Algorithms Augmenting Human Decisions

Here’s an update about the SwiftRiver platform from PDF11 which I had the pleasure of speaking at yesterday. My slides are below and here you can find video of my presentation.

What They Use – Matthew Griffiths

What do we use at work? This series of posts interviews the Ushahidi staff about their methods of working and the tools they use. The profile of a different employee will be posted twice a week until we make our way through most or all of the staff!

What They Use – Ahmed Maawy

What do we use at work? This series of posts interviews the Ushahidi staff about their methods for working and the tools they use. A profile of a different employee will be posted twice a week until we make our way through most or all of the staff!

Adopting the GeoDict Open Source Project

It goes without saying that we rely upon location pretty heavily here at Ushahidi. SwiftRiver’s mandate is to help users process and validate data. For Ushahidi users, applying geospatial context to content that doesn’t carry it (like SMS, news articles, blog posts, in some cases Tweets) has proved tedious, with questionable results.

Our Week at the Guardian

This was perhaps one of the busiest weeks in the history of the Guardian newspaper after it was thrown into a tailspin on Monday following some small organization publishing a few secret documents.

Ten Ways to Use SwiftRiver

On August 30th we’ll release the first public beta of the SwiftRiver platform, an open source toolkit of semantic web technologies. It’s been a busy few months as we’ve been working round the clock to bring you a solid product.
One of the questions I’m asked frequently is “What can I use SwiftRiver for?” Here are a few examples:
1. Monitoring Real-Time Conversations

SwiftRiver Update

SwiftRiver at TED
For the past two weeks I’ve been in the UK doing quite a bit of work to answer questions, conduct interviews and even give a few talks about the SwiftRiver platform. I hosted our second SwiftRiver 101 in central London and held private sessions with a number of media groups interested in finding out more about the platform and it’s capabilities.

SwiftRiver 101 Recap

Yesterday we held our very first SwiftRiver 101 which saw an audience of between fifty and sixty people descende upon the iHub to find out the basics of the SwiftRiver platform, as well as technical details like installation, core code and information about Swift APIs and the plugin framework. This included representatives from Google, Datadyne, NDI, Open Street Map and a number of other organizations.
Director/System Architect Jon Gosier and Lead Developer/Technical Architect Matthew Griffiths, lead the days presentations. Please videos below…

Swift River Global Hackathon | April 2

In anticipation of the forthcoming Alpha release of the new Kohana-based Swift River codebase on March 30th, Meedan is sponsoring a hack night and discussion on Friday, April 2, 2010 at 5pm, at the Meedan offices in San Francisco, California.
Proposed goals for the open-invite evening include:

Variations on a Theme

In a past life, before developing software, I was a musician. The two have a lot in common actually: recursive pattern, rhythm, syntax, meter. I suppose most developers don’t think of code this way, but I do. It needs to look as good to humans as it does to machines. When I took over development of Swiftriver and I was looking for a theme to weave through all of our releases, it was natural to default to what I love: music.
Drummer in Ouagadougou

Uganda’s Victor Miclovich talks Machine Learning

If you were there or following South by South West yesterday, you may have heard some chatter on Twitter about the Africa 3.0 talk by Teddy Ruge of Project Diaspora. In his panel he used Skype video to chat in real time with software developers and incubators in Cameroon, Kenya and with my staff in Uganda. Two of the developers from Appfrica, Moses Mugisha and Victor Miclovich appeared with me on camera to speak with the crowd. One of them, Victor, quickly discussed his natural language processing project SiLCC.

Asking Questions, Verifying Answers

Sean Conner recently asked a great question about integrating a Question and Answer service like Aardvark or Yahoo Answers into Swiftriver. Here is our approach at Team Swift…

Natural Language Processing with Swift River

One of the core features of Swift River is the Language Computation Core, or SiLCC as we like to call it (Swift Language Computation Component). Users send feeds to SiLCC which, using a number of machine learning techniques, parses the incoming text and extracts relevant keywords. The idea is that these keywords (tags) can then be used to infer taxonomic relationships between content items. Some camps refer to this as semantic programming, others refer to it as artificial intelligence, but the general concept remains the same: helping programs to perform tasks based on a growing series of complex conditions.

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