30 July 2006

AI as a design problem

a few weeks ago on slashdot
i experimentally re-tested the waters
of the semantic web community
that i'd mostly given up on ten years ago

and found them, still,


trying to solve the problem
by spanking non-conformists
until they bought into a
set of syntactic rules

which keeps them busy
and gives them someone to blame
but advances AI not a whit

a step above prescriptivism
is descriptivism
which is embodied by Lenat's Cyc
and perhaps also by 'The Sims'

trying to describe human behavior
with a definite constrained vocabulary
(Sim1 covets Furniture2)

but i fear the catch-22 of descriptivism
is that there isn't any platonic 'form', there,
waiting to be described
(as there more-or-less was
for physics, chemistry, astronomy,
and even biology)

but instead a mathematically intractable
neural 'chaos'
an everchanging hierarchy
of human moods and motives

crudely reflected in 'ontologies' like the classic
Yahoo top menu
Arts&Humanities, Business&Economy, Computers&Internet,
Education, Entertainment, Government, Health, News&Media,
Recreation&Sports, Reference, Regional, Science,
Social Science, Society)

designed entirely
to meet the instantaneous needs
of (yesterday's) web surfers

which is why i'm exploring heraldic barcodes
that try to map the top levels
of this semantic hierarchy
(for a specific subdomain)
onto an intuitive graphical equivalent

whose strengths and weaknesses
not only declare themselves openly
but also
hint at how to improve them
in graphical tweaks
that better fit the human users

28 July 2006

A generalised more-like-this button

the longterm trend
in browser evolution
has to include
of functions
across the widest possible range
of data/content/objects

so the 'subscribe' button
that looks for an rss feed

ought to be generalised as a
more-like-this button

that offers 'subscriptions'
to every possible relevant feed:

- watch for more by this author?
- watch for more on this site?
- watch for more on this topic?

- watch GoogleNews for relevant string/patterns?
- narrow GoogleNews feed to particular news sources?

and these feeds should have killfiles as well

so when your 'artificial intelligence' pattern
briefly floods you with gossip items about
'AI' star Haley Joel Osment
you can flip on a temporary filter

using a form/syntax
that works exactly the same
for all your more-like-this feeds

02 July 2006

Web2.0 on the Tree of Life

as a human branch
browses from website to website
webpage to webpage

storytopics are activated
in its radial ontology

and it may be moved to
bookmark the page
or blog it for others

or create a new content-item
responding to it
to be posted on the same site
or a different one

the content being browsed
can be thought of as
a stream of data-items

being evaluated
acted upon

the branch's blog
can be thought of
as a filtered subset of that stream
plus newly added content

as, similarly
the moderator of a website
filters the stream of new content
submitted by other readers

so as browsing software evolves
it must become easier and easier
to apply the same actions
to every sort of content

sites pages sections-of-pages
images soundfiles movies

sets of images
sets of pages

conversational threads

all equally bookmarkable
or bloggable

effortlessly shared with a definite
or undefined audience

with relevant past discussions
anywhere on the Net
automatically tracked

and current or new discussions
automatically opened to those who qualify