In order to understand digital financial reporting one needs to understand the capabilities of semantic technologies. The document Web 3.0 Manifesto: How Semantic Technologies in Products and Services Will Drive Breakthroughs in Capability, User Experience, Performance, and Life Cycle Value, written by Mills Davis, provides a good explanation of semantic technologies.
The entire document is worth reading. Page 4 of the document provides this concise explanation of what is meant by semantic technologies:
What are Semantic Technologies?
Semantic technologies are digital tools that represent
meanings and knowledge (e.g., knowledge of something,
knowledge about something, and knowledge how to do
something, etc.) separately from content or behavior artifacts
such as documents, data files, and program code.
This knowledge is encoded in a digital form that both
people and machines can access and interpret.
The basic shift in information and communications technology
that is occurring now is from information-centric
to knowledge-centric patterns of computing.
This is made possible by the application of semantic
technologies and open standards that enable people and
machines to connect, evolve, share, and use knowledge
on an unprecedented scale and in new ways that make
our experience of the internet better. Not restricted just
to current Semantic Web standards, the next stage of internet
evolution will encompass a broad range of knowledge
representation and reasoning capabilities including
microformats, semantic html, pattern detection, deep
linguistics, ontology and model based inferencing, analogy
and reasoning with uncertainties, conflicts, causality,
Semantic technologies will sometimes be used to bolt on additional capabilities onto existing applications and processes. But semantic technologies will also enable applications and processes to be completely re-thought and re-created. In other words; sure, semantic technologies will create some incremental changes but more likely than not they will be creating paradigm shifts.
These ideas can be hard to understand if you don't understand how a computer works. It is just as much a mistake to under-estimate what computers can do as it is to over-estimate what computers can do. I have summarized what I have learned about how computers work in the document, Knowledge Engineering Basics for Accounting Professionals. None of these are my ideas. All I have done is figure out the pieces to the puzzle and try and organize those pieces as best as I can in order to understand how all the pieces fit together. The primary purpose was for me to understand how to make digital financial reporting work.
This video, The Future Internet: Service Web 3.0, is helpful.
This video, Intro to the Semantic Web, is helpful.
This video, The Next 5000 days of the web, is helpful. It points out that the internet is really one machine and the devices we have are windows into that single machine. In 5000 days the web will not be "only better", it will be something different.
This video, "Why the Sematic Web Won't Work", is helpful because it explains WAY certain things do not work and what DOES work.
This book, Systematic Introduction to Expert Systems: Knowledge Representations and Problem Solving Methods, helps you understand expert systems.