The International System of Units (SI) was declared as a practical and evolving system in 1960 and is now 50 years old. A large amount of theoretical and experimental work has been conducted to change the standards for the base units from artefacts to physical constants, to improve their stability and reproducibility. Less attention, however, has been paid to improving the SI definitions, utility and usability, which suffer from contradictions, ambiguities and inconsistencies. While humans can often resolve these issues contextually, computers cannot. As an ever-increasing volume and proportion of data about physical quantities is collected, exchanged, processed and rendered by computers, this paper argues that the SI definitions, symbols and syntax should be made more rigorous, so they can be represented wholly and unambiguously in ontologies, programs, data and text, and so the SI notation can be rendered faithfully in print and on screen.