While the HTML document format dominates most of the information presented on the Web, the vision behind the Web has always been that the information accessible on it should be machine-processable as well as human consumable. While knowledge representation has a long and distinguished history, it has largely concentrated on capturing expertise in specialised domains. Allowing information to be made machine processable in an environment as diverse as the Web requires a number of underlying assumptions to be reassessed.
A number of international initiatives are already investigating the path to take towards enabling a machine-processable, knowledge-rich information environment. Among these are the RDF and RDFS working groups in W3C, and the DAML and Ontoknowledge projects. In addition, the MPEG7 community is one of the key projects for investigating the complex issues of combining semantics not only with textual information, but also multimedia. We propose to explore these issues and consider what problems need to be solved to make the Semantic Web a reality.