The Semantic Web and Artificial Intelligence

Although it is often misconstrued as giving computers and other technology the ability to understand human languages and process information from that, the semantic web actually only allows computers to assist “reading” the web so people can share content. Another invention by Tim Berners-Lee (the man who thought of transitioning the internet into the World Wide Web), the Semantic web can most simply be thought of as a way to make the World Wide Web readable. It gives machines such as personal computers and phones the right tools to find, exchange and to a small degree interpret information. While most web pages are made with HTML script, which allows computers to show or display hypertext, the semantic web depends on a common language amongst computers to allow other computers to understand the data.

The semantic web will allow computers to interpret documents and turn them into information by extracting it online. This may be done through many different techniques such as screen scraping or taking something that is only usable by humans and converting it into something that computers can understand.

It is easy to see why this might be seen as giving computers artificial intelligence, however the semantic web does not give computers the ability to use the information it collects or make them smarter, only the ability to collect information.


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