Sir Tim Berners-Lee: The Semantic Web Has Arrived and the Obama Administration is “Onboard”

By on 10/09/2009 4:26 PM @beet_tv

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has been on a quest for several years for the adoption of something he has coined the semantic Web — a data-rich, interconnected Web. 

He told me yesterday in Washington that this year his vision is taking form in ambitious programs with the Obama Administration, the data.gov initiative, and the government of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, for whom he consults.

See transcript below.

In the U.S., the move to put great amounts of raw data on the Web has been accelerated by the U.S. stimulus package, he told me. 

Anil Dash wrote recently on the Huffington Post that the U.S. government is the "most interesting start-up" of the year.

Sir Tim was in Washington at a symposium about science and technology at the Embassy of Finland organized by Finland's Technology Academy Foundation.  The Helsinki-based foundation presents an achievement award every two years.  Sir Tim was the first recipient of the award in 2004.    

He was interviewed on stage by Steve Lohr, technology correspondent for The New York Times.  A video stream of the two-hour event can be seen here.  The PBS transcript is here.

Update: Here's Steve Lohr's story this weekend about government getting data on the Web.

Sir Tim and his New Flip: He Shoots Me, I Shoot Him!

Couldn't help but notice Sir Tim with a Flip video camera as he was capturing the event.  I filmed him with my Canon digital camera as he filmed me.  You can find the brief scene at the end of this interview.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Update: Extended interview with Sir Tim on PBS Nightly Business Report published this evening.

Video Transcript

Sir Tim Berners-Lee:  Well the semantic web is about putting data on the web. Data on the web is maybe boring unless you're the sort of person who likes to get stuff into a spreadsheet and if you like working with spreadsheets, then typically you want data in a form that you can load into a spreadsheet. It's no good if someone gives you a printed document or even a webpage. You print the webpage off but you don't have to key it in all by hand. So we've got a move to put data on the web so people can actually process it and analyze it and there's a really big push right now in a lot of countries, the UK and the US very particularly, to put government data on the web.

So 2009 has been the year to push to get government data onto the web. It's been very exciting. The Bower Administration is totally on board, the data.gov, the British Prime Minister specially has given the go-ahead, put a team together. Lots of really exciting data sets accumulating day by day in those countries.

A lot of other countries also have other initiatives–Canada, New Zealand, Australia–and also a lot of excitement and interest in getting developing country governments to be open, transparent, by putting data about what's happening in those countries onto the web because that will make each country which is more transparent becomes more trustworthy, is more credible, is easier to do business with, easier to invest in.

Disclaimer:  Finland's Technology Academy Foundation is a public relations client of Plesser Holland.

Recent Videos
image
Viacom’s Spina Wants Unified Social Data Measurements

A single currency for measuring the impact of social interactions with brands would help eliminate confusion in the marketplace, says Viacom Media Networks’ integrated marketing EVP. “There’s a collection of third-party data reporters in addition to first party,” Dario Spina tells ...

image
Video Ads Changing Faster In EU Than US: Videology’s Gaskamp

LAS VEGAS – America’s patchwork TV provider landscape means linear’s move to data-driven digital ad trading is not happening as quickly as in some other parts of the world, says video ad tech vendor Videology. “We’re very complex (in the US), there’s a lot of people ...

image
Group M’s Xaxis Goes Large With TV-Synced Two-Screen Ads

LONDON — More advertisers may soon buy synchronized video ads on multiple digital screens to continue reaching TV viewers distracted by secondary devices. Group M’s data and audience unit Xaxis has already operated the scheme, dubbed Xaxis Sync, in the Netherlands, buying social mobile ads ...

image
Buying Video Traffic Is Not A Four-Letter Word: Taboola’s Silberstein

Publishers and brands spend a lot of money trying to draw audiences from other sites and services, whether through social awareness-raising or through marketing efforts. But what audiences do on your site depends very much on where they came from, says an exec from a content discovery engine. ...

image
A Revolutionary Apple TV? Don’t Expect too Much, IDC Analyst Greg Ireland

LAS VEGAS – Over the past four  years,  speculation has been rampant about the entrance of a new Apple hardware/software solution that will revolutionize the IPTV and gaming businesses. But it’s not going to happen, cautions industry analyst Greg Ireland, Research Manager at IDC, the this ...

image
Ericsson Taps Elemental Technologies for “Virtualized Encoder”

LAS VEGAS  –   As part of Ericsson’s expansion into cloud-based video encoding with its “Virtualized Encoder Solution,” it has tapped Portland, Oregon-based Elemental Technologies, the companies announced at the NAB Show. We sat down with Ericsson’s Giles Wilson, Head of TV ...

image
Qualcomm is Shipping MPEG Dash Enabled Chips on All Android Devices

LAS VEGAS –  Semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm is now shipping all Android devices with MPEG Dash implementations — and some phone manufacturers (OEM’s) are enabling the new video streaming standard, says Aytac Biber, Video Technology Product Manager, in this interview with Beet.TV Aytac ...

image
Ooyala Taps Microsoft Azure for Cloud Solutions

LAS VEGAS – Ooyala, the digital video services company, which has been expanding its offering as a “TV Everywhere” platform for big broadcasters including Univision, has entered an agreement with Microsoft for its Azure, cloud-based platform, explains Jonathan Wilner, VP for Products, in ...

image
Microsoft Unveils Skype TX, a Studio-Grade Solution for Broadcasters

LAS VEGAS – As television, digital, radio and even live events come together, Skype has found a place in the middle of that convergence, connecting people worldwide via live television and digital, says Angie Hill, general manager of consumer marketing at Skype, in this interview with Beet.TV at the 2014 ...

image
UGC-Based Broadcast is #1 New Syndicated Show in U.S.

LAS VEGAS – The manpower and resources behind local news have shrunk but the time frames have not, leading to a lot of repetition in news programs, says Phil Alvidrez, executive in charge of production for RightThisMinute, a TV show that publishes online video content – and tells the story behind it – ...

image
Dolby Readying “Cinema-Like” Audio for Mobile Video

LAS VEGAS – With the advancement in second-screen and mobile technology as companies like Apple and Amazon rolled out mobile devices that could support high-definition video, consumer expectation for high-quality sound on their tablets and phones increased, says JC Morizur, senior director of professional ...

image
Live Video Streaming Format MPEG Dash Embraced by Akamai, Google, Adobe, Microsoft others

LAS VEGAS – MPEG Dash — the emerging live video format for cross-platform streaming, has picked up considerable traction over the twelve months with the participation of major players including Google’s YouTube, Microsoft’s Azure, Adobe Primetime and Akamai, explains Will Law, Chief ...

loader