Conjecture: Creating a Semantic Web

There are a number of distributed computing projects that use idle computers to help solve computational problems. (Seti@home is the most famous one that I’ve contributed to.)

I wonder why there aren’t any distributed projects that attempt to create a distributed semantic processing system. (Here’s a book that I’m putting on my to-read list.)

Unfortunately, I’m not even certain what a “distributed semantic processing system” would look like, or how it would perform. I imagine such a system would be able to provide correct answers to the following questions:

  • Does a fire cause pain?
  • Does a fire truck cause pain?
  • Does a camp fire cause pain?

But how the system would be designed and seeded with information, I presently have no idea.

I suspect that a true test of a semantic processing system would be its ability to respond to a silly question with a joke:

Question: Does a fire truck cause pain?
Answer: Only if it runs you over.

But that is mere conjecture.


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