...Google’s 2010 acquisition of Metaweb plays a significant role in what is now known as the Knowledge Graph...http://www.webpronews.com/knowledge-graph-google-officially-announces-its-things-results-2012-05
Over the next few months, Google's search engine will begin spitting out more than a list of blue Web links. It will also present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page...The company is aiming to provide more relevant results by incorporating technology called "semantic search," which refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words.
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...An example would be when you search for a band, and Google puts some boxes on the side of the search results page with some specific info about that band. Likewise for movies, actors, books and people. According to the company, it also includes landmarks, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, celestial objects, works of art, and more...http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702304459804577281842851136290-lMyQjAxMTAyMDEwNDExNDQyWj.html
...Google is moving closer to semantic search with its Knowledge Graph, which aims to deliver much more relevant information than an initial query might request. "The Knowledge Graph will add meaning to strings beyond keyword matching to words," said Gabe Donnini, data solutions engineer at Chitika. "It will understand the meanings and relationships behind the keywords."..
...The heart of the Knowledge Graph is a database Google has compiled, via its own research and through its acquisition of MetaWeb Technologies [Freebase], of 500 million people, places, things and points of history.
...An intelligent model can understand the "graph" -- that is, the relationships of real-world entities to one another, said Singhal. "Things, not strings."...
...Google...hopes the change to semantic search will entice some people to stay longer on the search site, said people briefed on the plans, amid competition with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter Inc. that are claiming more Internet users' time.
For instance, people who search for a particular novelist like Ernest Hemingway could, under the new system, find a list of the author's books they could browse through and information pages about other related authors or books, according to people familiar with the company's plans. Presumably Google could suggest books to buy, too...
...Wikipedia appears to be a major provider of content to this feature. So far, every screen shot I have seen, shows information coming from Wikipedia to be very prominent...Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t just rooted in public sources such as Freebase [Metaweb's data-base] Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook,” says Google’s Amit Singhal in the announcement of the Knowledge Graph. “It’s also augmented at a much larger scale—because we’re focused on comprehensive breadth and depth. It currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects. And it’s tuned based on what people search for, and what we find out on the web.”...
...While Google’s Knowledge Graph may not be relying solely on Wikipedia, I’m curious about how it may work with all of the Wikipedia vandalism that goes on. Granted, Wikipedia is generally quite good at taking care of the vandalism shortly after it happens, but it does happen...
...Singhal said that Google will use a combination of computer algorithms and human review to decide if a particular fact should be corrected. If Google makes a change, the source provider is told. This mean, in particular, Wikipedia will be informed of any errors. It doesn’t have to change anything, but apparently the service is looking forward to the feedback...
The Semantic Web - An Overview
Wake-up Discussion: The End of the Semantic Web?
END OF UPDATE
The Semantic Web - Raising of the Dead?
Wikidata: Wikimedia going structured data
Wikimania 2011 - Semantic, better wikis
Google's Semantic Search
Wikimania 2011 - Testing for MediaWiki
END OF UPDATE