Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Usability Barrier

At the AAAI conference in Boston, Peter Norvig of Google raised a concern about the Semantic Web to Tim Berners-Lee. The concern has primarily to do with ease of use.

We're not going to have a smarter Web until and unless the new tools are easy enough to use. Until then, we'll have Web 2.0, as described here. As Zombini explains, these Web 2.0 technologies already have semantic qualities, but they are held back by "using older, more limited technologies because of our lack of understanding and desire to learn complex new languages."

Cyc Foundation Update

A lot has been happening at the Cyc Foundation, even though nothing has been happening with this blog. Some folks have expressed confusion over where to go for Cyc Foundation information. People who want to get their hands dirty and participate can just email me (johnd at cycfoundation.org). Tell me a little about yourself and why your interested, and we'll add you to the mailing list and get you access to the wiki.

Better yet, we now have a server that is operational. So, the logical next step will be to put up a website. We're working on it, along with several other projects.

  • We're making an application that will let people (and some background programs) determine links between Wikipedia article titles and Cyc concept terms. This will grow the Cyc ontology and provide a way to access Wikipedia content semantically.
  • We're getting ready to publish the Cyc ontology as a Semantic Web resource, with one URI per concept.
  • We're creating REST Web services for easy access to create, read, update, delete and query Cyc concepts, facts and rules.

Further descriptions of all of these are available on the members-only Wiki and will also be available on the website.