Published August 13, 2023 | Version v1
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We don't talk about Semantic Web Technologies - Presentation at ACS Fall 2023

  • 1. ROR icon University of Southampton


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  • 1. ROR icon University of Southampton


Presentation given by Dr Samantha P. Kanza on behalf of PSDI at ACS Fall 2023. Abstract: The Semantic Web was originally introduced as enabling "machines to interpret data with the same level of intelligence as a human being" with grand promises of an almost sentient web that could seamlessly link data together to produce insights and services beyond your wildest dreams. Fast forward 20 years and it's safe to say, that has not happened. However, that does NOT mean that the Semantic Web is without its uses, it has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and neglected with respect to nurturing its growth and enabling its potential. 

This talk will discuss how and why the Semantic Web can be useful but will also describe the current issues both in terms of the currently available Semantic Web Toolkit and the limitations of its technologies.

The Semantic Web holds a great deal of potential, in terms of interoperable data representation, the capacity to make inferences, providing context and meaning to data and enabling the use of AI/ML technologies on semantically rich datasets. However, there are several issues with these technologies. There is an over saturation of ontologies, and yet somehow when searching for viable ones to use within projects, the "let's just make a new one" option is often the solution, so what can we do to address this? Ontologies don't typically enable the representation of complex numerical data and seem better served to represent static rather than temporally changing data. Further, we are lacking in formal tools and methods to create linked data in the first place. These are just some of the issues and questions that will be addressed in this presentation, as we provide a whirlwind tour to the current state of Semantic Web Technologies.



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Physical Sciences Data Infrastructure (PSDI) Phase 1 Pilot EP/W032252/1
UK Research and Innovation
Physical Sciences Data Infrastructure Phase 1b EP/X032701/1
UK Research and Innovation
PSDI Phase 1b EP/X032663/1
UK Research and Innovation
Doctoral Training Centre in Web Science EP/G036926/1
UK Research and Innovation
Social Sciences, Social Data and the Semantic Web (S3W) ES/R009058/1
UK Research and Innovation


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