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Re: What is truth anyways? was: [...]

From: R.V.Guha <guha@guha.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 07:58:05 -0700
Message-ID: <3D07617D.9020103@guha.com>
To: Peter Crowther <peter.crowther@networkinference.com>
CC: "'Jim Hendler'" <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, www-rdf-logic@w3.org


 You have got to be kidding. Are you implying that with the SW we are 
going to be able to replace all special purpose code, include those 
running the banking networks, air-traffic control, nuclear missile 
monitoring, etc. with general purpose inference engines?

  Surely you don't mean that we can actually formally specify the 
meaning of terms like "ATM" to ensure that the term means what you 
intend it to, with the model theoretic tools we have today. Heck, when 
model theory can't even make sure that "100" refers to the integer 100, 
what hope do we have to make sure that it refers to ATM or bank?

 The weakness of model theory in capturing meaning is illustrated by RDF 
always having herbrand interpretations --- golly gee, by ATM I thought 
you meant the symbol "ATM". Sure sir, you can have the ATM!


Peter Crowther wrote:

>In this case, those 'social agreements' are specs of various banking
>interchange formats plus places to download exchange rates and maps of card
>number prefixes to issuers.  These are all written by humans, interpreted by
>humans, and turned into (often buggy) special-purpose code and text files by
>The snag is that, with the SW, we're trying to remove this human
>interpretation and special-purpose code writing.  That, to me, is what makes
>the SW interesting: that I can create (essentially) some fancy data that
>complies with some standards, and be certain that I can convey its formal
>meaning to any other SW agent that is compliant with those standards.  In
>the case of some financial transactions, the standards-compliant data
>represents financial transactions.  That's boring.  I'm interested in
>transferring as much formal meaning as possible around the Semantic Web and
>in ensuring that meaning can be interpreted --- unambiguously and according
>to my original intentions --- by the widest range of automated systems.
>Natural language and comments *in the data*, as opposed to the specification
>of the data format, are not going to help me achieve this, as there are no
>humans in the loop to interpret that natural language and modify the
>automated systems to understand that data.  The natural language comments
>are not part of any social agreement; they are merely included by one party.
>		- Peter
Received on Wednesday, 12 June 2002 10:58:57 UTC

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