[Crm-sig] Culture bias
martin at ics.forth.gr
Wed May 29 23:43:45 EEST 2019
For all of you that are interested in the relation between modelling and
reality, and the questions of adequacy and efficiency of such models, I
recommend reading this interesting book:
Nisbett, Richard E.. The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners
Think Differently - and Why . Hodder & Stoughton. Kindle Edition.
Not that I would support the idea that different cultures see different
worlds, I defend the position that it is the things they pay attention
to and what they abstract from reality that differs, obviously
substantially. I think it is equally obvious that such different forms
of thinking can be learned by anybody interested and open-minded enough
(as Nisbett shows besides others). I think in attempting to make an
international standard it is our ethical obligation and scientific
opportunity to make sure we do not fall into cultural bias, at least not
to the extreme.
I am well aware that the very method of using a KR model of type RDF/OWL
imposes severe limits on the description of reality, which in itself
constitutes a Western bias. But beyond that, we can discuss both the
limitations imposed by that, and ways to describe other points of view
about what has happened in the past and is still ongoing.
I have the impression that the CRM, in its focus on events and things
with fuzzy boundaries, particularly on relationships rather than
classification, and a concept of weak causality, is already going away
from a typical Western style AI view.
Reading Nisbett and similar work carefully, I think we have a chance to
combine superior thoughts and intellectual methods equally from all
cultures for a better understanding of the world we live in, and in
particular to improve our IT models and develop a clear understanding of
their intellectual limitations and position in our reasoning processes.
The improvement may be on the level of models, discussing extensions and
modifications of definitions, but also on the forms of logic or more
general processing used to evaluate data in a CRM like form.
All the best,
Dr. Martin Doerr
Honorary Head of the
Center for Cultural Informatics
Information Systems Laboratory
Institute of Computer Science
Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)
N.Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton,
Email: martin at ics.forth.gr
More information about the Crm-sig