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Month: February 2018

Knowledge. Graphs

[Personal note] 


All this talk of knowledge and graphs has sent me back to my roots. I am a simple guy and this goes way over my head so I need to look at where I belong and where my work belongs in this space.  


Visual Communication  


My passion comes from a visual perspective (my education is that of a visual artist) and my project Author was designed to be visually simple with powerful controls (as we would invent as we keep testing and dreaming) and the Dynamic View is based on early dreams from the 1990s, of being able to move text/symbols around at will when working.  


I believe very strongly in the power of visual thinking, even for those who do not consider themselves to be visual people, since there seems to be many ways to interpret what ‘visual’ means. When pointed out that separating pieces of paper with different types of information on them into piles, it’s becomes clear that this is more useful than having just one big jumble. As Marc-Antoine wrote, turning clutter into clusters. The general gist of my thinking is to allow an author and reader the ability to cluster any information manually or by any criteria, while not loosing the central human thread of perspective. 


Liquid + Linear 


There has been much thinking and work towards completely liquid information environments but there is a reality that it’s one thing to think of information environments in an abstract sense and quite another when we are dealign with specific information – which is the only type of information, but that is another discussion.  


When dealing with specific information the linearity of the author’s point of view becomes a central vector. There is always a point, an intention the author is trying to convey when ‘authoring’ a document and it is this which must be presented in symbolic form in order for another person (including the author in the future) to grasp what the author is trying to communicate. 




A key point is that there will *always* be some level of cognitive processing of the symbols on their journey from substrate to mind via the human visual system, which will take place in the following spaces/domains/systems: 


Visual Space. What the reader sees visual on the substrate (initial typography, layout etc. and results of the readers interactive controls over the view) 

Mind Space. The filter of the readers mental perspective (experiences from memory which ‘comes to mind’, the reader’s expectation of the document, level of education, state of mind, initial understanding of the subject matter etc., both cultural and personal) 

• External Space. The readers ability reach into external sources for other connections, perspectives and information (by asking another human being, referring to a printed/PDF document or through symbol interaction for searches, listings, analysis both interactive and proactive, dependent on the readers knowledge of the possible tools and information) 


The goal of any cognitive symbolic communications system is to strike a balance between augmenting the ability of the reader to internalise and understand what authors intent with questioning the validity, credibility and relevance of the author’s claims.  


Socratic Authoring  


The notion of Socratic Authoring is based on Socrates’ position that writing is not as interactive as speaking with someone, which is of course true to an extent, but it is not always possible to have a spoken conversation with everyone. Socratic Authoring then attempts to provide a richer impression of the authors perspective for the reader to interact with. This seems to be a goal of the knowledge graph crowd as well, so I think this is where we aim to find ways to augment each others approaches.  


How to model and build on this I don’t know. To me it boils down to building interactive visual systems for symbol authoring and reading.  


On a related note, I saw some students today who are interested in augmented thinking. Inspiring chaps, hope they can join us December 9th. 











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Joe & The HyperGlossary

This is of course a story about Joe, Doug’s demo character from his 62 paper. Joe the reader sits down to study an academic document, to try to increase his comprehension of this particular topic.  

The document has been tagged as being in the field of computer science so any hyperGlossary entries are expected to be related to that particular field of computer science which the author has expressly stated that she is a part of. Joe can choose to use these pre-tagged hyperGlossary entries or use his own specific chosen computer science hyperGlossary. This means that basic (included/pre-tagged) glossary entries can be shown when required but they can also be instantly opened in the readers chosen knowledge graph software and chosen area, for widely useful multidimensional views to really grasp the specific issue, where both the power of visualisation and richly deep AI augments his approach. (I do realise that this leaves a huge amount of issues to be resolved) 

Later on Joe starts to work on authoring a new document and adds definitions to the hyperGlossary in a format compatible with the knowledge graph space he is associated with when necessary and explicitly adds previous terms (or denies associations where he expects ambiguity).  

When he is done he goes through a ‘Polish & Publish’ stage where he does a grammar check, reader level, plagiarism check, has an automatic outline generated etc. and finally, the software presents terms in his document which could fit with the associated knowledge graphs for him to approve or disapprove.  

Joe then publishes the document as a Rich PDF or a Complete HTML document to the repository which is able to extract all the richness in the document and serve the next reader as richly and interactively as possible. 

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