First, a video:
I watch just about every TED video that’s released, but this one really struck me. One of the most important things about the web is the way it promotes the increase of wealth by sharing information. The typical lack of fees for most content also means that the wealth generated (as the information spreads) effects everyone, rich and poor, alike. But the web is made to be human-readable. Each page is tailored by human hands for human eyes, and so while a good amount of information is being shared to the people around the world, teaching a machine to learn from the web is quite difficult. Indeed, breakthroughs in this sector have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with our computers.
On the human side the result means that I can get meaningful results when I search for factual questions and I can clarify who or what I’m searching about without adding additional query items. On the machine side, this means that more projects like gap-minder can aggregate meaningful data. In collecting all of human knowledge into a machine-readable format we also empower proto-artificial intelligence to perceive the world by translating it into easily digestible information.
When I get to thinking about the possibilities I am overwhelmed by the wealth of knowledge that, as Mr. Berners-Lee puts it, is “unlocked” by this course of action. In doing this, we will make ourselves even richer, and by “we” I mean the entire species.