Hi gang, as we are on the eve of the Semantech conference in SF, the mother of all semantic technology hoedowns with all the latest and greatest in the field this article is timely.
Again, your intrepid reporter/analyst will be covering the conference. This years challenge, as alluded to in this article, to find out how much the Internet–as if it were an entity(which it may be) actually not only knows about you, but , more importantly, understands.
The leading company in this field, last year kicked off its “meaning based ” marketing campaign. Meaning. it would give meaning for those who paid , to the ever growing mounds of data being collected about you. Remember that Facebooks like button, means that you are saying what you like and don’t like, and this simple act makes the semantic task, theoretically a lot easier, BUT since the semantic engines still cannot tell the differences between irony and sarcasm,the issue of knowing you in any real sense is mute. Can your behavior likes and dislikes be tracked, yes, how well does this information when correlated with other info define you, that is what I hope to find out at the conference, or at least shed some light on. The internet, meaning companies and the feds that buy and sort the data, may know some of your tastes, but know you, I doubt it. Ask yourself, do you think your facebook friends know you?, How well? Without a way to slice the info along psychographical lines, the Inet can’t know your many selves. The beauty of the net is that people can lie, computers don’t lie, they compute, language is wiggly, and human beings use it as intended to both occlude and reveal meaning
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When the Internet Thinks It Knows You – NYTimes.com
ONCE upon a time, the story goes, we lived in a broadcast society. In that dusty pre-Internet age, the tools for sharing information weren’t widely available. If you wanted to share your thoughts with the masses, you had to own a printing press or a chunk of the airwaves, or have access to someone who did. Controlling the flow of information was an elite class of editors, producers and media moguls who decided what people would see and hear about the world. They were the Gatekeepers.