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10. The Semantic Web: A Cocktail Discussion > An Evolutionary Revolution?

An Evolutionary Revolution?

Let’s start out by dissecting the term “semantic web.” Given that the Web is all about sharing information and that a working definition of semantics is “enough meaning to result in an action,”[62] it’s not a very big leap to deduce that the semantic web is mostly about representing knowledge in a very meaningful way. But let’s take that one step further and not assume that it’s a human who is consuming the information that’s represented. Let’s consider the possibilities that could be realized if information were shared in a fully machine-understandable way—a way that is unambiguous enough that a reasonably sophisticated user agent like a web robot could extract, interpret, and use the information to make important decisions. Some steps have been made in this direction: for instance, we discussed how microformats already make this possible for certain domains in Chapter 2, and in Chapter 9 we looked at how Facebook is aggressively bootstrapping an explicit graph construct into the Web with its Open Graph protocol. But before we get too pie-in-the-sky, let’s back up for just a moment and reflect on how we got to where we are right now.


  

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