Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Semantic Web

Enrico Motto recently addressed the Open University at Berrill Lecture Theatre in Milton Keys, United Kingdom. He spoke about the Semantic Web. He sought to define the term 'Semantic Web', to answer why it is an interesting development, and to explain the current state of the Semantic Web.

He defined 'Semantic Web' as human interaction with large scale knowledge distribution using worldwide web documents. He asserts there is a specific vocabulary, as there is in every field or domain, for writing the coding that underlies much of the web. He obviously expresses this more eloquently and accurately than I ever could.

He asserts the semantic web is about collaboration. Doesn't that sound familiar? Before the semantic web, there were static webpages. Now there are interactive webpages. No big news to many of us.

He relates the semantic web to artificial intelligence. He quotes Papert, saying:
Today there has been a shift in paradigm. The fundamental problem of understanding intelligence is not the identification of a few powerful techniques, but rather the question of how to represent large amounts of knowledge in a fashion that permits their effective use. Goldstein and Papert, 1977

His talk ends with a great story about driving at high speeds.

How are you representing your knowledge base as you speed down the road of the semantic web?
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