Saturday, April 12, 2008

The semantic web | Start making sense | Economist.com

A timely reality check; see the full article for details

The idea is that any website can send a jumble of text and code through Calais and receive back a list of “entities” that the system has extracted—mostly people, places and companies—and, even more importantly, their relationships. It will, for instance, be able recognise a pharmaceutical company's name and, on its own initiative, cross-reference that against data on clinical trials for new drugs that are held in government databases. Alternatively, it can chew up a thousand blogs and expose trends that not even the bloggers themselves were aware of.

The system is free to use, for Reuters' objective is to create a “clearinghouse of meaning” that financial-service companies will be able to exploit as a new type of search engine. How the firm will make money has yet to emerge, though selling insights gained from applying the system's own methods for Reuters' benefit is one possibility.

The semantic web | Start making sense | Economist.com

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