Wiki-NLP Integration at the WikiSym'12 Conference
WikiSym is an international symposium on wikis and open collaborative techniques, mainly focused on wiki research and practice. Back in 2007, we coined the term "self-aware" wiki systems in our paper submitted to the WikiSym '07, fostering the idea that the integration of Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques within wiki systems allows the wiki systems to read, understand, transform, and even write their own content, as well as supporting their users in information analysis and content development. Now after a few years, we have realized this idea through an open service-oriented architecture – which is also what I worked on for my Master's thesis!
I presented our paper on the Wiki-NLP architecture and its application. On a separate demo and poster sessions, I also showcased how the Wiki-NLP integration is applied to and evaluated in the context of real-world projects, such as in the Software Requirements Engineering and the biomedical literature curation domains.
To my surprise, most of the conference submissions were mostly inclined towards the information analysis and social aspects of using wikis, in particular Wikipedia, and there were rather few submissions on the actual applications of wikis (or wiki-like systems) and the open collaboration context (with the exception of Brent Hecht's very interesting keynote talk), hence, I nicknamed the conference "WikipediaSym"
Still, after the presentation the audience were pretty excited about how the NLP assistants can collaboratively, even proactively, work with human users to organize and semantically enrich the substantial body of content that's usually contained in wikis with the size of Wikipedia. During the QA session, a few people even came up with some use cases of the Wiki-NLP integration on the spot! That is, in my opinion, even in its smallest form, a nice beginning to introduce state-of-the-art Human-AI collaboration patterns to the current workflow of knowledge workers using wikis.
Lucky us, this year's WikiSym was collocated with the Ars Electronica festival. The Ars Electronica annual exhibition, which is the intersection of art and technology, on the domain of the Danub river, together with the heavenly Austrian desserts, made my first ever conference talk a memory to never forget.
That's about it I guess... Oh and the Wiki-NLP integration is soon to be released as open source software, so stay tuned!
P.S. Guess who gave a talk at WikipediaSym?.... Yup, that's Jimmy Wales!