Web scientist and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Tetherless World Research Constellation Professor Deborah McGuinness has been developing a family of applications for the most tech-savvy wine connoisseurs since her days as a graduate student in the 1980s—before what we now know as the World Wide Web had even been envisioned.
Today, McGuinness is among the world’s foremost experts in Web ontology languages. These languages are used to encode meanings in a language that computers can understand. The most recent version of her wine application serves as an exceptional example of what the future of the World Wide Web, often called Web 3.0, might in fact look like. It is also an exceptional tool for teaching future Web Scientists about ontologies.
“The wine agent came about because I had to demonstrate the new technology that I was developing,” McGuinness said. “I had sophisticated applications that used cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology in domains, such as telecommunications equipment, that were difficult for anyone other than well-trained engineers to understand.” McGuinness took the technology into the domain of wines and foods to create a program that she uses as a semantic tutorial, an “Ontologies 101” as she calls it. And students throughout the years have done many things with the wine agent including, most recently, experimentation with social media and mobile phone applications.
Today, the semantic sommelier is set to provide even the most novice of foodies some exciting new tools to expand their wine knowledge and food-pairing abilities on everything from their home PC to their smart phone. Evan Patton, a graduate student in computer science at Rensselaer, is the most recent student to tinker with the wine agent and is working with McGuinness to bring it into the mobile space on both the iPhone and Droid platforms.
The agent uses the Web Ontology Language (OWL), the formal language for the Semantic Web. Like the English language, which uses an agreed upon alphabet to form words and sentences that all English-speaking people can recognize, OWL uses a formalized set of symbols to create a code or language that a wide variety of applications can “read.” This allows your computer to operate more efficiently and more intelligently with your cell phone or your Facebook page, or any other webpage or web-enabled device. These semantics also allow for an entirely new generation in smart search technologies.
Thanks to its semantic technology, the sommelier is input with basic background knowledge about wine and food. For wine, that includes its body, color (red versus white or blush), sweetness, and flavor. For food, this includes the course (e.g. appetizer versus entrée), ingredient type (e.g. fish versus meat), and its heat (mild versus spicy). The semantic technologies beneath the application then encode that knowledge and apply reasoning to search and share that information. This semantic functionality can now be exploited for a variety of culinary purposes, all of which McGuinness, a personal lover of fine wines, and Patton are working together on.
Having a spicy fish dish for dinner? Search within the system and it will arrive at a good wine pairing for the meal. Beyond basic pairings, the application has strong possibilities for use in individual restaurants, according to McGuinness, who envisions teaming up with restaurant owners to input their specific menus and wine lists. Thus, a diner could check menus and wine holdings before going out for dinner or they could enter a restaurant, pull out their smart phone, and instantly know what is in the wine cellar and goes best with that chef’s clams casino. Beyond pairings, diners could rate different wines, providing fellow diners with personal reviews and the restaurateur with valuable information on what to stock up on next week. Is it a dry restaurant? The application could also be loaded up with the inventory within the liquor store down the street.
Beyond the table, the application can also be used to make personal wine suggestions and virtual wine cellars that you could share with your friends via Facebook or other social media platforms. It could also be used to manage a personal wine cellar, providing information on what is a peak flavor at the moment or what in your cellar would go best with your famous steak au poivre.
“Today we have 10 gadgets with us at any given time,” McGuinness said. “We live and breathe social media. With semantic technologies, we can offload more of the searching and reasoning required to locate and share information to the computer while still maintaining personal control over our information and how we use it. We also increase the ability of our technologies to interact with each other and decrease the need for as many gadgets or as many interactions with them since the applications do more work for us.”
Gabrielle DeMarco | Newswise Science News
Paint job transforms walls into sensors, interactive surfaces
24.04.2018 | Carnegie Mellon University
Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics
23.04.2018 | Boston University College of Engineering
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
24.04.2018 | Life Sciences
24.04.2018 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2018 | Trade Fair News