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Re: EE Times - Sony lab tips 'emergent semantics' to make sense of Web

From: Frank van Harmelen <Frank.van.Harmelen@cs.vu.nl>
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 2004 13:00:01 +0100
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <3B5BBDD0991718D2E06DB78C@localhost>

Graham Klyne wrote:

> 1. The new technology was presented as a competitor to the Semantic Web
> technologies, in a way which suggests to me a mistaken (or, at least,
> very narrow) view of what Semantic Web technology is about.  To my view,
> a system that can perform automatic ontology extraction/generation is a
> natural complement to the W3C raft of technologies (if it works).

Frank Manola wrote:

> I think this is the correct view.  Part of the problem is that lots of
> discussions of the Semantic Web (and its "competitors") cast this as
> being somehow all one technique vs. all of another.  IMO, the Semantic
> Web, per se, doesn't really care how the semantic information is
> acquired, just that it's there, and is available to programs that want
> to process Web information.

I agree. Another way of saying this is that the Sony text confuses a *goal* 
(Semantic Web) with a *method* to achieve the goal (emergent semantics, 
according to them).

I would think that nobody in the Semantic Web community claims that there is 
only one way of achieving the goal: handcrafted explicit symbolic 
representations are one way, emergent semantics might well be another.

So instead of saying:
"emergent semantics as an alternative to the W3C's Semantic Web"
they should have said
"emergent semantics as an alternative *approach* to the W3C's Semantic Web"

(and even then it is debatable how "alternative" it is, given that lots of 
existing work is quite in the spirit of "emergent semantics").

Frank van Harmelen.

Frank.van.Harmelen@cs.vu.nl              http://www.cs.vu.nl/~frankh
Department of AI, Faculty of Sciences,  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
de Boelelaan 1081a, 1081HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
tel (+31)-20-444 7731/7700 fax (+31)-84-221 4294
Received on Monday, 8 November 2004 05:43:32 UTC

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