RE: The inevitability of death, or the death of inevitability?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Dec 29 2001 - 21:12:31 MST

> Ben Goertzel wrote:
> > the semantic
> > markup is going to mainly be inserted by (initially primitive)
> AI's, not by
> > humans.
> >
> > AI's that are costly to operate can read a Web page once and
> insert semantic
> > markups.
> If one has AIs that can usefully extract the appropriate semantics from
> unstructured data, what's the benefit to having them then do
> structured markup?
> If you've got the former, the latter seems like a performance
> hack at best, a
> waste of bits and cycles at worst.
> I.e., the semantic Web already exists. :-)

Well, I tried to explain this, but apparently I was not clear enough.

The point is, I predict that there are going to be many years during which
the following
two statements hold:

1) There are AI's that can usefully extract the semantics from unstructured

2) Such AI's are very expensive to operate, requiring highly expensive
computing resources

Hence, there will be a benefit in having such an AI read a piece of text
*once*, outputting
the semantic information it has recognized IN A FORM THAT CAN THEN BE

In fact, the years during which my two statements hold *are now upon us*, in
the sense that there
exist relatively simple but computationally expensive NLP systems that can
usefully extract a lot
of information from unstructured text. LexiQuest, for example, is a firm
that markets such systems.

The current non-existence of the "semantic web" is therefore, in my view,
basically due to sociological
reasons rather than due to the contradictoriness or unproductivity of the

I.e., no one has created a business model founded on using
computationally-costly AI tools to mark up the
Web, and then allowing a variety of cheaper tools written by various people
to read these mark-ups. Which is too
bad because this would significantly increase the intelligence of the

-- Ben

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