Context is everything

Entrepreneurship, Technology Add comments

Kate Ray, a Journalism/Psychology major at NYU, has made a great short film on the semantic web.

I’ve been interested in the semantic web for the last couple years. My previous startup, LinkLarry, tried to improve the amount of relationship data on the web by increasing the linking around content. However, the overall theme of the semantic web is that these relationships are described to add even more meaning between the content. Not an easy task.

The Semantic Web Stack.

Image via Wikipedia

Kate shows Abraham Bernstein (University of Zurich) and David Karger (MIT) advocating for a more hybrid approach to the semantic web by providing some structure through ontologies while utilizing the unique intelligence of the human brain. This is important because the challenge for the semantic web is to find the best method to encoding all this meaning between content/entities.

Context is everything.

I think at the very fundamental level, the semantic web comes back down to the interaction with humans; of whom have the primary understanding of things. This is why I like the hybrid approach Bernstein and Karger were suggesting and hope to one day contribute to such a platform.

However, in an even bigger picture of things what’s more interesting is how the semantic web crosses over into physical reality. This is something the film does not touch on (and for good reason). Eventually all physical objects will be tagged with information about themselves and how they relate to others. Our mobile device of the future will understand the context of everything. More importantly, it will understand the context in relationship to you! I think this is an amazing future, exploding with opportunities of valuable applications.

What would you like to do in future if software/hardware could understand the relationships between everything?

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