It seems that the main problem with the implementation of semantic technologies in Web 3.0 (besides the difficulty in gathering information from disparate locations) are the difficulties in creating semantic output as a natural and neutral language capable of interpreting the abstract and experiential meanings to be found in the conveyance of information in human languages. If semantic conflict in the business world means information gathered from disparate locations, upon comparison of that information are found to use the same combinations of symbols known as letters and numbers to convey different meanings despite using the same combinations of symbols as letters and numbers, then this might cause semantic conflict in the business world. An example might be the difference on an office supplies website between “white paper” as a document for sale about the latest technology in laser printers and “white paper” as white printing paper used with laser printers. Both of these use the same combination of letters and both of these have great difference in the meanings attached to the same combination of letters. This particular example may or may not be a simple one for a machine to discern using the contextual environment surrounding the term “white paper,” yet either way these meanings have the meanings they have with humans as a result of individual experiences with the various objects and ideas attached to these linguistic meanings captured in the combination of letters that are the term “white paper.”
If we are physiologically typical individuals we perceive the empirical attributes of the particulars of our experiences, but upon learning language we construct linguistic and verbal approximations of our perceptions of the particulars of our experiences. We use these linguistic approximations to communicate verbal or written meaning to others in society and others in society understand the gist or linguistic approximation meant in the communication they receive from us. This common foundation of conceptual thought shared socially with others through words and language standardizes how we describe our perceptions of the attributes we perceive in physical objects, but it does so because we share the same perceptual foundation based on physical objects we experience in common. This standardization of meaning through the use of words and language to communicate meaning is effective not only because effective communication of meaning reinforces its own use as a vehicle for the delivery of meaning, but also because we can compare the meaning of our individual experiences of physical objects with the experiences other people have perceived in physical objects. How do you teach the semantic meaning of physical objects to learning machines or artificial intelligence when they are without any sense of meaning other than the programming in them?
The first step is perhaps the recognition that semantic meaning is experientially perceived among humans from groupings of physical attributes and groupings of linguistic symbols as syntactic elements or precursors to semantic meaning. They are precursors to semantic meaning where semantic meaning exists only as an associative expression of relations between what is or are unknown meanings that have or has meaning only when combined as groupings. A language having only one symbol has nothing to be compared to as a method of discerning its meaning or use as a language; just as a single physical attribute cannot describe a physical object unless as a collection of attributes. Meaning comes in groups of dissimilar elements as patterns that are patterns precisely because patterns are not composed of the same one element, for if they were so, they would have no meaning unless they could be compared to something unlike themselves. A pattern cannot be compared as to its meaning if that which composes the pattern exists nowhere else. If there were only one color in the universe of our experience, what would be the perceived meaning to us of that one color in relation to what is the semantic meaning of the word “color” when someone asks us what color is this or that? What if there were only one number, the number one? Would the meaning of the word “one” even exist if there weren’t a two, three, four, five, so on and so forth.
Many of our uses of language as to the semantic meaning of words captured in our experiences is the understanding that semantic meanings exist as hierarchical recursions of a commonly shared meaning that defines itself as that which defines itself hierarchically in that which is universal to that category composed of particulars. Such as all numbers are particulars with specific names that act as enumerative values sequentially recalling the universal recursion of the number “one.” If we look at the spectrum of colors available to our visual perception, we perceive the particulars that we give semantic meaning to by our representation of that color in the use of a word that means the same as that color. But each color has the meaning that each color has because there is a universally shared meaning among the particulars that are each color, that would not exist if there were only one color. The particular loses its categorical or classificatory meaning if it becomes the only one of its kind as the only representation of that meaning that it has as it has no other relation to another to give it the definition that it would have as a particular related to other particulars in a universal category. Each universal category has a shared meaning common to all particulars that are members of the universal category, but each particular has a difference in meaning within itself that is also the same difference in meaning shared between all members that are particulars of that universal category. Exactly that meaning universally shared among all particulars in that universal category, is that variable that changes in meaning among all particulars that belong to that universal category. If there is a difference of identity between the universal and the particular as between the universally shared meaning and the variable that changes within the universally shared meaning, then there is a difference of categorization or classification as to what particulars belong in what universal category in such a circumstance.
As this relates to Web 3.0 implementation of semantic technologies, machine learning or artificial intelligence cannot experience physical objects in a human context as a way of creating semantic meaning. There are “deep learning” projects that work by computers analyzing incredibly large databases of words, sentences, and phrases to find the patterns of how humans use language, possibly even unbeknownst to ourselves as these databases are truly epic in size, some of them. My point is this, the comparison of sensory approximations between individuals using the same words to describe these sensory approximations is enabled because we can compare with others the representations of meaning we have perceived in the objects of our environment and experiences as individuals. This use of language has meanings that can be compared and determined as to whether these meanings are true or false exactly because they are empirical comparisons of objects attached to the meanings of words and thus can be used in some sense to get around the semantic conflict of the Internet. But, for more abstract and esoteric concepts because such kinds of concepts cannot always be compared empirically, humans do not always agree on what such concepts mean. Therefore, the use of some words because humans cannot agree as to what certain words mean, some words will always have some kind of semantic difficulty of defining their meaning attached to them and their use in the Web 3.0 implementation of semantic technologies on the Internet. Having said that, I believe those concepts that can be compared as they are empirical comparisons of objects attached to the meanings of words, these concepts and words as universal categories composed of particulars can be hierarchically structured to facilitate machine learning, such is my opinion.
For a visual representation of a digital repository proposal project constructed for a graduate knowledge structures, systems, and services college course, one may click the portfolio link below to access this project and its intended purpose of serving as an example of universal categories and their particulars.