Friday, January 13, 2006

Semantic Web celebrating fifth birthday

For the past couple of weeks, as part of my reading for my writing on what I now call the , I've been carefully reading and re-reading the original paper published in the May 2001 issue of the Scientific American entitled "The Semantic Web". Then, just today I got an email that pointed me towards the upcoming 2006 Semantic Technology Conference (SemTech 2006), March 6-9, 2006, in San Jose, California. The two main keynoters are James Hendler and Ora Lassila, two of the co-authors of the SciAm article. In fact, their conference blurb directly references the article:

Five years ago, we wrote an article for Scientific American that publicized the vision of the Semantic Web to an audience beyond a small group of researchers. In the time since then, the Semantic Web has become real. Currently, there are hundreds of millions of RDF triples, on tens of thousands of Web pages, and thousands of ontology pages have been published using RDF schema and OWL, with a growing level of industrial support. Further, the Semantic Web is still in its early days and there are many exciting innovations on the horizon. In this talk, we explore the status of the Semantic Web, today and in the future, through the lens of the vision we presented five years ago. We reflect on what has happened that we didn't predict, what we predicted that hasn't happened yet, and what even more exciting stuff is still to come.

The conference blurb says that SemTech 2006 is "THE place to learn about the commercialization of Semantic Technologies." It says that:

Semantics is a hot industry sector right now – a $2 billion per year market and projected to grow to over $50 billion by the year 2010. Leading analysts have estimated that 35-65% of our System Integration costs are due to Semantic issues. And in every sector of the market - software infrastructure and tools, methodology, internet based activity and support for implementation projects – both inside the enterprise, and across the Internet, our biggest software challenges come down to creating and resolving meaning. In other words: semantics.

The blurb goes on that:

The SemTech conference is where customers, developers and researchers converge to discuss the commercialization of Semantic Technologies. It’s also your fast track to learning what Semantic Technologies are all about, and how to exploit them in your organization.

Topic areas include:

  • Semantic Web
  • OWL and RDF
  • Web Services
  • Data Integration
  • Semantic Brokers
  • Knowledge Capture
  • Taxonomy Development
  • Business Vocabularies
  • Specialized Ontologies
  • Upper Models
  • Enterprise Search
  • Business Rules
  • Metadata
  • Semantic Modeling
  • Unstructured Data
  • Ontology Engineering

For more info, visit the SemTech 2006 web site.

Meanwhile, I continue to slave away on my paper: "The Consumer-Centric Knowledge Web - A Vision of Consumer Applications of Software Agent Technology - Enabling Consumer-Centric Knowledge-Based Computing." It's still an early work in progress (my "to do" list at the end has over 300 items on it).

Feel free to offer feedback.

The section I need to work on this weekend will be titled:

Doesn't the Semantic Web Already Do This? -- No.

For all of the big talk about "semantics", for the most part the Semantic Web people have focused on structured information and related metadata, but haven't really come close to scratching the surface of semantics for full-blown knowledge.

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