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   Re: [xml-dev] Statistical vs "semantic web" approaches to making senseof

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On Thu, 24 Apr 2003 14:54:09 +0200, Danny Ayers <danny666@virgilio.it> 

> The factor I think that has most relevance to your post (though I've not
> read the links yet)  is that it's not an either/or situation. I 
> personally
> believe that the web will start getting *really* useful when the explicit
> (semweb) and implicit (Google) meet.

Right.  My knee-jerk "it's metacrap!!!" reaction to the Semantic Web 
visionaries over the last couple of years has recently  been tempered by 
the thought that Google-like or Autonomy-ish things might be harnessed to 
do the categorizing, ontologizing, marking-up, etc. that humans can do but 
simply won't.  Or that a tiny subset of people who can think at 5 levels of 
abstraction above the norm can do, perhaps, but it's pointless to ask Joe 
Weblackey to even attempt. I can definitely see a role for standards along 
the lines of RDF, OWL, etc. so that the bots doing the semantic harvesting 
can share their work and make it readily useful to clients.

I just find it interesting that there seem to be two routes to the 
"semantic web" functionality, one via RDF/ontologies/metadata, and the 
other via the kinds of things that Google and Autonomy do.  So far the 
latter approach seems to be yielding useful results much faster than the 
former, but it it's very interesting to think about how they could be used 

> A question - do you think Google takes note of the title of documents it 
> indexes?

AFAIK, no.  Is that a trick question :-)  <title> is a classic example of 
metacrap that web page authors don't consistently make much sensible use 
of, and thus Google doesn't bother with, would be my guess.


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