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"Semantic ontology" databases: Natural vs. ambiguous language for search engines

Making language have precise meaning (or trying) is as old an endeavor as Francis Bacon (maybe older). As Baumann & Briggs have it, the back-and-forth between language's denotative and more gestural, socially malleable, ambiguous or performative uses are at the center of modernity. And we're still at it, according to the BBC, as "semantic search engines" aim to build databases based on the principle of "semantic ontology," which attempts to capture how all the different parts of an organisation understand a particular thing. This seems like no easy task, in fact, it might be something like the creation of AI, since it is this very property of language that seems to be (so far) unique to humans...

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