You might remember Semantics at SAP or why apple computers don’t taste sweet. In that interview Matthias addressed the aspect of objects and how machines need to be able to give a description of an object the correct meaning. In that interview Matthias used the example of an apple that could either be something to eat or could also be a computer.
I met with him again and this time Matthias explained to me two other aspects of semantics. Machines don’t just need to know what kind of object (e.g. an apple) they have, but also what kind of context the user has who e.g. searches for specific information. In the business world this context is normally a role of a user in a company. Combining search results of a user with a specific role and using that information for other, maybe similar searches for users with the same role, makes a search algorythm much more precise and relevant for an enterprise user.
But it’s not only about storing this information. It’s also about being able to let the machine “forget” certain information that might become irrelevant over time.
Listen to Matthias and find out what peanut butter sandwiches have to do with all of this and how these concepts find their way into SAP products.
I really loved talking to Matthias how he explained to me this complex topics and during the interview he also started talking about a new concept he developed called “Unified Information Access”. But that will be part of another interview with Matthias.