AAAI Publications, 2010 AAAI Spring Symposium Series

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The New Empiricism and the Semantic Web: Threat or Opportunity?
Henry S. Thompson

Last modified: 2010-03-23


There has been a massive paradigm shift in mainstream artificial intelligence over the last twenty-five years, from a rationalist (strong AI) vision of a formal, logic and/or rule-oriented approach to modelling a real level of description of intelligent processes distinct from and 'above' the neural level, to an empiricist (machine learning) approach whose focus is almost entirely on performance. The Semantic Web vision started out firmly in the old rationalist camp, and has only just barely begun to be influenced by empiricist revisionism. What lessons for the future of the Semantic Web/Linked Data project can be drawn by reviewing the history of AI?

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