More than 60% of the human population is connected to the Internet, most sectors of activity have switched to digital and software drives innovation. Yet Internet standards and protocols were invented at a time when less than one percent of the population was connected. It is time to use the data flows, the available computing power and the possibilities of interactive communication for human development… and to solve the serious problems we are facing. That is why I will launch soon a major international project – comparable to the construction of a cyclotron or a voyage to Mars – aiming at an augmentation of the Internet in the service of collective intelligence.

This project has several interrelated objectives: 

  • Decompartmentalize digital memory and ensure its semantic (linguistic, cultural and disciplinary) interoperability.
  • Open up indexing modes and maximize the diversity of interpretations of the digital memory.
  • Make communication between machines, but also between humans and machines, more fluid in order to enforce our collective mastery of the Internet of Things, intelligent cities, robots, autonomous vehicles, etc.
  • Establish new forms of modeling and reflexive observation of human collective intelligence on the basis of our common memory.


The technical foundation of this project is IEML (Information Economy MetaLanguage), a semantic metadata system that I invented with support from the Canadian federal government. IEML has :

  • the expressive power of a natural language, 
  • the syntax of a regular language, 
  • calculable semantics aligned with its syntax.

IEML is exported in RDF and is based on Web standards. IEML concepts are called USLs (Uniform Semantic Locators). They can be read and translated into any natural language. Semantic ontologies – sets of USLs linked by a network of relationships – are interoperable by design. IEML establishes a virtual knowledge base that feeds both automatic reasoning and statistical calculations. In short, IEML fulfills the promise of the Semantic Web through its computable meaning and interoperable ontologies.

For a short description of the IEML grammar, click here.


The URLs system and the http standard only become useful through a browser. Similarly, the new IEML-based semantic addressing system for the Internet requires a special application, called Intlekt, whose technical project manager is Louis van Beurden. Intlekt is a collaborative and distributed platform that supports concept editing, data curation and new forms of search, data mining and data visualization. 

Intlekt empowers the edition and publishing of semantic ontologies – sets of linked concepts – related to a field of practice or knowledge. These ontologies can be original or translate existing semantic metadata such as: thesauri, documentary languages, ontologies, SKOS taxonomies, folksonomies, sets of tags or hashtags, keywords, column and row headings, etc. Published semantic ontologies augment a dictionary of concepts, which can be considered as an open meta-ontology

Intlekt is also a data curation tool. It enables editing, indexing in IEML and publishing data collections that feed a common knowledge base. Eventually, statistical algorithms will be used to automate the semantic indexing of data.

Finally, Intlekt exploits the properties of IEML to allow new forms of search, automatic reasoning and simulation of complex systems.

Special applications can be imagined in many areas, like:

  • the preservation of cultural heritage, 
  • research in the humanities (digital humanities), 
  • education and training
  • public health, 
  • informed democratic deliberation, 
  • commercial transactions, 
  • smart contracts, 
  • the Internet of things, 
  • and so on…

And now, what?

Where do we stand on this project in the summer of 2020? After many tests over several years, IEML’s grammar has stabilized, as well as the base of morphemes of about 5000 units which enables any concept to be built at will. I tested positively the expressive possibilities of the language in several fields of humanities and earth sciences. Nevertheless, at the time of writing, the latest state of the grammar is not yet implemented. Moreover, to obtain a version of Intlekt that enables the semantic ontology editing, data curation and data mining functions described above, a team of several programmers working for one year is needed. In the coming months, the friends of IEML will be busy pursuing this critical mass. 

Come and join us!

For more information, see: and