Truevert: What is semantic about semantic search? is an easy introduction to the thinking behind the Truevert semantic search engine. I was heartened by the references to Wittgenstein and the attention Truevert have paid to the work of linguists and philosophers. So much commercial search seems to have been driven by computer scientists with little interest in philosophy, or if they did they kept quiet about it (any counter examples out there?)! Perhaps philosophers have not been so good at promoting themselves either. Perhaps the Chomskyian attempt to divide linguistics itself into “hard scientific” linguistics and “fuzzy” linguistic disciplines like sociolinguistics has not helped.

As a believer in interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches, I have always wondered why we seemed to be so bad at building these bridges and information science has always struck me as a natural crossing point. Of course, there has been a lot of collaboration, but my impression is that academia has been rather better at this than the commercial world, with organisations like ISKO UK working hard to forge links. Herbert Roitblat at Truevert is obviously proud of their philosophical and linguistic awareness, and more interestingly, thinks it is worth broadcasting in a promotional blog post.