I was watching a Ted talk by Tim Berners Lee and he was talking about the semantic web. Its not by any means new to anyone on in Tech. But as he was talking I got a revelation from it. It was like I caught his passion even though the audience did not see anything to get excited about (just like I did before).
Let me give you some detail and I hope that you also get the idea. Tim who invented the world wide web said that the idea of the World Wide Web was out of frustration. Frustration in the sense that he was exposed to hundreds of scientific materials of great value but they were in all kinds of formats and required all kinds of proprietary software to view them. This made integrating and combining information contained in the documents very difficult if not impossible. He invented the www so that documents could be in one format and so that it would be easy to ‘connect’ documents together.
Today, we have benefited immensely from this vision of an open www where documents are linked in a fashion that knowledge is not only accessible but easier to connect and now, we have another dilemma. The structure/order of data. Everything that we do on our computers is all about data. This data is in different formats and stored in different places which makes gathering and harnessing this data a real pain.
Solution: Semantic Web – In a semantic web, it would contain just raw meaningful data that can be linked to other raw meaningful data. Taking this data and making a web out of this data is going to change the world. Take a look at wikipedia. Even though its just web pages, the way the data is linked and connected produces very powerful effects. Like say I pick an article of a person. And it tells me that the person attended an event which would be a hyper link to the event and then reading about that event I get a link to its location say Germany and the I go into Germany and then I can learn about the country, its population, heritage, culture e.t.c That’s what a semantic web would look like
Now if in the midst of this chaos of documents which is the world wide web, Search engines like Google are able to quickly parse through and harness useful data as to be able to even translate text from different languages and guess what you are about to type before you even type it, imagine if devices and software had access to a web of data instead and they had clever ways of parsing through all that data…. The results would be pure Artificial Intelligence. The kind that would be astonishing. Imagine a world where as you walk past a restaurant, your phone reminds you that you have been to that restaurant before, tells you about their favorite dish and how its prepared. Imagine a world where computers could make complex reports based on a mash-up of data from from millions of sources… This… my dear friends is the future.