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RE: Where are the semantics in the semantic Web?

From: Adrian Walker <adrianw@snet.net>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 19:54:40 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Cc: public-sws-ig@w3.org, "Shi, Xuan" <xshi@GEO.WVU.edu>, "'drew.mcdermott@yale.edu '" <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>, jeff@inf.ed.ac.uk

Jim --

You wrote...

At 06:31 PM 11/23/2005 -0500, you wrote:
>there really is a difference between syntax and semantics used in the 
>sense of "grounded symbols" where the grounding is in URI space

That should indeed help machines to communicate.  However, it leaves a 
semantic Grand Canyon between what  the software is doing and whatever 
concepts nontechnical users of the software are thinking about.

To put it another way, few people would accept an automatically generated 
business deal (or military plan) that depends on humans understanding a 
collection of URIs.

Slides 14-17 of [1] illustrate this.  Others have also commented along the 
same lines [2].

Sooner or later, some amount of natural language processing is going to 
have to help to bridge the canyon.  As you know, there is an open 
vocabulary approach to this [3].

                                                           Cheers,  -- Adrian


[2]  As we read and write N3, communicating in RDF, we need to share an
understanding of what each URI means. We often pick URIs which offer
clues about meaning, such as
but the text of the URI still gives only a clue. Would a wolf qualify
as a one of these? How about a Dingo? We can't tell just by looking at
the name. It's even possible the URI text is misleading, and the intended
  meaning has nothing to do with dogs

[3]  Internet Business Logic, online at www.reengineeringllc.com .  Shared 
use is free.

Adrian Walker
PO Box 1412
CT 06011-1412 USA

Phone: USA 860 583 9677
Cell:    USA  860 830 2085
Fax:    USA  860 314 1029
Received on Friday, 25 November 2005 00:55:03 UTC

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