Semantic Web

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The Semantic Web is a vision of the future of the WorldWideWeb, instigated by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the WorldWideWeb:

The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation

Most of the content on the WorldWideWeb today is designed for humans to read, not for computer programs to manipulate meaningfully, since there is no reliable way for computers to process the complex semantics of the text.

Computers are therefore only used as devices which process and render information - they don't have access to the actual knowledge. As a result, human readers are forced to rely on primitive indexing and hunter-gatherer techniques to navigate the WorldWideWeb and retrieve information from it.

The Semantic Web will enable us to treat the Web as a global and intelligently linked knowledge base, as opposed to the disjointed and poorly understood database which we use today.

The Semantic Web
Tim Berners-Lee and James Hendler and Ora Lassila, Scientific American, May 2001.

This article contains a very interesting Semantic Web scenario which gives an exciting future perspective.

The article used to be online (and freely available), but now it appears to be only available to subscribers or by individual purchase. See

See Also:


-- Last edited October 27, 2002

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