Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
October 19th, 2015

NLP or Natural Language Processing has become more than just an emerging technology – it is here to stay!  Each new invention that comes out seems designed to better understand the way(s) that humans communicate – whether that be in formal writing, slang, phrases, inflections…the list goes on and on.  Programming a non-human system to understand the nuances of human communication seems a genuinely daunting task.  But around the world, NLP continues to find new applications -

Read about this company in Sweden where NLP is a way of life…



“Unlike traditional approaches to text analytics, we begin by modelling meaning instead of structure. Instead of relying on the standard processing pipeline, we rely on a live semantic memory model that continuously learns and understands text without any human intervention.”…”It learns the meanings of words by observing their usages and contexts, and it never stops learning: language evolves constantly, as do our semantic memories.”


They’ve taken analysis of Social Media to a new level, and had stunning success in evaluating that data to be predictive of outcomes.  Here’s how they fared with poll data in September 2015:

Gavagai and the most recent Greek election


And if you’ve never heard of “word embeddings” - vectors whose relative similarities correlate with semantic similarity – here’s an explanation that actually makes sense  (I minored in Lit in college, and this never came up.  I do write a great sonnet, though!)

A brief history of word embeddings (and some clarifications)


If you’re interested in Social Media and its effect and interplay with the next advances in computing, you’re in good company.  What is the future ‘saying’ to you?

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Chances are you’re already familiar with the term Internet of Things – and the acronym IOT – that keeps popping up all over in media of all kinds.  In case you’re not…here’s a great definition from Technopedia

“…its initial use has been attributed to Kevin Ashton, an expert on digital innovation

In 1999, Ashton said it best in this quote from an article in the RFID Journal:
“If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things – using data they gathered without any help from us – we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best”.”


Many companies have been jumping on the IOT band-wagon.  Here’s a nifty article and video from Hewlitt Packard that sums up their contribution:

Everything’s Connected –

Now All You Need is a Platform: Internet of Things


Credit: © Yong hian Lim |

The Internet of Things has exploded which means tremendous implications for apps, the cloud and the telecommunication service providers who keep it all connected.


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So many of us are actively working on world class solutions to the challenges we face everyday.

Well, for those who are making great strides to improve and minimize our impact on our environment, this challenge is very timely.

Unilever has partnered with the University of Cambridge to sponsor the Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Challenge

The goal is to find innovative and scaleable technologies or initiatives that are contributing to one or more of the eight Global Goals  they’ve identified as most relevant to business and entrepreneurs.

Join the conversation, or better yet, submit your ideas.  Here is the timeline for the sustainable challenge2

And if you’re not quite sure how your research would fit into the challenge requirements, there is a wealth of information on their website, such as blogs of other entrepreneurs highlighting their great work and global goals descriptions.

Click on the picture to get all of the detail needed to get involved!

blog sustainable challenge3


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Innovation is all around us.  And, the race is on globally to become the next city or country or continent that boasts the most advanced technology and become home to companies churning out that technology.  The Renaissance brought changes in a myriad of disciplines.  The Industrial Revolution did the same.

Now the changes are less ‘visible’ or ‘tangible’ and more “Cloud-y” – if you’ll pardon the pun!

Chattanooga’s hyper-fast connectivity has become

“a platform for innovation.”


Read the article and watch the video to learn about how


With Gigabit Connectivity,


Chattanooga Could Be


the Next Tech Hub


Chattanooga flag


Maybe a ride on the Chattanooga Choo-Choo will be part of your career path?!

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While the term “Climate Change” brings about a host of responses when dropped into casual conversation, there have been many weather events that give credence to the idea that our planet is undergoing some pattern shifts.  Since we don’t have written records that date back to the days of the dinosaurs, we have no way of knowing if the recent changes have occurred at some time previously – and, there was no Social Media to give us instantaneous reports back then either!

With all that being said – whether you believe in the phenomenon of “Climate Change” or not – UNESCO believes that it is important to educate today’s students on climatology so they are prepared for the future.  They have designed a tool for teachers, released earlier this year, so that this topic can be discussed and explored.   Regardless of your position on the politics, knowing about the weather and its effects can not be a bad idea for inclusion in the curriculum.  Read about UNESCO’s publication here:




(If you want a more in-depth look at the content, you can download the publication using the link they provide on the right.)


Learn more about UNESCO’s programs to promote education, diversity, sustainable living and their other global impacts by clicking on the logo:


UNESCO is known as the “intellectual” agency of the United Nations. At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, people must rely on the power of intelligence to innovate, expand their horizons and sustain the hope of a new humanism. UNESCO exists to bring this creative intelligence to life; for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built.

What will your contribution be towards innovation that sustains our home planet?

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