Mainstreaming the Semantic Web

If it makes it into old dinosaur mass media, you can bet it's imminent. CNN is running THIS story on the promises of the semantic web.

While the purists will certainly cry foul because of oversimplification and generally missing the significance, I think this is a good sign and yet another bellwether that the semantic web, web 3.0, the data centric web is more than a research-wonk's lab activity.

Comments:

HI, my take is that semantic Web is DOA. There won't be any HTML left to organize semantically in a few years and what then. It is a purely scientific approach that will not solve any real world problems. The human brain works with patterns matching without trying to link up semantics and is a lot more successful with it. So this is where things ought to be going. Trying to interpret the meaning of the semantics is a waste of time.

Posted by Max Pucher on December 18, 2008 at 07:19 PM CST #

Hi Max. I appreciate the contrarian view but disagree. It's not HTML that needs to be organized semantically (though it certainly *can* be). It's any unstructured idea or relationship. Ideally/eventually information will be created with semantically aware apps that will assist/automate the semantic tagging much the way apps like MS word tag for font and positioning today. Even where information is not created with semantically aware apps, the tools used to store, publish, ingest, output and index them will/should provide semantic services (ala ClearForest and OpenCalais). As for it not solving real world problems, I have to strongly disagree with you. Pharma and Biosciences as well as Legal industries are leading the way using semantic data to precipitate new and unforeseen relationships between systems (e.g. symptom - treatment, torts, and dynamic assembly). While I'm no brain scientist, I think saying that the brain works by pattern matching and without semantics is also incorrect or at least a gross oversimplification. Linguists (Haikawa), Philosophers (Derrida), and brain scientists (Popper) all explicitly or implicitly disagree.

Posted by billy on December 23, 2008 at 03:59 AM CST #

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