Tim Berners-Lee on the Semantic Web

Exceprts from an InternetNews.com interview:

We’re coming into phase two. It’s an exciting phase but we still have a long way to go. We have the foundation in place with the approval of RDF [Resource Description Framework] and OWL [Web Ontology Language]. In this phase, we can build up and out from those foundations.

In practical terms, it has reached a certain level of maturity. At SpeechTek here, there are a few people discussing the connection of speech to the Semantic Web, and that’s always exciting. There are some students independently at MIT doing some work and sparking a lot of discussion about the connection. There are a lot of programs coming out connecting a lot of data and a lot of ontologies.

I suppose it’s a lot like where we were in 1992 and 1993. Back then, the Web wasn’t stable, but we knew it was there and it held a lot of promise. We knew it would grow and mature, but there were a lot of things that we needed but didn’t have. This was pre-Google. Around 1991, you would go on the Web to look for something that wasn’t there. Today, that information is there and we can find it easily.

So, I think that’s where we are with the Semantic Web. We know it will mature, but we’re not quite there yet.

The excitement that it continues to generate is encouraging. The military needs it; the health sector needs it. There’s already an academic field around it. We have RDF and OWL as W3C recommendations, which are big pluses. To that extent, the Semantic Web has already reached a certain level of maturity.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.