I like pondering on things. Every now and again I’ll come up with an idea (then usually forget about it for a while…) and then find out that someone has already invented it. I can now add to my list of these things (if I actually kept one, which I don’t) Semantic Networks. What’s a Semantic Network, you ask in a tone of pretend interest with a subtext of “sounds boring as hell”. It’s “a network, which represents semantic relations between the concepts.” It stores logical data about things and the relationships between them. Such as “Dog”, “Ninja”, “Mammal”, “Hairy”, “A dog is hairy” and “Ninjas are Mammals”. With this structure you can build a knowledge base or a computer programme that “knows” things.
The question is what happens when you combine a semantic network with a web spider* that looks at wikipedia and other relatively trustworthy sources of information. The answer: hopefully not a giant all-knowing behemoth cyber-consciousness that destroys all mankind because I’m going to make one. Watch this space.
*A web spider is a programme that browses web pages, then follows the links on those pages to other pages which it then browses. Google has a web spider, it’s how it finds all those websites.
Update 10/09/2010: He is now known as Frank. He has yet to become fully autonomous or destroy mankind but he does answer certain questions as long as you ask them in the right way.