Semantic System AG comes to Bird Rock


Semantic System AG, a Switzerland-based company that develops technology enabling computers to think like human brains, just opened next door to Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

Semantic is pioneering a first-generation “thinking-computer” chip capable of helping investigators use databases to match shoe prints at crime scenes, among a myriad of practical applications.

The designers say they hope to create a chip that will rapidly find relevant information in large amounts of data and arrive at correct decisions based on its findings. Such systems can analyze complex patterns and images while automatically recognizing the semantic relevance in text, enabling computers to learn to speak and to communicate with humans in natural language.

“It’s a core technology that we license,” said Jasman Mann, Semantic marketing manager. “It’s a little chip that goes into computer hardware that is very fast and very efficient: self-learning. You can throw any kind of data at it, and it’s able to see patterns in the data on its own, just like our brains do.”

Mann talked about one recent application of Semantic’s technology involving work done by the German equivalent of the FBI.

“Our technology is helping them with shoe prints which, just like fingerprints, can be taken at crime scenes and matched,” she said.

Mann said images of the prints left by a burglar’s shoes at a crime scene can be uploaded at a crime lab and matched in a computer database with Semantic’s new technology.

It’s a complex task, Mann added.

“Prints are usually very fuzzy, and the shapes of the shoes aren’t completely formed,” she said. “So we’ve partnered with a company that provides image solutions. We provide the little chip that goes into their server, and it lets their system do the smart thinking. It’s not like some person has to give it instructions on what to do.”

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