Online Intelligence, the Future and the Global Mind: Dreaming of a Semantic Web is my recently written analytical exploration into the social, technical, theoretical and conceptual basis of the Semantic Web. Completed in March, 2007 – as the final year dissertation – it contributed toward my undergraduate degree earning a First with Honours and distinction.

It has been recently been requested for collection alongside other dissertations from Bournemouth University of related topics, which is yet to be confirmed.

The following is the thesis’ Abstract, any interest, or if you even want to attempt to read the thing, should be directed to marchibbins at gmail dot com.

This thesis is an exploration into the conceptualised world of the Semantic Web – a theorised vision of ubiquitous, infinitely connected intelligence and information, completely understood by machines to facilitate humans’ intuitive and pervasive access to a galaxy of rich and meaningful data on the Web.

Firstly investigating the Semantic dream of Tim Berners-Lee from the very conception of the World Wide Web, this dissertation examines the technological and design rationale of the proposed Semantic framework and its projected integration with the current Web infrastructure. It airs the integral debates and foremost criticism surrounding the topic, illuminating the concerns and principle ideas of some of the leading voices of the Semantic Web community.

It reflects the Semantic Web in a social context, not only considering the effects of the new Social Web phenomenon and paradigm, but the significance of the technologies popularised by its growth. It explores how emergent models of categorisation and classifying information stand to fundamentally alter the way in which we consume online content – how already we are seeing shifts in our ideas of authority, intelligence and trust, forecasting further changes by applying sociological schools of thought to modern technological ideas.

Ultimately contemplating what forces are required for our society to accept the Semantic environment and what technological efforts are being made to establish its model, recognising the Web is very much in its infancy in the long-term and the success it has enjoyed until now is far smaller than that of which the Semantic Web, for at least the next generation, can bring.

Throughout my research I collected a large amount of material using Delicious, view my bookmarks here.

Any Semantic Web-related blog post I write are all collated here.

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