On accasion of the upcoming 4th International Conference on Semantic and Digital Media Technologies (SAMT ’09) from December 2 – 4, 2009 in Graz/Austria, Werner Bailer from Joanneum Research gave us a short interview about state of the art in multimedia semantics. When asked about the Multimedia and the Semantic Web he says:
There have been a number of proposals for multimedia ontologies and mappings of multimedia vocabularies (cf. the excellent report from the W3C MM Semantics XG), differing in complexity and expressivity. Thus the W3C has chartered a working group to develop an ontology and API for multimedia content on the Web. The group is developing a lightweight core set of metadata properties and an API specification for accessing these properties, which may come from metadata documents in different standards. Thus mappings to many relevant standards have also been specified. The set of metadata properties will be formalized for interoperability with the Semantic Web. A W3C recommendation is expected in 2010.
Read the full interview here.
In recent days – here at Semantic Web Company – we have had a lot of discussions on how the future of the Semantic Web (name it Web3.0 if you like) will develop. Several stakeholders on the future of the Semantic Web see already, that also a potential danger will come along with the technical realisation of the web3.0: This is the present possibility to create applications and mashups with semantic technologies that are a real drain on privacy and information ethics. Without an underpinning discussion about the ethical framework within technolgies like linked data, text-mining, biometric-systems and geo-systems in combination with the web of data, the whole domain is in danger to be doomed like genetic engineering some years ago.
It’s crucial for the public opinion on the Semantic Web, to adress the immanent risks regarding privacy and ethics. In this context I’ll see also Tim Berners-Lee‘s statement yesterday: “W3C wants to help make sure data use is appropriate,” he said. Berners-Lee, who is director of W3C, said in an interview on Wednesday that the teams working on the Semantic Web project are making sure that privacy principles are included in its architecture: “The Semantic Web project is developing systems which will answer where data came from and where it’s going to — the system will be architectured for a set of appropriate uses.”
Maybe it’s an important step in keeping the further development of Semantic Web trusty in the eyes of public opinion, that the W3C has privacy and information ethics on their agenda and persons like Berners-Lee stand with their reputation for it. But it is also crucial to build this awareness on the corporate side. Only if everyone within the domain follows a common ethic understanding we have a public opinion, which is on the future potential of the Semantic Web, and not in fear of the same.