Semantics vs. A.I. (Is the Semantic Web really "Semantic?"­)

Get Ready for to get it all out on the table! What is the distinction between Artificial Intelligence and Semantic Web, Artificial Intelligence and Intuition, and where is it all going?

We'll be exploring these and many other questions. It looks to be a great discussion and an amazing panel.

The panelist are:

Jeff Pollock - Mr. Pollock is the author of Semantic Web for Dummies and is a Senior Director with Oracle’s Fusion Middleware group, responsible for management of Oracle’s data integration product portfolio. Mr. Pollock was formerly an independent systems architect for the Defense Department, Vice President of Technology at Cerebra and Chief Technology Officer of Modulant, developing semantic middleware platforms and inference-driven SOA platforms from 2001 to 2006.

Monica Anderson - Ms. Anderson is an artificial intelligence researcher who has been considering the problem of implementing computer based cognition since college. In 2001 she moved from using AI techniques as a programmer to trying to advance the field of "Strong AI" as a researcher. She is the founder of Syntience Inc., which was established to manage funding for her exploration of this field. Syntience is currently exploring a novel algorithm for language independent document comparison and classification. She organizes the Bay Area AI Meetup group.

At the 2007 Foresight Vision Weekend Unconference, Monica Anderson presented on the prospect of developing artificial intuition in computer hardware. Further talks are currently planned for delving into the technical details of the project and also exploring the Philosophy and Epistemology to support the theory. For more information on her see: http://artificial-int...
and http://videos.syntien... or http://artificial-int...



Dean Allemang
- Dr. Allemang has a formal background, with an MSc in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, England, and a PhD in Computer Science from The Ohio State University, USA. He was a Marshall Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. Dr. Allemang has taught classes in Semantic Web technologies since 2004, and has trained many users of RDF, and the Web Ontology Language OWL. He is a lecturer in the Computer Science Department of Boston University.

Dr. Allemang was also the Vice-President of Customer Applications at Synquiry Technologies, where he helped Synquiry's customers understand how the use of semantic technologies could provide measurable benefit in their business processes. He has filed two patents on the application of graph matching algorithms to the problems of semantic information interchange. In the Technology Transfer group at Swisscom (formerly Swiss Telecom) he co-invented patented technology for high-level analysis of network switching failures. He is a co-author of the Organization Domain Modeling (ODM) method, which addresses cultural and social obstacles to semantic modeling, as well as technological ones. He currently works for Top Quadrant, recently published Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist and has the blog S is for Semantics

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  • Randall Lee Reetz

    Two cheers for the moderator and his masterful taming of so complicated and impossibly large a survey domain space. The audience was well behaved despite the palpable tension of deeply held opinions and rhetorical leanings.

    February 18, 2010

  • Randall Lee Reetz

    This "survey" was better in concept than actuality. Though all three panelists were intelligent, informed, and represented a decent spread of positions, the implied dual between an AI purist and a couple of Semantic Web practical-ists played more like a cyclist and a baseball player debating the merits of tennis.

    I must expose my own leaning towards bottom up solutions (AI in this debate) and a sympathy with Monica's philosophy.

    I am more convinced than ever that the semantic web community is a business club looking for new markets and new ways to slice out a bit of career authority at the office. What else would explain the motivations of people so deeply embedded in computing, yet so eternally enthralled by so flawed and misdirected a program as the so-called "semantic web". Where is the architecture? The incentive and means to tag and embed metadata on the content side?

    Had questions been asked to expose the motivations of the participants, much could have been learned.

    February 18, 2010

  • alexander smirnov

    It was a too common

    February 17, 2010

  • Mike Hewett

    This started off slow but turned out to be a stimulating discussion of the issues.

    February 17, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent panel!

    February 17, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Two of the three speakers were worth listening to. One of them was a bit of a flake.

    February 17, 2010

  • Sandy Klausner

    No real debate, little understanding of the opposing view. The AI position was read off like there was no one else in the room and Monica dodged fundamental questions. The semantic web experts were clear on the limits of the W3C-based specifications with little new insight then what has been broadly discussed over the last several years, but could not "intelligently" debate her since the "model-free" AI architecture was never really explained nor put into a practical context for an alternative future computing infrastructure. Like Field of Dreams.

    February 17, 2010

  • Peter Berger

    The speakers were amazing and it was great to see so many new faces.

    February 17, 2010

  • Prasad Velagaleti

    When i RSVPed the second time, it said i was in waiting list. So, didnt attend.

    February 17, 2010

  • Vianney

    Interesting subject, but maybe too general? It was very interesting as a discussion, almost enlightening in a metaphysical way, I'm not sure what I took away from it though. The panelists were very different in style and opinion, and it brought a few surreal moments but definitely sparks and food for thought.

    February 16, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a great idea to set the meeting up in the form of a debate. Peter did a great job mc'ing the event and I got a lot out of it.
    Thanks to everyone involved in sharing the knowledge in their field of expertise and to the Hacker Dojo for hosting us.

    February 16, 2010

  • Sandy Klausner

    My take is that the merging of the Semantic Web and AI will require new architecture to provide contextual awareness:

    ? Numeric resource IDs to provide authentication and vital for execution performance across the Web,
    ? Community repositories to provide base ontologies to support concept harmonization,
    ? Topic maps distributed across the Web that mimic the function of a biological neural network,
    ? Software agent developed by domain experts to provide behaviors for inference processing.

    January 29, 2010

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