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The Internet, Web, and Beyond (Society and the Internet Lecture Series, Part 15)

Date & Time:
16:00:00 - 17:30:00,
Tuesday 28 February, 2012


This talk will discuss the Semantic Web and the ways that it will transform a range of human activities. The premise behind the Semantic Web is that it is a Web, which ‘knows’ information about its own content, can reason about that content, and can provide more useful services. The Web of texts and images does not have any more knowledge about its own content than a television does about what it is showing. Increasingly targeted and intelligent searches will be possible when content can be accessed more directly, rather than though the search strings of words we currently use.

This talk then references Google’s recipe Semantic Web, which allows people to search for the dishes they want, how long they take to prepare and what ingredients to use, but without having to know the exact words involved in any of those steps. It will then move to discuss how the Semantic Web is coming into being via huge science webs of knowledge that are transforming the everyday work of scientists. It also looks at efforts in the US and UK to put large amounts of government data onto the Web in annotated forms so that people can use and link the data for targeted purposes, instead of simply searching through it using text strings. Ultimately, these examples drawn from science and government demonstrate both the advantages and dangers of a more ‘intelligent’ Semantic Web.

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  • Professor Yorick Wilks
  • Name: Professor Yorick Wilks
  • Affiliation: Oxford Internet Institute
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