NYT Markoff: Web 3.0 = AI + Web 2.0

November 11th, 2006

NYT reporter John Markoff has a story in tomorrow’s Times on Web 3.0, envisioned as the infusion of AI techniques and capabilities into the current Web. In Entrepreneurs See a Web Guided by Common Sense, he discusses attempts to make Web applications and services smarter:

From the billions of documents that form the World Wide Web and the links that weave them together, computer scientists and a growing collection of start-up companies are finding new ways to mine human intelligence. Their goal is to add a layer of meaning on top of the existing Web that would make it less of a catalog and more of a guide — and even provide the foundation for systems that can reason in a human fashion. That level of artificial intelligence, with machines doing the thinking instead of simply following commands, has eluded researchers for more than half a century.

The article mentions stealth mode startups Radar Networks and Metaweb as well as IBM’s Web Fountain and Cyc.

Sadly, the article is pretty much content free from a technology perspective. The Semantic Web is mentioned, but almost in passing, for example.

Both Radar Networks and Metaweb have their roots in part in technology development done originally for the military and intelligence agencies. Early research financed by the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency predated a pioneering call for a semantic Web made in 1999 by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web a decade earlier.

We should have invited John to come to Athens. Maybe we can get him to Vancouver for the AI and the Web track at AAAI-07.