A Primer In Semantic Technologies

Alex Iskold, founder and CEO of our portfolio company Adaptive Blue, wrote this on Read Write Web yesterday. It’s a great primer on semantic web technologies and the companies that are working in the sector, including Adaptive Blue.

As always, I encourage you to read the comments to his post. Some great discussion in there.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. awilensky

    Alex always omits Openlink when discussing infrastructure and tools. I’m not shilliing for Openlink or Kingsley Idehen, but glossing over that company, in business since the client server days, and now a prime mover in semantic databases, is like omitting Oracle froma discussion of Relational Databases. They are one prime target for acquisition.

  2. efliv

    Thanks Fred,I’ve been meaning to catch up on this topic and the post was a great introduction. It also prompted this question:Ignoring enterprise applications and assuming semantic search techniques are not enough to make a significant dent in Google’s monopoly, do you see any other *consumer-related* opportunities in the semantic web, apart from the “contextual technologies” mentioned in the post?-Eddie

    1. fredwilson

      Well our investment in adaptive blue is one such opportunity

  3. ethanbauley

    my brain just explodedalex’s article was like a 8 course mealor maybe like eating 10 pieces of fried chiken covered in gravy- ethan

  4. AnujMathur

    As with all primer’s, they by nature trade away accuracy for summarization. Specifically, I refer to to section 5 “Search Technologies”.The author states “Perhaps the first significant blow to the Semantic Web has been the inability thus far to improve search. The premise that semantical understanding of pages leads to vastly better search has yet to be validated.”1) Semantic Search and the Semantic Web are two completely different concepts. Semantic Search is a method of search, incoporating semantic technology. The Semantic Web is a separate concept altogether (http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…. Riza Berkan, CEO of hakia, addresses this point in the company’s blog: http://blog.hakia.com/?p=262. * Full Disclosure: I am a Director of hakia.2) The author operates under the presupposition that current popular search techniques are superior providers of relevancy. I would argue that current technologies are sufficient in many (but not all) scenarios for popular 1 or 2 word search queries. However, complex / unpopular queries will be far better served through analysis of the query (i.e. understanding what is being asked) vs. a keyword- and popularity-based analysis (i.e. if its complex / unpopular, the popularity piece doesn’t really help, and all you’re getting is keyword search).This aside – semantic search is an iteration in the progression of search technology. It is left to be seen how impactful of an iteration it will be, as it is in its early stages.