Sunday, May 18, 2008

5 years from today, a web that thinks?

Telegraph (20/03/2008).

How will the internet look in five years' time? According to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, it will be rather different to the cyberspace of today. He envisages an internet in which all information, applications and data are seamlessly linked and interwoven - everything will work with everything else and that will, in effect, allow us to live our lives almost entirely online. Brainwave: The new web will 'understand' the context of searches The new web will 'understand' the context of searches Technology experts call this the "semantic web". At the moment, search engines such as Google place more emphasis on the links and connections between websites, rather than on analysing the specific information contained within them. The semantic web, by contrast, will focus on the meaning of data on a page. Computers will "understand" the context of information and will be able to identify and appreciate the complex links between people, places and data, pulling it together to deliver rich search results and a better online experience. "The semantic web is not a separate web but an extension of the current one," said Berners-Lee. "Information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation."
Would be brilliant to be at this stage in five years time, the question is how much of the internet will be made semantic? Currently researchers are in the lead, but guess what will happen if the Yahoo's and Google's take over the job? Researchers are currently using existing library catalogs, thesauri, descriptions made by the world's museums curators and art connaiseurs - quality content made semantically interoperable. Then the advertising income driven search mastodonts come in and take over... finish the story yourself.

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