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Re: [ontolog-forum] Five challenges for "semantics" beyond Knowledge Rep

To: Lars Ludwig <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Phil Murray <pcmurray2000@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 11:24:00 -0400
Message-id: <48E24490.1030909@xxxxxxxxx>
Lars Ludwig wrote:
>> Semantic Web must be computable." More specifically, we are talking
>> about information on which "logic-based reasoners" can operate.
> It might well be that for many purposes it would totally suffice if a
> 'semantic' / well-structured information source could be searched by a 
> more
> or less classical/statistical search engine (delivering 
> relevant/statement
> ranked entities and their interconnections, for example). 
Yes, if the propositions (or assertions or whatever we call them) can be 
treated as discrete objects and retrieved as such. Because the retrieval 
of such propositions is more important to humans in many (most?) cases 
than the "truth" of such propositions.    (01)

> A central
> advantage of using ontologies - in knowledge management at least - 
> seems to
> me to be able to de-serialize and better interlink thoughts thus 
> allowing us
> to overcome the limitations in knowledge representation / retrieval of
> serialized-natural-language documents, - by use of a controlled, but
> expressive language. 
Yes. That's another good way of expressing some of my own thinking. Of 
course, we don't want to lose the value of the serialization of document 
content, which may be one of many possible serializations of content in 
a larger resource, nor do we want to lose access to the content itself.
> Often, the benefit is in the (efficiently delivered and
> intelligently collected) information itself, and not at all in computing
> inferences of new information.   
I would add -- and I think you would agree -- "intelligently connected." 
For example, cause and effect, sequence, or even broad similarity or 
> An important question to ask: How can I express myself without having to
> annotate documents (i.e., do work twice). What's missing in the 
> Semantic Web
> vision is a semantic word editor allowing for thought-accompanying
> notations.
Ah, that's one of my big complaints, too. It appears to me that software 
designers assume such that "personal" semantic tools can be relatively 
limited desktop-scale applications. The mistake, I believe, is in 
assuming that (1) such activities are relatively simple, (2) can be 
performed effectively in isolation from the similar activities of 
others, and (3) can be aided substantially with limited software 
applications.    (02)

In reality, the activity you describe is extremely complex and is 
intimately connected with the activities of others. (Sharable meaning 
does not come cheaply.)    (03)

Effective support of such "semantic" activities requires sophisticated 
applications that reference massive information resources, including 
ontologies. The tools I am imagining are for all "knowledge workers" and 
not just for "semantic specialists." The immediate benefits of such 
tools must outweigh their intrusiveness into our specific job roles, and 
all such applications must connect meaning across the organization or 
group.    (04)

This is why Personal Information Managers fail.    (05)

Thanks for your comments.    (06)

>       (07)

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