Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The New Semantic Web wave (1)

There’s (been) a lot of buzz about new Semantic Web and natural language tools the last couple of months (sometimes called 'web 3.0'...). News about Radar Network’s Twine, Metaweb’s Freebase, TrueKnowledge and Powerset. (I got my invite to Powerset the other day!)

This is very interesting. And I’m really curious whether these new apps will take us further than all the Semantic Web and natural language processing promises that were made in the nineties. Then semantic search was promoted and question answering, automatic summarization, etc. Semantic Web, language and speech technology was also hyped by companies like Lernout and Hauspie. After L&H came crashing down it seemed that natural language and speech technology turned quiet, was licking it’s wounds and looking for new approaches.

With this in mind I was surprised by the fact that there are several companies attempting to address this market again. And practically at the same time. I’m always curious how this can be. How is it possible that several companies in the world that are focusing on practically the same markets, all launch at practically the same time?

I’m preparing a couple of posts on this ‘new semantic wave’. I’m curious what it’s implication can be for our personal and business lives!

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