RIF and the Semantic Web (slides)

November 5, 2009

This morning, I gave the keynote address (my slides) at RuleML 2009. I assumed the audience would be fairly familiar with rule systems and rule technologies, but not necessarily with RIF, the Semantic Web in general, or my sense of the future of the Semantic Web (for which RIF is important).

Those slides may be boring for some of you. The interesting new bits:

  1. I made a new diagram for the RIF dialects. During the talk, I presented it as a successive reveal: the chaos of rule system features, the BLD grouping, the PRD grouping, and the Core intersection. Here’s the final slide:

    Venn diagram of rule system elements, grouped into RIF profiles

  2. I wanted to convey that the Semantic Web means real change, and I wanted emotional impact, so I took a shotgun approach and enumerated a list of likely data sources that was big enough to have some surprises for most folks; then I moved into a long list of things you could do with that data. Some things on the list were boring (having impact only by showing how long the list is), but some got the desired wide eyes and shocked sounds as people realized this just might happen. I think it went over well.

    My list of types of data we’ll be seeing:

    • From producers: product information
    • From sellers: product and service offerings
    • Customer support (instructions, upgrades, …)
    • Social network (who you trust, who interests you)
    • Personal information shared with friends
    • Public records (financial, legal, political, …)
    • Science (medical, environmental, economic, …)
    • News, Blogs, Public photos, videos
    • Event listings (performances, meetings)
    • Review, opinions, product experiences, preferences
    • Personal location, location history
    • Financial transactions

    Which led into my general scenario: you’re in a store about to buy something, but first you scan it with your phone and look up a little more information about it. What might you look up?

    • Its price at other stores, nearby
    • Its price for delivery, and how how long you’d have to wait
    • Maybe: where it was made, and under what conditions
    • Is it’s producer a good corporate citizen?
    • Does its producer agree with your political views (uh oh)
    • How many houses does its CEO own?
    • Did your spouse/housemate just buy some? Or something like it?
    • How your friends feel about this product
    • How Consumer Reports (or some such service) reviewed it
    • Product liability suits
    • Endorsements
    • Maybe: Payment for Endorsements
    • For electronics: compatibility information
    • For mechanical items: How repairable is it? MTTF, MTTR
    • For food: nutritional information, health benefits and risks
    • Demographics of this brand, these products

That’s all for now. I saw the Bellagio Fountain from my 29th floor
hotel room late last night, but I’d like to see it up close.

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