Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How do people relate to knowledge?

It is a rather simple but interesting question:

How do people relate to knowledge?

I do not really have a great answer right now, but it does seem that it cuts to the heart of how we represent knowledge in a way that people can make sense out of.

On the other hand, maybe the real answer is that intelligent software agents are the "way" that people "relate" to knowledge. Even so, people need a conceptual model of what and how they communicate with those software agents since the agents are merely an indirect mechanism to access the underlying knowledge. How much of that underlying structure can the agents reasonably hide?

Maybe there is a clue from the land of databases where you have an overall schema, a storage schema for the underlying data, and multiple views each of which is specialized to the needs of a distinct audience.

I am not convinced that is the answer, but maybe it is a clue to build on. Certainly the part about multiple audiences with different interests, needs, and abilities has got to be part of the solution.

-- Jack Krupansky


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