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Yesterday at the Computable Awards the Vrije Universiteit, University of Amsterdam and IBM won the prize for “ICT project of the year in education” with the Watson Innovation Course. Furthermore, the project was highest rated across all nominees of all prize categories. The course is ongoing at the moment for the second time, with an improved setup and new state of the art tools for the students.

The course is run by Lora Aroyo, Anca Dumitrache, Benjamin Timmermans and Oana Inel from the VU, and Robert-Jan Sips and Zoltan Szlavik from IBM. In the course the students were challenged by Amsterdam Marketing to solve the issue of the increasing overcrowdedness of tourists in the city center of Amsterdam. The city is culturally rich with many places to visit, yet most visitors cluster around a limited set of popular locations. The students came up with ideas to motivate visitors to spread in the city and provide them with relevant information for their visit.

computable-award

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The aim of the ControCurator project is for modern information access systems to discover and understand controversial topics and events. This is done by 1) bringing together different types of crowds: niches of experts, lay crowds and engaged social media contributors; and 2) using machines in a joint active learning workflow for real-time and offline creation of adequate training data. The ControCurator system will consist of two end-user applications: a Controversy Barometer for identifying controversial claims in medical forums, and an Event Blender for summarization of high-profile and catastrophic events in broadcast news & social media. Both systems use the ControCurator platform for curating the data.

The ControCurator projects extends and validates the work on the Accurator (a SealincMedia project) by adding (non-expert) crowdsourcing annotations from CrowdTruth. Additionally, event interpretations will be added that are derived from the analysis and mining of user-generated data on social media through Crowdynews. These event interpretations will also be extended with event interpretations derived from analysis and mining of broadcast news through MediaNow. This will allow to expand even further the range of interpretations on specific topics and events with the media perspective, i.e. how news media manages catastrophic events, detecting controversial topics and events. Finally, these perspectives and interpretations will all be combined in joint temporal summarization of controversial streaming broadcast news events, to enable for user feedback to be incorporated in search and access algorithms.

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Today we released version 2.0 of the CrowdTruth framework. In the update the data model of the platform is changed, so that data and crowdsourcing results can be managed and reused more easily. This allows for several new features that have been integrated, such as project management and permissions. Users can create projects and share their crowdsourcing jobs within these projects. The media search page has been updated to accommodate any type of data, where you can search through the media in the platform. Another improvement to the platform is the automatic setup of new installations. This makes it easier for new users to get started straight away. You can find a list of the changes in the change log. Try out the platform and get started!