[Air-l] The Semantic Web

Rune Dalgaard runed at imv.au.dk
Sat Mar 16 03:46:55 PST 2002


Arthur, I think it is hard to study the social impact of the semantic web as
long as it is not implemented or used on a larger scale. Last summer I was
at a conference with a panel-debate on the Semantic Web and the views varied
widely on the feasibility of the idea.

> Has anyone come across any material which takes a critical look at
> the social impact of the Semantic Web as envisaged by TIM
> BERNERS-LEE, et al.?

The basic idea of giving the web (or parts of it) one or more deeper
classficatory structure(s) obviously reactualizes discussions about
classifications and (because this is a project being promoted by and in AI
circles) AI and finally also in philosophy of logic. A social approach to
some of the issues of classfication can be found in:

Bowker, G. C. &. S., S.L. (1999). Sorting Things Out - Classification and
its Consequences. Cambridge, MA & London, UK: The MIT Press.

Another approach is to tie it to existing AI discussions going many years
back (and not as high profiled as they were in the late 80's), of which
Dreyfus' work (as mentioned by Charles Ess) is one important contribution.
John Sowa (philosopher) has written some good introductions to
classification-systems, knowledge representation etc. see fx.
http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/guided.htm

Best,
Rune

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Rune Dalgaard, MA, Doctoral Candidate
Dept. of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University
E-mail: runed at imv.aau.dk / Web: http://www.imv.au.dk/medarbejdere/runed
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