Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Web 4.0

In one of my earlier post about What is beyond Web 3.0, I did mention that after Web 3.0 it is going to be Web 4.0? I also mentioned there that Web 4.0 will be about man-machine communication. There have been few discussions since then as what is the meaning of man-machine communication and how different it is going to be in future.

Before we discuss this lets take a look at what is been done so far.
  • Web 1.0 Theme was You. You produce content, You manage the server, You are the producer and I am the consumer.
  • Web 2.0 Theme is We. Lets discuss, Lets interact, Lets build our network. In this both the parties actively participate.
  • Web 3.0 Theme is Me. Its all about ME, my Environment(s), my personal space, people who can see me etc. We are talking about personalizing the Web (and Internet) to suit our individual needs.
So the question arises here is what is left for Web 4.0 to achieve. Well as I mentioned earlier it is all about Intuitive Man-Machine communication. The communication is not just via the command mode, but its based on the thought process generated within us. Sounds like a Science-Fiction isn't it? Well to your surprise many pieces of this puzzle are already in place. Its just that we need to start putting them together and tweaking them to suit each others need. How are we going to change human? We don't have to, thats the best part of this.

The Sigularity Institute is working on similar research projects for advancement in Artificial Intelligence. But that's not the whole point here. That just solves one side of the problem i.e. making machine understand the language. But we humans must have a way to translate our thoughts into that form.

I am sure many of us must have heard or gone through ECG test sometime in our life. We all know what it does. My thought of building such a communication channel starts from ECG sensors fitted to human body when Wearable Computer becomes a common man thing. Using those sensors we can capture the signals generated by human. The generated signals then will be converted to Bluetooth signal by attaching a small device to the computer we wear. We can pair the human bluetooth device with the computer (machine) and establish a communication channel between them.

Of course there will be requirements to build interpreters which will translate the ECG signals to appropriate software code and vice versa. Did I say vice-versa? Yes I mean it. Recent studies in medical sciences have proven that if we generate the similar impulse in our brain we get the same muscles stimulated as though it is happening in front of our eyes. Watch the movie "What the Bleep Do We Know" and you will understand what I am talking here.

Sounds like a whole new channel opening. Well this is going to be the future of communication. I am going to come back with some more thoughts on this and other related technologies.

Until Next Time... :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Need of a Common Ontology

With lots of talks around about Semantic Web, one thing that stands out among all the terminologies used is Ontology. In my earlier post, What is Ontology, I touched upon the basics of Ontology and discussed only the basics of it. Towards the end of the post I proposed to build a common Ontology Server.

While reading Guizzardi and Guarino and after understanding about ontology in bit detail. I went back to read Knowledge Representation (John F Sowa) Chapter 2. But in this process what come out is a belief that if the Semantic Web is to become a reality and ubiquitous then we must have a common way to represent the entities. Which brings back to the need of a Common Ontology Server.

Going via the definition of Ontology given by the philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine the fundamental question of Ontology is "What is There?" and the answer which came back is "Everything". Now if something has to accommodate everything then it has to be be designed to keep every other interpretation of entities in this world.

Then the question arises is: Do we Really Need a Common Ontology?
Before we answer this question, we must ask what we will be loosing if we don't have a common ontology? In absence of a common ontology we might not be able to represent an entity in an uniform way. Uniform way here means by following a common structure and pattern. The rule layer (as part of Semantic Web stack) will not be able to operate properly. This in-turn will make other processing complex and tedious.

In search of solution I came across the paper "Discovering Semantic Web services with and without a Common Ontology Commitment. Jorge Cardoso. Proceedings of the IEEE Services Computing Workshops (SCW'06), 2006". This paper talked about the discovery of semantic web services without having a common ontology to represent them. But then there are few limitations of this methodology as well and it is not suitable for the original vision of Semantic Web.

I will keep working on it and see what I come across next. If you have any thoughts on this drop me a line and I will be happy to hear from you on this.

Until Next Time...:)