Friday 9th September, 2011
3:00pm to 4:00pm
The talk reflects on the value and potential of social networks, interlinked data, semantic web and data-mining. At the same time I would like to elicit new research directions, which are only enabled by the sheer mass of data, sensors, facts, reports, opinions and inter-linkage of people. There are a number of information requests that traditional web services can cover well: best route from A to B, opening times of theatre plays, book reviews given a snapshot of a book cover, extensive and competent wikipedia articles on virtually every aspect of our lives. We can hardly imagine a world that does not offer these web services, which have complemented traditional methods of resource discovery, say, in libraries. It is quite possible that automated processing of excessive amounts of data paired with new methods of semantic web, information retrieval, human information interaction, social networks, and cloud computing opens up novel and unprecedented areas of knowledge discovery: What are the prospects of wikiversities? Will search and inference engines built at TrueKnowledge and Wolfram Alpha be in a position to answer all complex questions that have factual answers? Will automated mechanisms or social network activity be able to answer questions for the scientific evidence for global warming? What can we learn by computers being able to read 1 million books? Or watch the news of thousands of television channels in 100 countries for that matter?
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