“Web 2.0 vs. Semantic Web: A Philosophical Assessment” … And it is possible!

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The paper “Web 2.0 vs. Semantic Web: A Philosophical Assessment” [1] describes why the Web 2.0 works, but the Semantic Web don’t. This article should give you a idea of my point of view of the given thematic and why I think the prediction couldn’t be made in this form. Maybe I should mention that the paper was written by a Philosophical and not by a Technical Research Institute that works on a daily base with the underlying technology. It’s a good view from another point, but let’s see. The quotes are taken from the paper [1].

Too much rhetoric and too little detail make the project of a Semantic Web conceptually muddled. […]

The first thing I don’t like in this sentence is that Semantic Web is classified as project. Actually I think it’s more a paradigm or extensions of the current Web 2.0. The second part that not suites well is the statement that there are too little detail. As ongoing research work and evolutionary process it’s impossible to define all parts at a relative early state or that there has to be redefine some stuff during the work/process.

When ambitious, the Semantic Web relies on Strong AI and therefore it is technically unfeasible. But when they try to be more realistic, supporters of the Semantic Web confuse technical feasibility (it can be done in principle) with achievable success (the goals for which the technology is going to be deployed can be reached). One only needs to consider that supersonic civil aviation is still perfectly feasible, yet Concorde was retired in 2003 and there are no serious plans to resurrect supersonic flights. Money may not be an issue (although the current financial downturn does not bode well for large IT projects), yet we should consider very carefully whether we wish to invest in a “Semantic Concorde”: some ideas won’t fly, no matter how many resources are thrown at them.

At the moment I don’t have found any research work that tries to reach from a Semantic Web Strong AI, but I’ve to say that I think the semantic linking of data on the base of the biggest network in the world is in my opinion a great start to reach Strong AI. But there is a lot of work to do and maybe also to change the underlying technology (from RDF to biologically stored data interlinked in a semantic way???). The second part of the block compares the Semantic Web with the Concord. That’s a very bad example, because the idea of Semantic Web is developed not only in big companies, but also from different developers in there free time. This written code is the mostly published under open source licenses and could be improved by everybody. This was not possible on the Concord.

In the time until we reach Strong AI the Semantic Web aims to be a automation for special fields in the Internet and supports the user. For example to make it easier to find relation between different Objects (see [2]).

I don’t continue my discussion about the paper, because I think there are enough statements that underlines my point of view. Maybe I will add another post at a later point.


[1] Floridi, Luciano. Web 2.0 vs. Semantic Web: A Philosophical Assessment
[2] Relation Finder by DBPedia (Semantic Dependant to the Wikipedia)

13 comments

  1. I read about it some days ago in another blog and the main things that you mention here are very similar

  2. Could you give me the link please. Actually I think that are mostly all logical arguments that could be made by everybody that works on the topic.

  3. I’m looking forward to getting more information about this topic, don’t worry about negative opinions.

  4. I try to make my websites compatible to the semantic web as possible, but it requires a lot of work. So for small websites it is not worth the time.

  5. @marketer That’s maybe true, but you gain a lot from it. For example your website is easier to evaluate or to find.

    Hopefully the technology will be easier to use in the future. The first step in the right direction are the plugins that are offered for frameworks such as wordpress.

  6. Hopefully the technology will be easier to use in the future. The first step in the right direction are the plugins that are offered for frameworks such as wordpress.
    +1

  7. Really informative article post.Thanks Again. Awesome. eedfgcedecbc

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