Like the achievement of fire which was brought by Prometheus, the Internet and the omnipresent information technologies are a mercy for our society. We have experienced an evolutionary boost, which has been manifested in the expansion of the collective knowledge and the subjective possibilities. But as it was also told from Hesiod, every enlightenment has its darker side. By establishing the classical Information Technology and opening the modern-day “Pandora’s IT-Box” many new plagues have afflicted our Information Society: information overload, unclear structures, incompatible systems, and data for which it requires too much time and effort to be placed in a meaningful context.
We believe that the introduction of semantics to the new generation of information technologies will provide a cure for this digital plague. Nowadays we are accumulating more and more data, without acquiring knowledge about its context. Only subjective expertise, which is expensively acquired, is delivering us the information we need for our business. In the old-fashioned IT-paradigm, permanent variation of data pools and structures results in growing operating expenses but, like Sisyphus, never seems to lead anywhere. The only alternative is to know more about the semantics: by connecting data with a subjective ontology we are able to obtain qualified information, which can provide each user a basis for valuable decisions in the twinkling of an eye. Indeed informatics alone cannot make the grade, but classical professions like cultural science must be involved in creating systems which meet human demands. This approach is particularly interesting because these divergent professions are brought together to make something new.
Many sectors of the economy are demanding improved innovative systems that, in addition to classical data accumulation, also enable the qualified preparation of information for specific domains and individual views. For example, introducing semantics to CRM systems will allow us to substantially combine data, making its context explicit, and is finally leading to profitable permutation of opportunities to profit. At the same time, semantic systems are making the realisation of user friendly interfaces possible. In addition to new interface approaches, Semantic Desktops facilitate individual user views: who would not wish to have documents and eMails processed and stored according to his own arrangement, which makes finding the necessary information easy?
In order to be able to use information systems this way, a great number of semantic projects must first reach the market, developments that will iteratively improve our life.
Starting with methods suggested by the web, more business and mobile systems will be enriched with semantic functions. In further succession, semantic services will change our working methods and society like never before.