Software that enables semantic metadata and natural language queries has been released by IBM Corp. as an open-source product. The Unstructured Information Management Architecture automatically annotates any type of metadata to text, images, audio and video, and associates semantic information about that data's meaning, allowing hidden relationships to be uncovered among facts. It also enables users to query with natural language rather than with a strict syntax. "Our open-source initiative enables software development that leverages unstructured information," said Arthur Ciccolo, department group manager for information and knowledge management at IBM Research. "The Unstructured Information Management Architecture provides interoperability among analytic software for searching, knowledge discovery, business intelligence and text." The UIMA is part of a trend in semantic software research that automatically annotates databases with metainformation about the meaning of the data. While ordinary data searches must specify syntax exactly, such as precisely spelling the text string "George W. Bush," the UIMA allows users to conduct semantic searches such as "current president." After IBM announced UIMA's release as open source, 16 software vendors promised compatibility.