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RE: [xml-dev] Machine vs Human: The Disputed Territory (was:Syntax versus Semantics)

So, getting back to Roger's definitions ...

Machines do the syntax drudge work, and wet-ware does the rest (whether
or not you call it "semantics").

Thanks to Rick and Jonas for the back references.

The puzzle pieces are just right, Roger.  Thanks.

Bruce B Cox
Manager, Standards Development Division

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Starks [mailto:ken@lampsacos.demon.co.uk] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 3:08 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Cc: costello@mitre.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Machine vs Human: The Disputed Territory (was:
Syntax versus Semantics)

Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> Bruce Cox wrote:
>   There are those operations that: 
>   1) cannot be performed by machine 
>   2) can but aren't performed by machine
>          [it isn't economical,   
>           or we haven't figured 
>          it out yet] 
>   3) are performed by machines
>   The boundary between 2 and 3 
>   is a territory in dispute with daily 
>   skirmishes on several fronts where 
>   there are clear winners on one side 
>   or the other, but with no end to the 
>   overall conflict in sight.  
>   I think the best we can expect is a 
>   certain equilibrium between what 
>   machines can profitably perform 
>   and what humans will profitably perform 
>   The disputed territory moves across the 
>   landscape, but never completely disappears.
> Awesome imagery Bruce! I enjoyed it so much that I created a graphic:
> http://www.xfront.com/machine-vs-human-the-disputed-territory.gif
> /Roger
Although I expect us to get a slap on the wrist for being off-topic, I 
can't resist making a response.

I want to live in Utopia, by the way.

In my world, the one I am trying to build, there will be no conflict 
whatever between humans and machines.
Taking an evolutionary metaphor (i.e. Memes for Genes) it will be a 
supreme example of symbiosis, of
the 'nice guys always win' branch of evolution rather than the 'red in 
tooth and claw' branch.

I want machines to be life-enhancing, never to increase drudgery, so I'm

pretty strong a bit of artificial
selection of collaborative memes and pruning out of drudgery-promoting 

Roger, anyone else, make a graphic of that if you like!


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