Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

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I love structured data

I hate looking at something and wondering what the base data is, what the assumptions are, not being able to find out more... with my soft AI hat on I think the CYC project is an amazing achievement. And Rick Rashid who runs Microsoft Research has just inspired me a little more. Imagine "a world where people really share information and publications in an online fashion that they go to self-describing data structures built out of XML, have well-defined schema for sharing that information, and that they federate their large dataset". He takes the idea of DRM and makes it workflow and controlling pre=publication information. Working out from the TerraServer to a distributed service with interfaces, he coins a phrase I like - data in disguise. He wants to create a national virtual observatory as a set of Web services. he wants lecture notes to be re-usable and sharable.

And he makes me laugh: "we had 10 different lectures that we did to really go in depth into a number of different topics for people. We kept records, of course, as to who was really attending these things and I think there was something on the order of four people that attended all ten lectures and we were pretty surprised about that. That seemed like a lot. Next year we decided that we'll actually give out a special award for people that do that. My recommendation is to call it the Iron Butt Award."

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