[Top] [All Lists]

[ontolog-forum] MACK target: people, not AI

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Alan Bundy" <bundy@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Christopher Spottiswoode" <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2008 20:14:22 +0200
Message-id: <00ab01c87c92$303c8080$0100a8c0@Dev>
(This post is a tangent to my "MACK basics" series, but it does 
feed directly into the 3rd instalment which I had already been 
preparing.)    (01)

is this forum's first introduction to MACK (The Mainstream 
Architecture for Common Knowledge) and Metaset (my current 
work-in-progress programming, projected to be the first 
implementation of MACK and designed as an AOS or Application 
Operating System).    (02)

MACK has a singularly abstract objective, namely:    (03)

    to help people simplify complexity together.    (04)

Thanks to John Sowa's recent reference to Alan Bundy on this 
list (Thank you John!), I have learnt of another project 
pursuing an objective which seems very much the same:    (05)

   "to deal with an infinitely complex and ever changing world,
    and to scale up to rich and complex applications."    (06)

That is from the abstract of a paper by Bundy and McNeill, 
"Representation as a Fluent:  An AI Challenge for the Next Half 
Century", at 
http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/publications/online/0836.pdf.  The full 
abstract reads:    (07)

"We argue that artificial intelligence systems must be able to 
manipulate their own internal representations automatically in 
order to deal with an infinitely complex and ever changing 
world, and to scale up to rich and complex applications. Such 
manipulation must go beyond the ability to change beliefs and 
learn new concepts in terms of old; it must be able to change 
the underlying syntax and semantics of the ontology. Initial 
progress is being made and is now urgent, due to the demands 
created by autonomous multi-agent systems. Understanding and 
automating this ability must be a major focus of artificial 
intelligence for the next 50 years."    (08)

So let's do some comparing and contrasting between MACK and the 
Bundy/McNeill program ("BM" here).    (09)

Both clearly have the same starting-point in complexity (and 
google '"infinite complexity" metaset' to see how I like to 
carry on at length on what BM asserts is the infinite nature of 
that complexity).    (010)

But our respective aims seem significantly different:  Are we to 
aim for "rich and complex applications"?  Or for 
simplifications?    (011)

I dismiss that apparent difference with the observation that all 
applications are simplifications, however "rich and complex" 
they may be.  (I have carried on at some length also on that 
aspect of applications and other such products at 
http://jeffsutherland.com/oopsla97/SpottiswoodeByndBO.html#philo.)    (012)

More striking, of course, is that B&M see a 50-year process 
whereas I have explicitly targeted both Metaset and MACK at the 
here and now!    (013)

The evident reason for that contrast resides in this paragraph 
from my above-linked ontolog posting:    (014)

"But the prime context of my proposal is not automated reasoning 
by non-human agents.  It is the intersection of application 
interoperability and human collaboration, that having been where 
I have spent most of my professional life so far.  It is 
DP/IS/DBMS and internet-leveraging (hence also highly scalable!) 
application development, rather than AI/NLP."    (015)

Nonetheless, let us further compare this immediate IS/DBMS 
project with that 50-year AI program.  (B&M and I do after all 
live on the same planet.)    (016)

'People in the market' is the difference.  Hence also the 
"Democratic Web" name proposed for the universal medium aimed 
at, very much in the sense of Lincoln's "government of the 
people, by the people and for the people."  (Yes, MACK _is_ very 
mainstream, with its frequent reliance on such clichés.)    (017)

Now, the people-driven market is where products are created and 
legitimated.  In an efficient market they are rejected (or 
"refuted") sooner if they are not adequate simplifications - or 
shapers and formers - of the demand they address.  A suitable 
public medium as an efficient marketplace or market vehicle will 
boost the efficiency of the market itself and hence also of the 
evolution of ever better simplifications, including its own 
market vehicles.  That is of course a formula for exponential 
growth (or, more realistically, a series of sigmoid growth 
curves as new constraints are encountered and overcome) (and I 
was writing such plain things before I had ever heard of "The 
Singularity").    (018)

And there is no need to wait 50 years for such a simple process 
to be set going in a right and proper way.    (019)

It is that process which Metaset and/or other MACK-AOSs will 
seed and with which the market will bootstrap itself (as stated 
even in the limerick at the start of the above-linked 1997 
page).    (020)

There is however a further parallel between BM and MACK.  It's 
even in the BM title,  "Representation as a fluent", and in the 
abstract's "systems must be able to manipulate their own 
internal representations" (though I have snatched those words 
out of their context to eliminate the "artificial intelligence" 
phrase preceding them and the "automatically" word following 
them).    (021)

Thus in the next instalment you will begin to see how MACK's 
much-vaunted "reflectivity" will be the basis of continual 
automatic invocation and frequent AOS-supported but 
people-driven fluidity of MACK Forms.  I have also foreseen 
(though I'll give you the references from the 1990s only later) 
how even the most basic MACK structures will evolve beyond our 
easy recognition.     (022)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (023)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • [ontolog-forum] MACK target: people, not AI, Christopher Spottiswoode <=