RDF & Chatbots


The Inextricable Link Between RDF and Chatbots: How Resource Description Framework Empowers Conversational AI

RDF, or Resource Description Framework, is a standard for representing information about resources on the web in a structured way. It is based on the idea of representing data in the form of subject-predicate-object triples, where the subject represents the resource being described, the predicate represents the property or relationship being described, and the object represents the value of the property or the resource related to the subject.

RDF is commonly used as a key enabling technology in the development of chatbots. By providing a flexible yet structured format for representing knowledge, RDF empowers chatbots with several critical capabilities:

  1. Linking to Knowledge Graphs

One of the main advantages of RDF for chatbots is its ability to integrate data from diverse sources into unified knowledge graphs. Major knowledge bases like Wikidata and DBpedia publish their structured data as RDF, allowing this data to be queried and incorporated by RDF-based chatbots. Bringing in such broad background knowledge enables more intelligent and meaningful dialog.

  1. Reasoning Over Knowledge Bases

A key capability that RDF enables for chatbots is the ability to logically reason over knowledge bases to infer new information. Using ontology languages like RDFS and OWL layered over RDF data, chatbots can answer questions that are not directly asserted in their knowledge bases but derived through chains of reasoning. For instance, a tourism chatbot could use accommodation RDF data annotated with ontologies to recommend lodging options meeting logical constraints in visitor queries.

  1. Multi-Platform Data Integration

The flexibility of RDF as a data model facilitates aggregating diverse data under one roof for chatbots. RDF’s graph structure is amenable to integrating IoT sensor streams, database tables, spreadsheets, JSON objects, and more. Microsoft researchers demonstrated an RDF platform ingesting myriad transport data that intelligently plans multi-modal trips via conversational interaction. Such flexibility helps chatbots scale.

  1. Conversational Contextualization

A major limit of chatbots is their lack of understanding context. Labeling conversation data like user profiles and dialog sessions using semantic RDF can help chatbots track context. Software company Expert System introduced a RDF-based chatbot that represents contextual session data to have meaningful, personalized dialogs spanning multiple turns. Such context-awareness moves chatbots toward human-like conversation.

In summary, RDF provides the connective fabric allowing chatbots to interoperate with external knowledge, reason internally, unify decentralized data, and track contextual dialogue. While not sufficient by itself for conversational AI, RDF can be considered a foundational technology for enriching chatbots with capabilities such as contextual understanding that bring them closer to human-level intelligence. When woven together with other semantics-supplying technologies like ontologies and natural language processing, RDF delivers more capable conversational experiences

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100 Best AI & NLP Resources: RDFSPARQL & Chatbots 2018


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