a huge and dynamic quantity of data, so that our smartphone can be not only smart and able to understand our questions, but even able to give an unprepared, spontaneous answer. It’s almost like having a know-it-all friend, one who we are happy to talk to when we need something, but that we can also shut up, without hurting his feelings, with a single click. That’s one of the goals we’re working on.

Connect with Marco on Twitter @marcogiorgini

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