multiliteracyrevolution

The Semantic Web-Man Vs. Machine?

Posted by serovy1 on July 23, 2011

“The Semantic Web is a “web of data” that facilitates machines to understand the semantics, or meaning, of information on the World Wide Web.[1] It extends the network of hyperlinked human-readable web pages by inserting machine-readable metadata about pages and how they are related to each other, enabling automated agents to access the Web more intelligently and perform tasks on behalf of users. The term was coined by Tim Berners-Lee,[2] the inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium (“W3C”), which oversees the development of proposed Semantic Web standards. He defines the Semantic Web as “a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines.”- Wikipedia

The concept of the symantic web is SCARY, and confusing, but exciting. This new technology takes things a step further, and allows for the computer to recognize not only key words but also the relationship between data on the web. This has wonderful potential to help people in thier research and in building meanings from one another, because it will automatically filter a search more specifically to the material you are looking for. As explained above in the video and in the definition, the semantic web is not an emerging but actually a current technology that developers are actively working on. With the obvious benefits being stated, one can help but also wonder what other outcomes may arise as computers become more like mind reading research assitants and less like machines that we manipulate.

The symantic web seems like it could perpetuate a spirit of laziness that would enable people to remain within more confined realms of information based on the connectins they already have (although the opposite is also true). In all honesty, I’m still trying to process it all, but the idea that a machine can understand me is a bit jarring. Am I thinking faster than my computer,or is it thinking faster than me, and if so, how will this progressively more intelligent symantic web dictate my decisions even further. Have you ever been on facebook tagging photos, and the computer already seems to recognize the faces of your beloved family members and friends before you even type in their names. It Knows who I hang out with!!! I already feel exposed and like other people can find out anything they want about me with the click of the mouse. Now do I have to worry about a computer “knowing” everything too? Is it going to control my mind? This is SCIFI stuff indeed.

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