Thursday, November 11, 2004

Too many or not enough

The Ontological Challenge "There are several big missing pieces right now in making the semantic web. Certainly the lack of ontologies is a major issue. There are, I guess Deborah would say thousands of ontologies. So there maybe isn't a lack; there may be too many from one perspective. When you start looking at these ontologies, what you find is that some of them are overly specialized; maybe they are focused, for example, on particular niches of interest to DARPA, not particularly of great use to consumers unless you live in New York (with the paranoia that we all experience there)."

"Currently, there is no good human-readable mid-level ontology that's covering common-sense concepts. Cycorp has probably the most impressive ontology. The only problem is it's so big and complex and requires such a high, steep learning curve to actually do anything with it that it's not really targeted at the needs of normal developers and regular end users. The lack of the good, open ontology that covers common-sense concepts is a big problem. That's something we're working on, too. I think that ultimately there ought to be at least something like that that comes out of the W3C or is handed to the W3C at some point to at least provide a basis for describing certain types of entities and relationships that we all have to use in our applications."

"So associating data with ontologies is a problem. Building ontologies, I come from the school of thought of top down. I've never seen a bottom-up ontology that I liked. There aren't many. Having built much of ontologies, I think that the amount of thinking that goes into it is just so intensive that to do it well, I just don't think that, at least without great AI, we'll be able to do it anytime in the next couple of decades."
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