Posts Tagged ‘Semantic Web’

The History of the Semantic Web is the Future of Intelligent Assistants

Friday, August 19th, 2016

The Semantic Web provides an enticing vision of our online future. This next-generation Web will enable intelligent computer assistants to work autonomously on our behalf: scheduling our appointments, doing our shopping, finding the information we need, and connecting us with like-minded individuals.

Unfortunately, the Semantic Web is also a vision that, to some, seems very distant, perhaps even outdated. It has been over a decade since it was popularized in a May 2001 article in Scientific American. Semantic Web researchers and engineers have been toiling even longer on the monumental technical and sociological challenges inherent in creating a global Semantic Web.

The good news is that we are seeing evidence today of its accelerating emergence.

Read the full post on Medium

Why The "Star Trek Computer" Needs Open Data…And Scotty, Too

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Do you share this opinion?

So given that, what can we say about the eventual development of something we can call “The Star Trek Computer”? Right now, I’d say that we can say at least two things: It will be Open Source , and licensed under the Apache Software License v2. There’s a good chance it will also be a project hosted by the Apache Software Foundation.

The rationale? ASF provides an awesome array of advanced technologies, in everything ranging from NLP, information extraction and retrieval, machine learning, Semantic Web, and on and on. It’s like a free, all-you-can-eat buffet! (er, Star Trek food synthesizer?)

I share the enthusiasm for open source tools. We use many of these technologies at Primal.

But this is where their science fiction story starts to lose me:

Of course, you don’t necessarily need a full-fledged “Star Trek Computer” to derive value from these technologies. You can begin utilizing Semantic Web tech, Natural Language Processing, scalable machine Learning, and other advanced computing techniques to derive business value today.

We often meet product developers and entrepreneurs looking to build next-generation intelligent solutions.

If these advanced technologies are available for free, why not just jump in and start building?

An Introduction to Interest Networking

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Our interests are fleeting and immaterial, this mysterious stuff that’s locked away in our heads. Painstakingly, we collect our interests and transform them into words and documents. This transformation from interests into action is time-consuming and expensive, a decidedly “offline” and manual process.

What would happen if you could instead make your interests tangible and concrete? What if you could collect your interests as readily as you can search online? What if your interests could self-organize around your tasks while you’re off doing other things? Interest networking is the idea that’s driving our efforts at Primal to explore these big questions.


The Semantic Web Isn't Just a Data Web

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

The Semantic Web has a branding problem: It was built to manage data, not semantics. Somewhere along the line, insiders renamed it the “Data Web”. That was a great move for Web researchers, but what will the semantics crowd do with the name? Just as “semantics” was misplaced in the Data Web, “web” is misplaced in our vision of a global semantic network. The Semantic Web won’t act like a web at all.

The reason is that form must follow function and “web” is the wrong form for semantics. Do you remember why you stopped using the Yahoo Directory and switched to Google? Both provide lists of Web pages organized by categories. The difference is that search engines involve you in the creation of those categories through your queries. When search engines became comparable to the directories in assembling relevant lists, there was no going back. The form of a directory, as a largely static structure, is incompatible with the function of search.


The World’s First Mainstream Semantic Web

Saturday, July 19th, 2008


The vast majority of semantic technologists are directing their efforts to search. It’s an important use of their talents; search is a hard problem worth solving. But it seems to me that we need to take a broader view.

Semantics is the stuff of thought, of meaning, of our most personal and deeply held beliefs. A fully realized semantic web will be much more than “better search”. But the future is hard to imagine. We need concrete examples of semantic applications to demonstrate the potential and fuel our imaginations. (more…)

A Made-To-Order Web

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

The Web suffers a fundamental problem. Search is a symptom of it. Surfing is a symptom of it. Even the website itself is a symptom of it. The problem is that content is organized for you, in advance. Pre-packaged content is like ordering off the menu at a restaurant. Sometimes it’s convenient, sometimes it’s just what you want, but many times, it’s a difficult choice to make. The Web wants to become made-to-order.

Search certainly helps. If I want to order off the menu, it’s great to have access to lots of restaurants and lots of menus. User-generated content is great, too, if you like to cook. But I don’t want to access content or create content, I want to consume it to get stuff done.

No one retrieves content for the sake of retrieving content; they have a deeper purpose in mind. “I need to create a report for my boss.” “I need to plan a trip for my family.” “I want to be entertained.” We’re task-oriented. All the intervening steps amount to the bill, tax, and gratuity. And since most tasks require us to visit many different sites, the overall cost is extraordinary.

A made-to-order Web would spare us these costs. If you’re ordering a specific task, much of the legwork can be delegated to machines. Computers are becoming increasingly adept at analytical tasks. They can break down content into bite-size pieces for our consumption. They are also capable of synthetic tasks, building the content back up into new forms. These types of analysis and synthesis tasks enable made-to-order.