My talk is a mash up of three parts. PART ONE: I will introduce a couple of novel information access services that we provide at FreshEye, the Japanese Web portal run by NewsWatch, Inc. NewsWatch was founded by Toshiba in 1996, and was bought by Yahoo! JAPAN in 2006. PART TWO: I will then discuss why information retrieval evaluation is receiving a lot of attention in the research community now, and mention some challenges, including the relevance data incompleteness issue, and the possibility of evaluating online, nontraditional information access services like the ones I have mentioned in PART ONE. PART THREE: I will describe the ongoing activities at NTCIR, which is an international information retrieval evaluation effort for Asian languages. The latest tasks cover complex question answering, cross-language information retrieval, opinion extraction and patent mining/translation. I will conclude the talk by urging you to submit a paper to EVIA 2008, the Second International Workshop on Evaluating Information Access, which will be held together with NTCIR-7 in Tokyo.
Tetsuya Sakai is the Director of the Natural Language Processing Laboratory at NewsWatch, Inc. which runs the Japanese Web portal FreshEye. In 1993, He received his Master's degree from Waseda University and joined Toshiba Corporate R&D Center. He received his Ph.D from Waseda University in 2000 for his work on information retrieval and filtering systems. From 2000 to 2001, he was a visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. In February 2007, he left Toshiba to join NewsWatch, Inc. He has received several awards from the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ) and the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers (IEICE). He is currently the Asian Regional Representative of ACM SIGIR, and is on the steering committee of Asia Information Retrieval Symposium (AIRS) and the editorial board of the international journal "Information Retrieval".