W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-logic@w3.org > June 2001

Re: performatives and trust

From: Seth Russell <seth@robustai.net>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 20:51:49 -0700
Message-ID: <008c01c0efce$5a2a58c0$b17ba8c0@c1457248a.sttls1.wa.home.com>
To: <las@olin.edu>, "pat hayes" <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Cc: <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
From: "pat hayes" <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>

> After all, there IS a
> truth of the matter, right?

I imagine so .. but nobody can knows it, nor will they ever.  I would hate
to burn such an unknowable metaphysics into the axioms of our thinking.
Especially because we don't have any particular reason to.  You calculate
your truth, I'll calculate mine ...  thank you just the same.

>The world is the way it is, in fact.
> Logic is quite capable of shrugging its shoulders: think of (P or not
> P) for example, which is about the purest expression of "I dunno"
> that one could wish for. (The often-expressed feelings that talk of
> truth is overly left-brainish, or something, seem to me to based on
> misconceptions about what logic means by 'truth'.) But in any case,
> if one really wants to be able to express intermediate truthvalues
> there are any number of formal logics that will do that for you, at
> more or less cost in clarity, as you know.

Intermediate truth values are only part of the problem.  How about
constructing a system that know where to apply logic and where to step away
and apply some other heuristic.

>Just because the axioms are located on a website
> somewhere and accessed via a URI doesn't make them ABOUT a different
> world. And so why would there be any less of 'truth of the matter'
> with web-based reasoning than with any other reasoning? That matter
> is the same, whatever the location of the axioms that refer to it.

I agree.

> I know yours is a very popular view, but I see no actual evidence for
> it, and retain a very strong cynicism about the more, er, social
> vision of 'agents'. As far as I can tell, that word 'agent' has a
> collection of technical meanings which have virtually nothing to do
> with one another, and the only technical meanings of 'agent' that
> make sense in the SW/DAML context are completely disjoint from the
> meanings that have any social relevance (chatterbots, animated faces
> and other media-labbish stuff.)

Forget about all the hype .. there still is a very good reason that we need
agents on the web to function in a social context.   The reason is that the
relevance of information retrieved increases dramatically if it is retrieved
from an agent that shares a context with the retriever agent.  Recently I
was helping my son with a science project .. and I needed an easy way to
make a vacuum.  So I went to all the usual suspects Google, AltaVista,
Copernic and did the best I could.  I got zip, zilch that I could use.  So I
went to McClendon hardware where you can ask these hardware guru's,  who are
right there playing with the kind of tools I needed, how to easily make a
vacuum in a jar.  Bingo .. got it on first hit.  So that is primarily the
reason I want my Internet software agents to be social.  They correspond,
exchanging bookmarks and triples with people and agents that are working in
the same area and context in which I am working.

So you see it is not the social life of the agent itself or it's manners
(you examples are hilarious, Pat) that we are concerned with here;  rather
we are concerned with how we use the social transactions of the owners of
the agents to establish context.

My Vision
Some day I'll fill in the hyper links.

Seth Russell
Received on Thursday, 7 June 2001 23:58:04 UTC

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