08 November 2012

The BBC: from Auntie to Lady Semantica

The BBC is affectionately known in the UK as “Auntie”, probably for its gentle and slightly old-fashioned didactic style. But deep in its IT ecosystem, the huge broadcaster is a hot bed of innovation. Not for nothing is it ranked only second to Google as the “favorite place to work” for LinkedIn techie job seekers.

For anyone interested in how a major content publisher is embracing the challenge of language technologies, check out this long interview with BBC ‘semantic web’ people. After full-scale coverage of the World Football Cup last year and the London Olympics in 2012, the content team have been exploring all the implications of delivering tailored archival content for a cutting-edge online user experience. Or what LT-Innovate is calling “intelligent content”. 

Below is a summary of what they’re thinking about today:
We are currently exploring various other uses of Semantic Web technologies within BBC R&D. In particular we’re looking at ways in which Linked Data can be used to help search and discovery of archive content. We have been working on automatically identifying the topics and the contributors for BBC programmes from their content, using a combination of Linked Data, signal processing, speech-to-text and Named Entity Recognition technologies, which we have been talking about in various places, such as the Linked Data on the Web workshop and at WWW’2012. The automatically generated links from programmes to entities described in the Linked Data cloud might be incorrect in places, so we are also exploring how users can validate or correct those links, and how this feedback can be taken into account within our automated interlinking workflow. We are planning to write in more details about our experiments in that space on the our blog in the next couple of weeks.

Check out their blog to keep abreast of Auntie’s rapid reinvention as Lady Semantica. 

Author: Andrew Joscelyne

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