The Return of the Semantic Web?

The death of the semantic web has long been trumpeted by its critics – however due to the rise of data driven organizations, it is now possible it is the next wave of technology to sweep the industry. 

The Semantic Web was a term coined by Tim Berners Lee, and was designed to be an extension to HTML to allow the web to be machine readable. However the version that is likely to be used by technologists will be far away from Berners-Lee’s dream of intelligent agents roaming the web and fetching information from the semantic web – the version that is likely to be used is for data-centric tasks within the enterprise.

Modern enterprises are data driven or at least that this is the claim made by many modern organizations, and that their value is buried away in their data assets. Data tends to be holed-up in separate data sources with the meaning (or semantic value) of the data locked away in the user’s head – or in some long forgotten word document or wiki. There tends to be no effort made in encoding meaning into metadata or schema descriptions. Worse still data can be dumped into data lakes and forgotten about.

Many data professionals are now realizing the limitations of the current data discovery tools, and therefore there is likely to be a demand for the functionality that Semantic Web technologies offer. The more companies rely upon data for their decisions and products; the more there will be a need for accurate meta-data that fits in an organization wide schema.

The need for such technologies have already found themselves industry specific use cases such as the supply chain – which as they have become more complicated and interwoven; secure and logically consistent data sharing will be required. And as a nod to the utopian dream of Berners-Lee, organizations will need to have access data derived from the web and public APIs. 
As I believe that the Semantic Web is on the cusp of the same adoption that Deep Learning was in 2010 – I have started this blog to explain and publicize certain semantic technologies, as well as highlighting news and scientific papers, and on occasion I write an opinion piece.

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