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"Mom needs to see a specialist and then has to have a series of physical therapy sessions. Biweekly or something. I'm going to have my agent set up the appointments."
At the doctor's office, Lucy instructed her Semantic Web agent through her handheld Web browser. The agent promptly retrieved information about Mom's prescribed treatment from the doctor's agent, looked up several lists of providers, and checked for the ones in-plan for Mom's insurance within a 20-mile radius of her home and with a rating of excellent or very good on trusted rating services. It then began trying to find a match between available appointment times (supplied by the agents of individual providers through their Web sites)....
Pete (Lucy's brother) and Lucy could use their agents to carry out all these tasks thanks not to the World Wide Web of today but rather the Semantic Web that it will evolve into tomorrow. Most of the Web's content today is designed for humans to read, not for computer programs to manipulate meaningfully. Computers can adeptly parse Web pages for layout and routine processing—here a header, there a link to another page—but in general, computers have no reliable way to process the semantics: this is the home page of the Hartman and Strauss Physio Clinic, this link goes to Dr. Hartman's curriculum vitae.
The Semantic Web will bring structure to the meaningful content of Web pages, creating an environment where software agents roaming from page to page can readily carry out sophisticated tasks for users.
The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.
The Semantic Web, in naming every concept simply by a URI, lets anyone express new concepts that they invent with minimal effort. Its unifying logical language will enable these concepts to be progressively linked into a universal Web. This structure will open up the knowledge and workings of humankind to meaningful analysis by software agents, providing a new class of tools by which we can live, work and learn together.
- "The Semantic Web: A new form of Web content that is meaningful to computers will unleash a revolution of new possibilities," Tim Berners-Lee http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/, James Hendler http://www.cs.umd.edu/~hendler/ and Ora Lassila http://www.lassila.org/, Scientific American.com http://www.scientificamerican.com/, May 17, 2001 http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?articleID=00048144-10D2-1C70-84A9809EC588EF21&catID=2
File Name: berners-lee_hendler_lassila20010517 (4,393 words)
Post Date: March 13, 2005 at 6:05 AM CST; 1205 GMT