RE: A Less Ephemeral Web


Thank you. That sounds like an interesting conference.

I think that certain “political” topics can be phrased as charitable or philanthropic, for instance equipping and empowering voters and their decision-making processes.

As for “left-leaning” or “right-leaning” that was but one idea for one possible component, one app, plugin or service, which could be opted into or selected by a user to convenience them and that could be a third-party app, plugin or service. Other proximate ideas which come to mind include sentiment analysis, partisanship detection, persuasion detection, spin detection. The more I think about it, the more ideas for apps, plugins or services come to mind. Ultimately, software developers are envisioned as creating apps, plugins or services which they hope will be of use to others and end users are envisioned as opting into or selecting the specific ones which best convenience them in their determinations.

I should note that while all of the objects are in scope (, the benefits for end users that I am hoping for involve the NewsArticle schema ( and its subtypes. So, while we’re talking about being able to save, note or scrapbook all sorts of things or objects embedded in webpages (e.g. recipes), I think that NewsArticle and its subtypes are both an interesting and relevant subtopic.

To your question, a less ephemeral Web could equip people and societies with, beyond attention, memory. A less ephemeral Web could encourage people to become more informed about aspects of their collections of news articles and editorials, about aspects of their information search and gathering processes, about their well-informedness, and so forth. A less ephemeral Web alongside apps, plugins and services convenient to end users could provide them with a “meta” view of their Web news consumption processes between and during election seasons; in these regards, users could be provided with dashboards which integrate information from multiple apps, plugins or services.

Best regards,

From: adasal<>
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2020 3:59 PM
To: Adam Sobieski<>
Cc:<>; Mailing List<>;<>;<>
Subject: Re: A Less Ephemeral Web

I think this is relevant.
Last year (it seems such a long time ago) I organised a conference on AI and psychotherapy.
And yes, I did manage to find quite a few speakers able to talk to the topic.
But as I was writing up the material for the website someone who is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the charity associated with this pointed out that they, according to their charitable purposes, could not be political.
So we weren't - I think.
But this begs the question: what does it mean to be political?
Or not to be political for that matter?
How do you assess "right-leaning" or "left-leaning". Who or what makes that assessment?
It is not possible to rely on logic for this as logic is not parti pris, so it may not lean either way in an argument that is a question of opinion. Logic cannot "know" where to draw the boundary between not the outer boundary of such an assessment.
We decide, possibly in the light of logic, logic does not decide for us.
I think that a lot of the appeal of the current arrangement of biased algorithms is that it happens under the surface, mimicking the way we do not want to think things through.
What is it in what you suggest that will encourage people to think things through and help them with that process?
(Scrapbooks of articles plugged into a classifier could be an interesting diversion, but I don't think it will get us very far.)


On Thu, Aug 27, 2020 6:26 PM, Adam Sobieski<> wrote:

Web users could press or click on a Web browser button to save, note or scrapbook webpages and/or Web-schema-annotated objects in them, storing them for later use. This storage could be organized into folders and Web schema could be of use for sorting webpages and/or objects into these folders. For example, a NewsArticle schema could indicate that, when saved, noted or scrapbooked, Web content could be organized into a folder called “News Articles”.

Webpages and/or objects in them could be stored on users’ local devices or stored on cloud-based storage such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. This could be configurable for end users.

Cloud-based storage and extensible architectures could facilitate the development of apps, plugins and services to analyze the contents of collections of stored webpages to provide features for end users. Some specific examples of analytical services in the news space include: (1) notifying users of the distribution of the sources of their collected articles, (2) notifying users whether their collected articles contain misinformation or disinformation, (3) notifying users whether their collected articles are “left-leaning” or “right-leaning”, (4) indicating to users the distribution of topics in their collected articles, (5) indicating to users sentiment analysis upon their collected articles, (6) indicating to users the comprehensiveness of their news search and gathering processes for a given topic, and (7) providing other features made possible by other AI and natural language processing tools.

Multiple means of navigating collections of stored webpages and/or objects can be envisioned. Users could utilize a calendar-based widget to navigate collections of webpages or objects. Users could also navigate via a folders-based user experience.

Multiple means of searching collections of stored webpages and/or objects can be envisioned, for example searching for content by text strings or keywords.

Thank you. I hope that these ideas are of some interest to you.

Best regards,

Adam Sobieski

Received on Thursday, 27 August 2020 20:47:21 UTC