Natural Language Processing As a Foundation of the Semantic Web
Natural Language Processing as a Foundation of the Semantic Web argues that Natural Language Processing (NLP) does, and will continue to, underlie the Semantic Web (SW), including its initial construction from unstructured sources like the World More...
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Natural Language Processing as a Foundation of the Semantic Web argues that Natural Language Processing (NLP) does, and will continue to, underlie the Semantic Web (SW), including its initial construction from unstructured sources like the World Wide Web, in several different ways, and whether its advocates realise this or not. Chiefly, it argues, such NLP activity is the only way up to a defensible notion of meaning at conceptual levels based on lower level empirical computations over usage. The claim being made is definitely not logic-bad, NLP-good in any simple-minded way, but that the SW will be a fascinating interaction of these two methodologies, like the WWW (which, as the authors explain, has been a fruitful field for statistical NLP research) but with deeper content. Only NLP technologies (and chiefly information extraction) will be able to provide the requisite resource description framework (RDF) knowledge stores for the SW from existing WWW (unstructured) text databases, and in the vast quantities needed. There is no alternative at this point, since a wholly or mostly hand-crafted SW is also unthinkable, as is a SW built from scratch and without reference to the WWW. It is also assumed here that, whatever the limitations on current SW representational power drawn attention to here, the SW will continue to grow in a distributed manner so as to serve the needs of scientists, even if it is not perfect. The WWW has already shown how an imperfect artefact can become indispensable.
Yorick Wilks is Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sheffield and a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. He is a Fellow of the American and European Associations for Artificial Intelligence, and a member of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) College of Computing. He is the permanent UK member of the International Committee on Computational Linguistics that runs COLING, the worldï¿½s major biennial conference. His doctorate at Cambridge was in metaphysical argument, and before Sheffield and Oxford he researched and taught at Cambridge, Stanford, Edinburgh, Essex, and New Mexico State Universities. He has worked on major Government MT projects in the EU (Eurotra) and the US (Pangloss) and was for many years a US Government consultant on the evaluation of MT systems. In 1997 a team working with his design won the Loebner Prize in New York for the best computer conversationalist of the year. He has been a founder, editor or on the Editorial Board of many journals, including the eponymous Journal of Machine Translation. He has written some seven books in the area of Artificial Intelligence and language, published by Routledge. Kluwer, Ablex, Springer and MIT and Cambridge University Presses, the most recent being "Electric Words" (MIT Press, with Louise Guthrie and Brian Slator) and "Artificial Believers" (Ablex, with Afzal Ballim). He is currently the Coordinator of the 13meuro, 4 year, 15 site, European Commission Integrated Project COMPANIONS (see http://www.nlp.shef.ac.uk/companions/) that seeks to develop intelligent, personalized, permanent, conversational interfaces to the Internet.Wilks was awarded the Antonio Zampolli prize by the European Language Resources Association in 2008.nbsp;nbsp;This prize is given to individuals whose work lies within the areas of Language Resources and Language Technology Evaluation with acknowledged contributions to their advancements.nbsp; He was also the recipient of an ACL Life Achievement Award at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics this year.nbsp;