The Dog Days of Melancholy

These are the worst days of a time which one particularly painful aspect of life hangs overhead.

On a day like this, the highlight of the morning is the availability of a corner spot at Pete’s coffee. So welcoming, waiting for me with open arms, so soft and moist, it just feels so right… I quickly lay my shoddy claim to it, shedding my wintry coat over it to cover my corner seat at the corner table as if that will secure it for myself in perpetuity and in clandestiny. The dreary dank pop pumped into my head like buckshots through a shotgun, but doesn’t bother me. This is as they say, as good as it gets.

Knowledge Science and Technology

Now recalling an interesting declaration of endeavor in Machine Teaching in an earlier blog entry. One component of the vision is the creation of useful, verifiable, efficient and generalized knowledge communication. Let’s, for the purpose of this fam-blog-based communication, call this Knowledge Science and Technology(KST, and MT-KST) representing a subset of all that is required conscience Machine Teaching. (In particular separating epistemological considerations from pedagogical considerations. Secondarily, it separates Scientific and Technological concerns from Political ones: policies, laws, monitoring and enforcement. Lastly, while MT-KST cannot be developed for computers completely independent of its KR, it is still separate from internal representations that are more geared towards internal reasoning and operations)

One puzzling question is the definition of knowledge, what is knowledge?

One stab in the dark, in the framework of MT-KST, it would seem logical to dictate that knowledge is transmittable information. Untranslatable and undescribable knowledge, while possibly worth while for the host system to organize and remember, is not worth anything to others and therefore not knowledge.

A related problem is the ROI of the effort to form such knowledge. AFAIK, nobody reads this blog as I write it. Is it worth it for me to create it? If I can derive the Fermat’s last theorem in 1ms, is it worth remembering it? If the work to create knowledge can be embedded within my own thinking and doing process, then it needn’t be externalized into knowledge as communication. For another example, it would appear to me that opening my mouth is a procedure that needs no teaching. The effort to fully teach it via information transfer is not efficient or effective. Even though it is context for eating, it is something babies do before they were born.

This far we have gathered two types of information that is surely not required in MT-KST:

  • The knowledge that is not describable. A pathological example of this are statements that change meaning once interpreted: this sentence is untrue.
  • The knowledge that is pre-built in the communicating systems.(Redundant idempotent communication)
  • The knowledge that is trivially knowable through routine reasoning. (Performing cost-benefit analysis trading off communication costs with operating thinking costs)

What else? Can we describe knowledge further for MT-KST?

Quick Comment for Google AI Policy

There’s a blog post of google principals for ethical AI technology. One thing that catches ones eyes is this passage

Weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people.

Which leads me to remember some old posts of my own blog regarding the matter. Humanisitic orientation to establish anchors in an ethics proclaimation is certainly very good. The one problem it does make unclear is the nature of human beings.

For example, is technology able o ecretly drive a nail into my tire while my car is parked outside of swimming gymnasium “injury to people”? From text, it would seem that nail in the tire is not damaging to my human person. But it does damage my social-economic person. Without a functioning car, I cannot do a lot of things to be part of the society and economy, but my person, for now, is still whole.

In particular, when it comes to google, the questions will be “is my email account part of my person?” Is my house “part of my person?” A tank with high powered cannon on the turret, is not primarily designed to damage my person, but it certainly is a weapon of fairly sizable destruction relative to my house.

While I’m griping, USA always lead the world in humanist ideals and also in technology (but maybe not together) to lean on international standards is an error on both sides

Technologies whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.

It lowers USA corporation to the standards of companies from countries like PR. Of China and Republic of India. While we hold every country in high esteem, they’re all functioning countries keeping their massive population alive and happy, we’re not sure how they do it is how we should do it. We don’t want to sink as low as them.

Some recent example, BitTorrent, and virtual currencies, are all things whose purpose can be construed as to contravene principals or laws of most country. So on this side of the error, the policy inhibits technological advancements.

Its hard to think, discuss and write these things when Google employs half of your friends and aquaintences. But it is worth discussing further imho.