POWERSET - Natural Language and the Semantic Web
The Semantic Web promises to revolutionize access to information by adding machine-readable semantic information to content which is normally interpretable only by people. In addition, it will also revolutionize access to services by adding semantic information to create machine-readable service descriptions. This ambitious vision has been slow to take off because of a chickenand egg problem. Markup is required before people will build applications, applications are required before it is worth the hard work of doing markup. Natural language processing (NLP) has advanced to the point where it can break the impasse and open up the possibilities of the Semantic Web. First, NLP systems can now automatically create annotations from unstructured text. This provides the data that semantic web applications require. Second, NLP systems are themselves consumers of semantic web information and thus provide economic motivation for people to create and maintain such information. For example, a new generation of natural language search systems, as illustrated by Powerset, can take advantage of semantic web markup and ontologies to augment their interpretation of underlying textual content. Theycan also expose semantic web services directly in response to natural language queries.