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Project10X: Power of Strong Semantics

Project10X's Semantic Wave Report: Industry Roadmap to Web 3.0 & Multibillion Dollar Market Opportunities (this is a 34 page executive summary) lays out a vision for what "the web" will become/is becoming.

Things like XBRL, the US GAAP and IFRS taxonomies, and the move by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and others to XBRL-based digital financial reports contributes to moving toward the Project10X vision. However, we are only getting started.

The Project10X executive summary, which I strongly encourage you to read, talks about things like "semantic user experience" and "semantic applications" and "semantic infrastructure". That summary and this Prezi presentation Semantics Overview provides graphic "From Searching to Knowing - Spectrum of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning Capabilities".  The graphic is shown below (click on it to see a larger version).  On the graphic I have made some annotations specific to XBRL, the US GAAP and IFRS taxonomies, and how those taxonomies will change, moving from "weak semantics" towards "strong semantics":

If you look at the graphic and notice terms such as semantics, modelER model, topic map, RDF, UML, OWL, conceptual model, syntactic interoperability, semantic interoperability, and such that I have been mentioning on this blog for a number of years.

I could not have told you the difference between syntax and semantics seven years ago.  But I learned. Most people have a vision of the US GAAP and IFRS taxonomy as little more than a glossary or list of terms.  That will change over time.

Back to terms like "semantic applications". The Prezi uses the term "Smart Applications" and "Smart Data".  They describe this as:

  • Knowledge is baked into the application
  • New knowledge can be inferred
  • Agility to adapt to ever-changing conditions
  • Semi-automated data integration
  • Machine intelligence

Maybe these are just buzz words, people trying to communicate ideas which are hard to explain.  But, the disclosure management systems being built will work this way.

There will be no magic involved here. The key to this semantic technology is the representation of knowledge in forms which both people and computers can understand.  Knowledge about how to do things, knowledge about something, etc.  Again, no magic.

In that chart above, my knowledge and imagination can only get me about half way up that graphic, about to the area of "First Order Logic".  But, I am learning more and more by going down the right path, realizing that we are building models rather than "tagging financial information".  Others are also realizing that "tagging" is not what should be going on.

Web 3.0 is not only inevitable, it is imminent. Are you doing the right things to prepare?

Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 07:51AM by Registered CommenterCharlie in | CommentsPost a Comment

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