Monday, October 25, 2004

the meaning of knowledge

I met with some officials from the Department of Defense's National Security Agency today. I was describing our work on commonsense reasoning when the question came up of what did we mean by the word "knowledge." In our systems we usually start off with a corpus of commonsense facts, stories, descriptions, etc. expressed in english, but which are then converted through a variety of processing techniques into more usable knowledge representations such as semantic networks and probabilistic graphical models. My suggestion was that, from the perspective of the computer, only the latter forms should be considered "knowledge" because they could be put to use by an automated inference procedure. But in the long run, as our parsing and reasoning tools get more sophisticated, we may come to be able to use more and more of the collected corpus.

Generally, the word "knowledge" is very inclusive because the AI community has discovered a vast array of knowledge representation forms, and every one of them is useful for some purpose or the other. Thus, the more important questions may not be what is and isn't knowledge, but given some knowledge, questions such as the following:

For what purposes can it be used? When is it applicable? Is it true? According to who? Under what circumstances? Who might find this knowledge useful? Is it expressed clearly enough? Are there other units of knowledge that may be useful in conjunction with this one? How long should we expect this knowledge to stay relevant? How might have this knowledge been acquired, and from where might we acquire more like it? What background might you need to make sense of it?

And so forth. The point, I suppose, is that like most words that point to complex ideas, understanding the word "knowledge" requires that we consider its many contexts of use, and the issues that show up in those contexts.

7 Comments:

Blogger Olmy said...

Are you sure you should be talking about this. ;-)

October 28, 2004 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Olmy said...

Sorry for my previous tone :-(


When I was fifteen I read about AI in the local institute library. It was not till I was thirty that I actually used anything resembling what I read there. The man on the street is not going to believe a machine can be intelligent until it can talk to it (or it is telling him what to do at work). Technically a logic is a set of operations that map strings of symbols into other strings of symbol. Personally i see common sense as a stepping stone towards "curing cancer" "interstellar travel" but that said common sense computers would probably have their own validity.

November 11, 2004 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

employee books what about it..employee books Here it is now its up to you...

April 8, 2006 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Dixie J said...

FKU

May 31, 2007 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Dixie J said...

111BE

May 31, 2007 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Dixie J said...

111BE

May 31, 2007 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Iza Roberto said...

Kind regards

August 29, 2007 at 3:25 PM  

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