IDA Technology

Interview with Digital Life

Last week, we had an interview with Aaran Tan (of Digital Life) in IDA. He is looking for something to write on Semantic Web so we took an opportunity to show him the Digital Content Exchange prototype. The article was published today. Overall, great article for a layman to understand Semantic Web (he removed all the technical jargon like taxonomy, thesaurus, OWL/ontology etc :-).

I only have any one quibble – the article make Semantic Web sound like just another-grand-search-engine. The really core idea is with tagging and onotology, software can be written to do locate resources much better. It isn’t just about search – it is about how to find the information and search is just one way to do so.

Thanks Aaron! Aaron is really a cool guy – he is also trying to find OSS stories to write about. :-)Sorry, the Straits Times isn’t linkable anymore since it is paid-subscription but let me reproduce a segment of the article.

Machines cannot read. But there are plans to get them to do so. Then they will understand notr just the text query of an online search – Apple the company or apple the fruit – but its context. And you will get wider and more meaningful results.

Enter Semantic Web, an extension of the present World Wide Web. Developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, the Semantic Web aims to attach meaning to bits and bytes.

Its potential has sparked interest at the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore.

The authority recently completed a prototype Semantic Web search engine in which information such as historical accounts and biographies are contextualised, said James Seng, IDA’s assistant director of enabler technologies.

“So you create an intelligent web made up of (pieces of) information that’s classified, tagged and related to one another,” said Mr Seng.

“With it, we can transform how searching is done. When you enter a keyword for Apple, a search engine today does not know if you are looking for Apple Computer or an apple orchard.”

So the machine will not be able to established the context of the linked information. It become difficult to write a software agent to assist, for instance, a farmer who wants results on apple orchards alone, he explained.”

“With the Semantic Web, you don’t just get back the links, you also get their context. And there lies its power.”

Back To Top