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Web Ontology Language (often stylized as OWL) is a Semantic Web language that is designed to process and integrate information over the web, making sense of it in a manner similar to human reasoning. It is intended to facilitate interpretability among web content using vocabulary and formatting that allows automatic machine processing.
The basic ideas behind Semantic Web and Web Ontology Language go back to at least the late 1950s, when the General Problem Solver (GPS) computing device was introduced as one of the first machines that could automatically resolve well-formed logical formulas. Principles of artificial intelligence then gradually evolved to further solidify the precedent for OWL’s application over the web years later. Knowledge representation (KR), for example, seeks to create systems of information that machines can utilize in ways that allow them complex problem-solving ability.
Web Ontology Languages are built upon a standard of the World Wide Web Consortium called Resource Description Framework (RDF). The OWL family has evolved to include many sytaxes and specifications, and has attracted a great deal of interest in fields such as medicine and academia.