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Realizing the Memex - An introduction to the Semantic Web

Realizing the Memex - An introduction to the Semantic Web

This talk introduces the Semantic Web and how it can finally realize Vannevar Bush's Memex machine. For the first time in history, we have the technology to extend our individual memory to encompass all human knowledge.



Miguel Ángel Pérez

June 17, 2014


  1. Realizing the Memex An introduction to the Semantic Web

  2. In 1945 Vannevar Bush had an Idea The Memex, or

    “Memory Extender”, would allow anyone to store data in a way that can be searched with speed and flexibility. "New forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready-made with a mesh of associative trails running through them..."
  3. 47 years later ... the World Wide Web A web

    of hyperlinked documents accessed via the Internet.
  4. The WWW fails us as a true Memex 1. Databases

    store the data 2. Documents visualize data 3. Users search for documents 4. Documents are read to parse out Data Much hard. Such slow. Wow.
  5. Microformats and Web APIs An attempt at a truer Memex

  6. Microformats is unsuitable for sharing arbitrary data on the Web.

    Restricted to representing data about a small set of different types of entities. Only provides a small set of attributes that may used to describe these entities. Often not possible to express relationships between entities.
  7. The wild west knows as Web APIs Every programmer must

    understand the methods available to retrieve data from each API, and write custom code for accessing data from each data source. Significant effort is required to integrate each novel data set into an application.
  8. The Semantic Web Web 3.0 brings us a true Memex

  9. In 2001 the Semantic Web appears HTTP and unique URIs

    for accessing information. Resource Description Framework (RDF) a method for describing information. SPARQL an RDF query language.
  10. RDF and SPARQL

  11. Structuring Arbitrary Data in RDF

  12. What does my apartment contain? Runs against a store.

  13. My computer and my friend’s junk

  14. "This simple idea ... remains largely unrealized.” - Tim Berners-Lee

  15. Distinct data sets published as Linked Data.

  16. Breakdown of linked data by domain

  17. We’re Social Animals “If you want to be the next

    big thing, figure out how to use a new technology in a social way.” Susan M. Weinschenk
  18. Implications of a real Memex

  19. Questions?

  20. Feedback http://bit.ly/wl-fux-feedback