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RE: First Order Logic and Semantic Web RE: NPR, Godel, Semantic W eb

There were earlier incidents.  In October, 1960, 
we almost launched based on radar signals bouncing 
off the moon.   The saying is, always a human between 
the radar and the fire control.

We do have to be careful and that same issue of 
the speed, latency and criticality of task has 
come many times over the years so most folks are 
aware of it.  It may be a problem for the free-wheeling 
web where people are allowed to put anything on 
the system, but that is the risk and the freedom.  

The harder problem is semantic drift where the 
original meaning gets lost and the intent warps. 
Look at the early texts on eugenics and then 
look at the warped politics that followed.

Still, I think most of this will come down to 
vetted services.  Just as you have to look critically 
at your government processes and officials, you 
have to look critically at the services.  Semantic 
systems are services and I suspect the most useful 
ones will be very local.   Things like Google 
are indexing systems, not semantic services.  The 
difference may be a little subtle, but essentially, 
Google only returns lists, it doesn't answer questions. 
It is a browsing assistant, not an expert system.

Nobility.  Well, it is hard to legislate that isn't it?
We are working hard on HumanML to enable standard sets 
of human properties to be added to services.  Could one 
pervert such properties?  Sure.  Does it mean we shouldn't 
do it?  No, it means we should do it as well as we can. 
I believe the better we understand each other, the more 
we are able to detect and work successfully with the 
ambiguity and drift produced by our usefully diverse 
cultures and origins.


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Lowery [mailto:jlowery@scenicsoft.com]

> I fear people who can't tell the difference 
> between a person's opinion and a machine's opinion 
> or think that either has facts believable out 
> of context.  Whatever the SW is or is supposed 
> to become, it ain't magic.

Again, it's not the people I fear, it the machine's acting on peoples'
behalf. If SW ain't about automation of decision making based on
understanding (machine understanding, not human understanding, the twain
shall never meet), then we should be careful.

Then again, maybe we should fear people. Saw a factoid show last night
giving the once over to the incident in 1995 where the Russians interpreted
the radar signature of a Norwegian rocket test firing as an ICBM attack from
the U.S. Got down to the last 2 minutes of a 10 minute launch procedure.
Even if that wasn't entirely accurate, I think putting blind trust in we
clever monkeys and our machines is ill advised. We have to carefully verify
our perceptions and the interpretation of facts from our systems; get too
damned clever for our own good sometimes. Literally damned clever. 

Does that mean we shouldn't pursue noble ends? No, noble ends is what's got
us here now, and it is good. Powerful stuff, this SW, and let's take the
full measure of it.