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Re: [tlug] Effect of AI and data processing rift on the Semantic Web

Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
Edward Middleton writes:

> People using FOAF obviously don't think so. I think these sort of > perceptions are the biggest problem "the current effort" faces.

What perception problem?

Using your perception of the situation to avoid investigating it. If this is not the case could you explain specifically what you see as being OSI-ized.

The views you have expressed seems to be regularly espoused on the semantic-web mailing list but it seems to be almost universally by people without even a layman's understanding of knowledge representation[1] and computer reasoning[2].

For heaven's sake, Berners-Lee invented the semantic web in 1994! In some areas, "web ontologies" are taking hold, such as the Dublin Core and RSS feeds. But until they start to connect up in useful ways, there is no "the" semantic web. That's what makes the World Wide Web such a wonderfully concrete thing: the fundamental facts that the Internet is a singleton and that any URL on the Internet can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet. It's all connected, by construction.

Compared to developing the WWW, developing a Semantic Web is a non-trivial problem. Not because it is difficult to put semantics in web pages, but because it is difficult to work out what semantics need to be added to allow AI agents to reason, plan, learn and perform other useful tasks. As you say the WWW has its roots in Project Xanadu started in 1960[3] the semantic web in 1994[4], considering this, its progress has been pretty impressive.

Now, what I'm pointing out is that people *using*, say, "RSS
syndication" (whichever protocol) are behaving in the time-honored
improve-the-'net fashion: find a practical problem, find practical
solutions, kaizen and unify until itch-to-write-RFC develops,
standardize (more or less successfully). But people participating in
"semantic web" activities *in order to advance the semantic web* are
basically OSI-izing.

They are basically providing a means to use "what works" in AI to web problems. Without some sort of interfaces and implementations using "what works" in AI isn't a *practical solution*.

There are an infinite number of problems on the net that lend themselves to existing AI approaches, it doesn't make sense to treat them each individually with a proprietary solution when you can attack a whole class of similar problems.

I don't which class FOAF falls into. Maybe FOAF is as common in some
reasonably large circle as meishi-koukan is in Japan. If so, it
solves a practical problem, and I don't need to know what it is,
either. Otherwise ....

FOAF[6] is an ontology implemented using W3 OWL. It solves a class of problems relating to identity management. Look at Googles Social Graph[7] for some of the potential uses.



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