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Re: When does a document acquire (web) semantics?

From: Mark Wilkinson <markw@illuminae.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 2010 07:37:54 -0800
To: "Danny Ayers" <danny.ayers@gmail.com>, "Peter Ansell" <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
Cc: "Jim McCusker" <mccusker@gmail.com>, "John Madden" <john.madden@duke.edu>, "w3c semweb HCLS" <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, "Oliver Ruebenacker" <curoli@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <op.u7ia1gdpnbznux@dd0710001l.icapture.ubc.ca>
On Mon, 01 Feb 2010 15:08:38 -0800, Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>  

> Peter, I agree with 99% of what you said but this bit bothers me a bit:
>> People regularly misinterpret medical documents currently by examining
>> them without the proper medical training. Adding superclasses etc or
>> deleting elements as they feel necessary is just formalising the
>> process where normal people interpret advice given by medically
>> trained people.
> Surely the point of what we do (or maybe just should do) with online
> data is to minimise the risk of misinterpretation?

It's a bit presumptuous to say that any interpretation is the only one,  
and that other interpretations are 'mis-'.

Besides, I think the discussion is a bit moot.  The Web has taught us  
(repeatedly!) that trying to dictate what people do with information is a  
waste of time.  If we're going to give patients access to their data (and  
I think we should, and I suspect it will soon be the case that we have no  
choice anyway), then IMO the best we can do is provide them OUR (their  
physician's) ontology for interpreting that data.  This means that the  
trust relationship between patient and physician is critical to guide the  
patient to prefer their physician's interpretation vs that of some other  
quack with their wacky ontology.

I don't see that we have any greater control over the situation than that.


Mark D Wilkinson, PI Bioinformatics
Assistant Professor, Medical Genetics
The James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research
Providence Heart + Lung Institute
University of British Columbia - St. Paul's Hospital
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Received on Tuesday, 2 February 2010 15:38:00 UTC

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