[Crm-sig] New Issue: Non-human Actors

Robert Sanderson azaroth42 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 12 00:16:02 EEST 2021


Hi Pat,

While that is certainly true from a model-theoretic perspective, in
practice authorities simply create Persons for them which is, in my
opinion, even worse because there is a demonstrated need which the modeling
is intentionally preventing.

For example in the Library of Congress:
Real animal/people:
  Lassie: https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/nb2015016669.html
  Misha the Dolphin: https://id.loc.gov/rwo/agents/nb2017006372.html

And fictitious:
  Odie (from Garfield):
https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/no2017122131.html
  Grumpy Cat: https://id.loc.gov/rwo/agents/n2013036964.html

In ULAN, here's a racehorse/person:

https://www.getty.edu/vow/ULANFullDisplay?find=&role=&nation=&subjectid=500353456


ISNI has a dog/person called Maggie Mayhem:
    https://isni.org/isni/0000000497302960

And so on.

Rob


On Mon, Oct 11, 2021 at 4:50 PM Pat Riva via Crm-sig <crm-sig at ics.forth.gr>
wrote:

> Just to remark that the library world discussed non-human actors for many
> years (in the literal sense of actor as in the dogs that portrayed Lassie
> in the TV series, or that portrayed Sykes and Paddy from Midsomer Murders,
> somehow it is always cute dogs that are brought up in the discussion).
>
> The desire was to list the named animal actors in the credits for the cast
> of a film and provide access via their "real" names the same as for the
> rest of the cast, and so using the same mechanisms as for human actors.
>
> This sounds like it might be fine until you realize that making the dog a
> valid LRM-E6 Agent means that it can have the full range of responsibility
> relationships to works, expressions, manifestations and items. Which
> becomes absurd.
>
> And while is it understood that one can easily film an individual animal,
> it isn't clear that it is behaving as an actor intending to create a
> cinematographic work in the same way that the human participants. There was
> also no clear consensus on which sorts of animals were individually
> interesting enough to merit this treatment, rather than just being viewed
> as an instance of their species (as in nature documentaries).
>
> The animal agent option was rejected in FRBR and again rejected in LRM,
> and a LRM-E6 Agent (= E39 Actor) remains restricted to either individual
> human beings (LRM-E7 Person) or groups of human beings (LRM-E8 Collective
> Agent, or F55 Collective Agent in LRMoo).
>
> The current compromise is that the animal actors, if it is desired to
> provide access points for them, are established as instances of a
> subcategory of LRM-E1 Res that is disjoint from LRM-E6 Agent. There was
> talk of creating some guidelines for this at one point, but I have not
> followed the issue since then.
>
> Pat
>
> Pat Riva
>
> Associate University Librarian, Collection Services
>
> Concordia University
>
> Vanier Library (VL-301-61)
>
> 7141 Sherbrooke Street West
>
> Montreal, QC H4B 1R6
>
> Canada
>
> pat.riva at concordia.ca
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Crm-sig <crm-sig-bounces at ics.forth.gr> on behalf of George
> Bruseker via Crm-sig <crm-sig at ics.forth.gr>
> *Sent:* October 11, 2021 3:02 PM
> *To:* Martin Doerr <martin at ics.forth.gr>
> *Cc:* crm-sig at ics.forth.gr <Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr>
> *Subject:* Re: [Crm-sig] New Issue: Non-human Actors
>
> Hi Martin,
>
> I think Rob listed in the introduction to the issue the use cases of
> documentation of individual action of animals.
>
> It would seem that natural scientists don't only study species but also
> individuals.
>
> Here's a smattering of pieces culled from casual reading in the past few
> weeks with nice motivations and examples for these new classes.
>
>
> https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/29/new-zealand-kea-can-use-touchscreens-but-cant-distinguish-between-real-and-virtual-worlds
> <https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fenvironment%2F2021%2Fsep%2F29%2Fnew-zealand-kea-can-use-touchscreens-but-cant-distinguish-between-real-and-virtual-worlds&data=04%7C01%7Cpat.riva%40concordia.ca%7C3d1d139359704ba3a2fa08d98cea74cd%7C5569f185d22f4e139850ce5b1abcd2e8%7C0%7C0%7C637695760889146006%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=Qly1xg9bGcR0%2FZWH5dwICS2zXz%2BWuSOkzbQhvHwefc8%3D&reserved=0>
>
>
> https://www.businessinsider.com/watch-australias-google-delivery-drone-attacked-by-raven-mid-air-2021-9?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=sf-insider-inventions&utm_medium=social
> <https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Fwatch-australias-google-delivery-drone-attacked-by-raven-mid-air-2021-9%3Futm_source%3Dfacebook.com%26utm_campaign%3Dsf-insider-inventions%26utm_medium%3Dsocial&data=04%7C01%7Cpat.riva%40concordia.ca%7C3d1d139359704ba3a2fa08d98cea74cd%7C5569f185d22f4e139850ce5b1abcd2e8%7C0%7C0%7C637695760889146006%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=NJHbjnrxhwJY3hudaCNkl%2F8B0QFMo5lqKXqiir2RyhM%3D&reserved=0>
>
>
> https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/what-the-crow-knows/580726/?utm_campaign=the-atlantic&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook
> <https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theatlantic.com%2Fmagazine%2Farchive%2F2019%2F03%2Fwhat-the-crow-knows%2F580726%2F%3Futm_campaign%3Dthe-atlantic%26utm_medium%3Dsocial%26utm_source%3Dfacebook&data=04%7C01%7Cpat.riva%40concordia.ca%7C3d1d139359704ba3a2fa08d98cea74cd%7C5569f185d22f4e139850ce5b1abcd2e8%7C0%7C0%7C637695760889156001%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=otC6lhsQU9HtCPECQy%2BN1LWTv%2BA98AbIbggAfRUo2wQ%3D&reserved=0>
>
>
> https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/oct/06/anicka-yi-tate-modern-turbine-hall-commission
> <https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fartanddesign%2F2021%2Foct%2F06%2Fanicka-yi-tate-modern-turbine-hall-commission&data=04%7C01%7Cpat.riva%40concordia.ca%7C3d1d139359704ba3a2fa08d98cea74cd%7C5569f185d22f4e139850ce5b1abcd2e8%7C0%7C0%7C637695760889156001%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=%2FRwZGzdfpyOdxUfCpLbg7NB9LWqOqsg1oA6Y4Tq%2FgC4%3D&reserved=0>
>
>
> All best,
>
> George
>
> On Mon, Oct 11, 2021 at 9:44 PM Martin Doerr <martin at ics.forth.gr> wrote:
>
> Dear Robert,
>
> Having collaborated with natural history museum colleagues for some years
> and designed a research infrastructure for biodiversity in Greece, I
> understand that they normally do not describe the actions of an individual
> in a way that information integration on the base of the individual's
> animal actions would be needed. They would rather state the fact that an
> individual of type A, showed individual behavior pattern B. They would
> integrate these data on a type base, and not on an individual base. We have
> at FORTH converted Darwin Core data of occurrences of individuals into
> CRMsci representations. That had so far covered the needs.
>
> A colleague in Britain had used, I think, CRM for modelling observations
> of Caledonian Crow observations. Since these crows do not travel, the
> relevant information access and exchange is still on a categorical level.
>
> Migratory birds tracking may be an application, but normally they do not
> describe other behavior than move, in which case we can use a Presence
> construct for the migration paths.
>
> Our collaboration with NHM showed that they often prefer not to use CRM
> for their observation data. In a large European Project, we were forced to
> cheat and rename all CRM concepts, so that they appeared under a "BIO"
> title.
>
> So, in short, we need an expert that would show us practice of modelling
> animal actions individually, and be willing to consider CRM...
>
> Cheers,
>
> Martin
>
> On 10/11/2021 9:13 PM, Robert Sanderson wrote:
>
>
> Could we clarify what sort of expert we're looking for to move the
> discussion forward? In particular, natural history museums seem to be at
> the critical intersection between CIDOC and the activities of animals. I
> can represent the sorts of documentary evidence from that side, and happy
> to reach out to colleagues at other NHMs. So I think the first aspect is
> covered, but I question whether we (as modelers of museum knowledge and
> documentation) /need/ to understand animal individuality or behavior in
> order to take the first step of describing an animal performing some
> action. Conversely, my experience has always been that when there is
> something to react to, it is much easier to engage with outside
> specialists.  It is easier to ask for opinions on something than it is to
> ask them to help come up with the interdisciplinary model.
>
> I also don't think it makes sense to model animal actors in great detail,
> down to the same level as the differences between classes in CRMTex for
> example. The baseline that we need to start with is much simpler.  If there
> isn't a fine grained concept of animal individuality, I don't think that
> means we can't model an individual animal at a coarser granularity, just
> that we shouldn't allow the ontology to describe anything that we don't
> understand. Even as a non-biologist, I know without any hesitation that the
> bird laid the egg in the nest in the Peabody Museum of Natural History, and
> that the herd of dinosaurs created the footprints preserved in Dinosaur
> State Park up the road from us. I know that a sheepdog can herd sheep and
> makes decisions about which way to run to accomplish the aim of getting
> the sheep into the next field (and when I was a little lad played the part
> of such a sheepdog for my uncle in New Zealand). How does the sheepdog
> know? Does it know that it knows? If we study 100 sheepdogs individually
> and in groups, what do we learn about sheepdog behavior? I don't care, and
> I don't think any other museum oriented documentation system would either :)
>
> Rob
>
>
> On Mon, Oct 11, 2021 at 11:50 AM Martin Doerr <martin at ics.forth.gr> wrote:
>
> Dear George, Robert,
>
> This makes generally sense to me as a discussion starting point. However,
> I‘d like to remind you that our methodology requires first a community
> practice of doing documentation about such things, and second domain
> experts for concepts that are not our primary knowledge.
>
> To my best knowledge, there does not exist any reliable concept of what
> individuality means across the animal kingdom, nor what a collective of
> such individuals is. There is an unbelievable complexity to these
> questions. We know from experience that any global widening of scope can
> blur all distinctions ontology enginerring relies on. Therefore I'd regard
> it as most important to find the experts first and let them speak.
>
> The reasons why we did not model animal actors is precisely the lack of an
> experts group to communicate with.
>
> Best,
>
> Martin
>
>
> On 10/11/2021 4:28 PM, George Bruseker wrote:
>
> Dear all,
>
> In preparation for the discussion of non-human actors as related to use
> cases arising in Linked.Art (inter alia), Rob and I have sketched some
> ideas back and forth to try to find a monotonic was to add the agency of
> animals in the first instance into CRM (proceeding in an empirical bottom
> up fashion) and then see where else we might also get added in (searching
> for the sibling class that Martin suggests and the generalization that it
> would need).
>
> The linked sketch provides a proposal for discussion. The background is
> given already in this issue.
>
>
> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RtKBvAH1N0G8yaE_io6hU2Z8MTBmH_8-/view?usp=sharing
> <https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdrive.google.com%2Ffile%2Fd%2F1RtKBvAH1N0G8yaE_io6hU2Z8MTBmH_8-%2Fview%3Fusp%3Dsharing&data=04%7C01%7Cpat.riva%40concordia.ca%7C3d1d139359704ba3a2fa08d98cea74cd%7C5569f185d22f4e139850ce5b1abcd2e8%7C0%7C0%7C637695760889165996%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=X1Gnd0NVTOuGF%2Ftc6YTMQuqWXGVZbooiX2VcmOB%2Fjkw%3D&reserved=0>
> (draw.io
> <https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdraw.io%2F&data=04%7C01%7Cpat.riva%40concordia.ca%7C3d1d139359704ba3a2fa08d98cea74cd%7C5569f185d22f4e139850ce5b1abcd2e8%7C0%7C0%7C637695760889175986%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=uqRW54XbraYWqAV8mg%2FOWz1robTNBzzySGFBALQjsHE%3D&reserved=0>
> )
>
>
> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aCEBtXjW8M0W7qCGe9ozSMeYAH7tJ3Wr/view?usp=sharing
> <https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdrive.google.com%2Ffile%2Fd%2F1aCEBtXjW8M0W7qCGe9ozSMeYAH7tJ3Wr%2Fview%3Fusp%3Dsharing&data=04%7C01%7Cpat.riva%40concordia.ca%7C3d1d139359704ba3a2fa08d98cea74cd%7C5569f185d22f4e139850ce5b1abcd2e8%7C0%7C0%7C637695760889175986%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=nn%2BU2U5PO11R%2BHtjKfA%2BK97EK2yUhWuI5HpMJDlwen4%3D&reserved=0>
> (png)
>
>
> Here is some argumentation.
>
> Up to now, CRM takes its scope as related to documenting intentional acts
> of human beings. Its top level class then has been E39 Actor which gives
> properties which allow the assigning of responsibility for an intentional
> activity. It has two subclasses, E21 Person and E74 Group. These two kinds
> of being have different behaviour, therefore properties, therefore classes.
>
> If we expand the scope (in base or in sci or wherever) to include animal
> agency in the first instance, then we must have a way to monotonically
> generate this extension (we don't want to just expand the scope of E39
> Actor because then we will end up with rabbits being responsible for
> financial crises and murders and all sorts of nonsense).
>
> So we want to introduce a sibling class for E39 Actor. Call this
> biological agent. Instances can be anything biological. This would
> obviously be some sort of a superclass of E21 Person, since all persons are
> biological actors as well. It would be a subclass of biological object
> since all biological agents must be biological. (but not all things
> biological are biological agents)
>
> Then we would want a general class that subsumes the agency of purely
> human actors and biological agents. This would be our top class. Here we
> come up with a more general notion of agency. Whereas E39 Actor was
> declared in order to account for a 'legal persons notion' of agency common
> to Western legal systems etc. (and is perfectly adequate for the scope of
> CRM Base), this would be a broader notion of agency.
>
> In order to avoid impossible philosophical arguments around self
> consciousness, we can give a more externalist scope note / intension to
> this class. Agency has to do with those entities which display self
> organization and action towards an end from an external perspective. This
> way we avoid having to know if the other really has a self. If it looks
> like it is acting intentionally and people document it as such, then so it
> is.
>
> This now gives us a super class (and eventually super properties) for all
> agents.
>
> But wait... we need more.
>
> CRMBase distinguishes between persons and groups. Whereas persons must
> have both agency and be individuated corporeal beings, groups do not.
> Persons are atomic and irreducible (can't be made up of more persons, can't
> be spread over multiple bodies / time zones). Groups are composed of
> persons and groups. Groups are inherently collective.
>
> If we wish then to have this same distinction reflected into the
> biological domain we would need a class for individual biological agents
> parallel / sibling to person and a class for collective biological agents,
> parallel / sibling to group.
>
> Doing this one would then need the superclasses to subsume these
> divisions. Hence:
>
> Individual Agent: subclass of Agent, superclass of individual biological
> agent
>
> Collective Agent: subclass of Agent, superclass of collective biological
> agent and human group
>
> This finally allows us to have:
>
> Individual Biological Agent: subclass of Biological Agent and Individual
> Agent: used for individual birds, trees, and other biological actors
>
> Collective Biological Agent: subclass of Biological Agent and Collective
> Agent: used for flocks, forests and other group biological actors (unlike
> human groups, such groups are inherently corporeal)
>
> And at that point we might consider renaming our existing classes to
> 'human' xxx
>
> So
>
> E39 Human Agent: subclass of agent, no real change in intension, the kind
> of entity that can take action for which legal responsibility can be
> attributed within human cultures societies
>
> E21 Human Person: no real change in intension but its superclass becomes
> individual biological agent and human agent (ie an animal that can be held
> legallly responsible for its actions)
>
> E74 Group no real change in intension, but it gains a super class
> Collective Agent so it can be queried together with other agent groups.
>
> This analysis does not get into the properties which are, of course,
> fundamental but sketches a possible path for creating the structure
> necessary to create this extension of scope in such a way that it would
> respect the principle of monotonicity in revising the model while allowing
> the growth of the model to handle the many use cases of documented animal
> agency that fall within CH institution's documentary scope.
>
> Hope this is a good starting point for a constructive discussion!
>
> Best,
>
> George
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> ------------------------------------
>  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,
>  GR70013 Heraklion,Crete,Greece
>
>  Vox:+30(2810)391625
>  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr
>  Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl <https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ics.forth.gr%2Fisl&data=04%7C01%7Cpat.riva%40concordia.ca%7C3d1d139359704ba3a2fa08d98cea74cd%7C5569f185d22f4e139850ce5b1abcd2e8%7C0%7C0%7C637695760889185979%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=%2FNm5t6lEYf05r1bo63L%2FwJ9UNL8p6%2Bd85fq7WxGIFhc%3D&reserved=0>
>
>
>
> --
> Rob Sanderson
> Director for Cultural Heritage Metadata
> Yale University
>
>
>
> --
> ------------------------------------
>  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,
>  GR70013 Heraklion,Crete,Greece
>
>  Vox:+30(2810)391625
>  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr
>  Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl <https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ics.forth.gr%2Fisl&data=04%7C01%7Cpat.riva%40concordia.ca%7C3d1d139359704ba3a2fa08d98cea74cd%7C5569f185d22f4e139850ce5b1abcd2e8%7C0%7C0%7C637695760889185979%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=%2FNm5t6lEYf05r1bo63L%2FwJ9UNL8p6%2Bd85fq7WxGIFhc%3D&reserved=0>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Crm-sig mailing list
> Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr
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>


-- 
Rob Sanderson
Director for Cultural Heritage Metadata
Yale University
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