Web intelligence is an issue of philosophy as much as application. It has been suggested that the next generation of Web architecture, the Semantic Web, creates an Artificial Intelligence (AI) application that will make Web content meaningful to computers, thereby unleashing a revolution of new abilities. More realistically, however, the Semantic Web will add semantics to the Web along with some limited AI capabilities to produce a more useful Web. The balance between greater logic expressive power and solvable computer reasoning complexity is still being questioned and evaluated.

Alan Turing was one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century, and his contributions in the area of machine intelligence were seminal. In this chapter, we provide an overview of Turing’s contributions and discuss some of the key ideas emanating from his work. In addition, we engage in a discussion of the meaning of machine intelligence and offer some perspective on how making content on the Web machine-processable will contribute toward Web intelligence.

In Interlude #3 at the end of this Chapter we present a vignette entitled “Computing Machines” to highlight some of these ideas.


Alan Turing, while acting as the leading cryptography expert to break the German codes during the Second World War, formulated the ideas that emerged after the war as Intelligent Machinery, and they are now referred to as Artificial Intelligence ...

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