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Semantic technologies as an investment opportunity


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  • 1. Semantic Technologies (Semantic Web + Web 2.0 + mobile Web) as an investment opportunity A talk by Yannis Kalfoglou at Thursday, 18 th October 2007
  • 2. Overview
    • Opportunity briefing
      • Semantic Web, Web 2.0, mobile Web technologies
        • Benefits, application areas, possibilities
    • Landscape and market exploration
      • Market analysis
      • Market population demographics
      • Narrowing down to niche areas
    • Proposition and timing
      • Combining the strengths of SW, Web 2.0, mobile Web
      • Timing
    • Initial considerations
      • Early explorers
    • Issues
  • 3. Opportunity briefing Semantic Web, Web 2.0, mobile Web
    • Semantic Web
      • (towards) an infrastructure made up of representation languages, communication protocols, access controls & authentication services for coordinated sharing of knowledge across particular domain-oriented applications – link to the layer cake?
      • (vision) turning the web into a globally distributed knowledge base where software agents will assist in most, if not all, tasks of information management
    • Web 2.0
      • enabling technologies for mass participation in social networking activities on the Web
      • range of supporting technologies (AJAX, wikis, tagging, bloging, etc.)
      • no centralised control, no agreed vocabularies, “wisdom of the clouds” (collective intelligence)
      • Leverage UGC (user generated content)
    • mobile Web
      • Use mobile devices (mostly phones, PDAs) to access the internet while on the road
      • Email, e-shopping, news reading, location based services
    3/10 Opportunity Landscape Proposition Initial considerations Issues
  • 4. Opportunity briefing technological advantages, business opportunities
    • Semantic Web
      • automatic interpretation of documents without human intervention
      • unleash information currently hidden in documents (.doc, .xls, .ppt, etc.)
      • Integration of large quantities of data and the possibility of inference across them
      • TBL quote: “ the most exciting discoveries will come from the serendipitous combination and integration of data drawn from diverse sources.” [ecomonist, 2007]
    • Web 2.0
      • Channel communication platform vs. 2-way (email, IM)
      • User in charge of content (generation, consumption)
      • Communal effort, community setting (folksonomies), non-specialist skills
      • Massive global audience (50+ MUsers)
    • mobile Web
      • ubiquitous computing
      • serendipity of information
      • Location and context aware services
      • Tele-presence and situation awareness opportunities
    4/10 Opportunity Landscape Proposition Initial considerations Issues
  • 5. Landscape & market market size, dynamics, population
    • predications
      • by 2012, 70% of public web pages will include some level of semantic mark-up [Gartner, 2007]
      • R&D for semantic technology will be $8.5B worldwide (2010) [Davies, 2006]
      • Growth in semantic technologies worldwide: from $2.1B (2006) to $54B (2010) [Davies, 2007]
      • Web 2.0 annual growth: 42% through 2011 [Gartner, 2007]
      • 17B mobile devices on the internet by 2015 [IDC, 2005]
      • Demographics: up to 30% of EU working population will be directly involved in the production and diffusion of knowledge [EU, 2004]
    • Dynamics & population ethnography
      • semantic web community
      • Computational semantics (linguistics)
      • Applications of semantics
        • Search
        • Tagging/annotation
      • Interoperability & integration
      • Academic & industrial R&D groups (U.Maryland, U.Southampton, U.Manchester, HP/Jena, IBM/???, etc)
      • Early start-ups (put slide here with the icons of all players)
      • Big players and selective early investments (Oracle 10e/g RDF, IBM Websphere, Google analytics (?), Microsoft scholarly scientific community)
      • Web 2.0 market? Analysis? Players? (youtube, facebook, myspace, wikipedia, etc.
      • Mobile web: orange, vodafone, motorola, nokia (big) changing worlds, volantis (niche) pikeo + others from the slide (startups)
    • leading academic & industrial labs
      • U.Southampton (ontologies, 3stores, agents), U.Manchester (ontologies, DLs), U.Maryland (ontologies, tools), U.Sheffield (HLT), U.Stanford (Protégé), etc., HP Labs (Jena), IBM ??? (IODE?),
    • Leading early adopters
      • TopQuadrant, OntoPrise, ???
    5/10 Opportunity  Landscape Proposition Initial considerations Issues
  • 6. Landscape & market niche areas
    • syndication, mobile assistant
      • Example areas: (1) estate agents property information aggregator (area and post code information, house prices sold, advertised, etc. info from public sector info, etc) in a web 2.0 style (syndication of other estate agents) and mobile devices enabled (due to mobility constraints of the job – property viewings)
      • Mobile-handheld market, example:
      • Similar: (2) handheld supermarket scanners – currently, used only for price checking and quicker check out, but can also be used for advertising (RFID enabled shelves), for guidance (knowing my preferences – stored profile), semantics used to communicate my preferences, etc.
        • Niche vertical markets:
      • (3) semantically enhanced web applications for certain vertical markets: law business (intelligent integration and aggregation of information – semantic annotation of legislation, etc.), free patents database and how to use it in a distributed environment (use of semantic mark-up to deliver the right patent information to the right people (when searching for competitors patterns)
    6/10 Opportunity  Landscape Proposition Initial considerations Issues
  • 7. Proposition & timing combining SW, Web 2.0 and mobile
    • Use semantic technologies (from semantic hypertext to OWL) in a Web 2.0 style (enable and encourage UGC and social networking – attract a large audience) in a mobile market (17bn devices by 2015, more mobile devices than PCs)
    • SW:
      • Established infrastructure, expertise mass (?), standards, tools, languages, etc, in the radar of big players
    • Web 2.0
      • Establishing social computing technology, penetrates corporate IT, attracts zillions of users, massive content generation/consumption, relatively cheap and deployable at global scale
    • Mobile:
      • Mobility requirements, pervasive computing, hamornisation with mobile telephony, penetration to emerging markets
    7/10 Opportunity  Landscape  Proposition Initial considerations Issues
  • 8. Proposition & timing timely opportunity
    • why now - SW
      • Early maturity, exploratory phase completed, infrastructure in place to see large scale commercial applications
      • Initial lessons learnt
      • Research prototypes showing potential virgin areas
    • Web 2.0
      • Established and maturing
      • Large, visible successes: wikipedia, flickr, youtube, etc
      • Entering corporate world (wikis, blogs, etc)
      • Informing requirements for enterprise 2.0 corporate information systems
    • Mobile web
      • Mobile devices set to dominate the computational personal device space (17bn by 2015)
      • Increasing computational capabilities (more than a mobile phone)
      • Suited to Modern lifestyle (not confined to a desktop device)
      • Mobile content increase and appropriate for personalisation
    8/10 Opportunity  Landscape  Proposition Initial considerations Issues
  • 9. Initial considerations early adopters – key advantages
    • no one tackles all 3 (SW+mobile+web 2.0)
      • Mention the best of breed for each of the three and the ones that are active in 2 areas
      • Ontomantics (DB read/write) – SW, TopQuandrant – SW/tools, another one (SI specific)
      • Pikeo, etc for mobile web + web 2.0
      • Web 2.0  mature (youtube, facebook, lastfm, etc)
    • Advantages
      • Mention innovative idea and superior technological advantages
        • i.e. hakia, powerset (search with semantic NLP), etc
      • Market explorers  initial contacts, establishing a presence
    9/10 Opportunity  Landscape  Proposition  Initial considerations Issues
  • 10. Issues unpredicted factors
    • technology shift
    • Media spin
      • Gates’ quote – “2 nd internet boom, did not like web 2.0 gold rush
      • Lassila quote – sw is mostly an interoperability technology, but what is the monetary value of interoperability – how do you market sw technologies
    • Saturation – run out of steam
    • Expertise and skills enhancement
      • Eliciting experts and train new generation
    • Be aware of “imitations” – “bogus caller” – how semantic is the semantic solution offered? Support, etc.
    • Over-expectations, Gartner hype cycle
    • Agents
      • The “agents” factor
      • Intelligent agents community and synergy with SW – premise of the argument in TBL etal vision
    10/10 Opportunity  Landscape  Proposition  Initial considerations  Issues
  • 11. A talk delivered by Yannis Kalfoglou at Semantic Technologies (Semantic Web + Web 2.0 + mobile Web) as an investment opportunity Thursday, 18 th October 2007 Thank you for listening