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Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantic Web shortcomings

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: yorick@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 08:43:58 -0400
Message-id: <48AAC00E.5030406@xxxxxxxxxxx>
A recent note to Corpora List by Yorick Wilks included two pointers
to publications that are relevant to the subject of this thread.    (01)

Titles, abstracts, and URLs below.    (02)

John Sowa
____________________________________________________________________    (03)

http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~yorick/papers/IEEE.SW.untrak.pdf    (04)

The Semantic Web as the apotheosis of annotation,
but what re its semantics?    (05)

Yorick Wilks    (06)

"In the middle of a cloudy thing is another cloudy thing, and
within that another cloudy thing, inside which is yet another
cloudy thing......... and in that is yet another cloudy thing,
inside which is something perfectly clear and definite."    (07)

                                -----------Ancient Sufi saying    (08)

The paper discusses what kind of entity the proposed Semantic Web (SW) 
is, and does so
principally by reference to the relationship of natural language 
structure to knowledge
representation (KR). It argues that there are three distinct views on 
the issue: first, that
the SW is basically a renaming of the traditional AI knowledge 
representation task, with
all its problems and challenges. Secondly, there is a view that the SW 
will be, at a
minimum, the WorldWideWeb (WWW) with its constituent documents annotated 
so as
to yield their content, or meaning structure, more directly. This view 
of the SW makes
natural language processing central as the procedural bridge from texts 
to KR, usually via
some form of automated Information Extraction. This view is discussed in 
some detail
and it is argued that this can also be seen as a way of justifying the 
structures used as KR
for the SW. There is a third view, possibly Berners-Lee's own, that the 
SW is about
trusted databases as the foundation of a system of web processes and 
services, but it is
argued that this ignores the whole history of the web as a textual 
system, and gives no
better guarantee of agreed meanings for terms than the other two 
approaches. There is
also a fourth view, much harder to define and discuss, which is that if 
the SW just keeps
moving as an engineering development and is lucky (as the successful 
scale-up of the
WWW seems to have been luckier, or better designed, than many cynics 
expected) then
real problems will not arise.    (09)

____________________________________________________________________    (010)

http://www.aisb.org.uk/convention/aisb08/proc/proceedings/12%20Computing%20and%20Philosophy/01.pdf    (011)

What would a Wittgensteinian computational linguistics be like?    (012)

Yorick Wilks    (013)

The paper tries to relate Wittgenstein's later writings
about language with the history and content of Artificial
Intelligence (AI), and in particular, its sub-area normally called
Computational Linguistics, or Natural Language Processing. It
argues that the shift, since 1990, from rule-driven approaches to
computational language and logic, associated with traditional AI
and the linguistics of Chomsky, to more statistical models of
language have made those connections more plausible, in
particular because there is good reason to think the latter is a
better model of use than the former. What statistical language
models are not, of course, are immediately plausible models of
meaning. Moreover, a statistical model seeking a model of a
whole language, one can now look at the World Wide Web
(WWW) as an encapsulation of the usage of a whole a language,
open to computational exploration, and of a kind never before
available. I describe a recent empirical effort to give sense to the
notion of a model of a whole language derived from the web, but
whose disadvantage is that that model could never be available
to a language user because of the sheer size of the WWW. The
problematic issue in such an analogy (Wittgenstein and NLP) is
how one can go beyond the anti-rule aspect of both to some view
of how concepts can even appear to exist, whatever their true
status.    (014)

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