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   RE: Academia needed the Web (Re: Success factors for the Web andSemantic

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  • From: Bob Kline <bkline@rksystems.com>
  • To: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
  • Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 11:03:52 -0500 (EST)

On Wed, 27 Dec 2000, Joshua Allen wrote:

> >p.s. Even if we did build all of the Semantic Web infrastructure, it 
> >would fail, because site owners would falsify metadata to get higher 
> >search rankings -- if XML searches were popular, all of the porn sites 
> >would claim to be XML sites, etc. etc. 
>  That's a really important perspective.  Even in the real world,
> semantics are fuzzy, and there are people who make a living off of
> discovering opportunities for arbitrage.  When two lawyers battle it
> out, it's often a question of who can hack the semantics most
> effectively.  When there is money involved in machine-machine
> communications, there will be financial incentive to discover
> arbitrage, and the more complex and autonomous the semantic
> networks, the more opportunity for arbitrage without serious
> consequences. As it is today, B2B works because *people* agree on
> the semantics on a case-by-case basis.  Really important
> interactions are fiercely negotiated to eliminate all possible
> avenues of later semantic hacking. Would I bet my system against a
> greedy semantic hacker?  We can't even design a legal system that is
> detrministic and immune to semantic arbitrage, and the best we can
> do is a very human-intensive process.

Is arbitrage (which basically means buying something in one market and
selling it in another at a higher price) really the word you want here?  
I can think of quite a few other words which come closer to representing
the concept of dishonest manipulation of data for personal or corporate
gain ("fraud" comes to mind at the more cynical end of the spectrum),
but "arbitrage" seems an awkward fit, at best.

PS: Could you set your email user agent to omit the winmail.dat
attachment for postings to the mailing list?  Thanks!

Bob Kline


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