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Introduction to the Semantic Web & IoT

Watch Professor Les Carr and Professor Susan Halford give a brief introduction to the Semantic Web and the Internet of Things.
PROFESSOR LES CARR: But there’s still more to unpack. The ideas behind the semantic Web, and the Web of data that we’ve been researching for a decade or more. The idea that you can put knowledge into the Web, rather than just documents.
PROFESSOR SUSAN HALFORD: That’s right. And I think that’s a distinction that many people might find– I know I found really difficult at first to get my head around what that actually meant. But of course, what we have now with the world wide Web is we have a system of information sharing where we jump from one document to another. The primary category, if you like, of the Web is the document, and all that may be about to change. It may be that in 10 year’s time, instead of a Web of documents, we have a Web of data, and the primary category, the thing that we’re jumping between is information about particular people, or particular things.
And the Web will be able to, or computational tools will be able to search that Web of data and find not lists of pages which happen to have the right word in them, which is what Google effectively is doing at the moment, but will be able to give us answers, because there will be machine reasoning that’s searching that data, and looking for particular entities. Les Carr, or Southampton, or Web science, and giving us answers. As a sociologist I think I might question what those answers are, because of course they still produced by coding, by software.
There’s still some human reasoning behind all of that, and I think it’s really, really important as we move towards the Web of data we keep a really critical politics about that data, and that we understand how the Web is being produced, and don’t just take it for granted.
LES CARR: So the future is merging, but there are other areas that are coming online as well, not just about computers talking to computers, but about the internet of things. And you may have heard all these tales about fridges being on the Web, and being able to do things, and send messages. But all of our household appliances– there’s a lot of effort involved in trying to make the things that we use every day part of the network so that we can use them intelligently. So this will be a big new thing for the Web.

In this video, Les and Susan introduce the Semantic Web and the Internet of Things by talking about how we are moving from a Web of documents to a Web of data and what implications this has for Web Science research.

The following three steps examine the Semantic Web and the Internet of Things in greater depth.

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