[Crm-sig] New Issue: Non-human Actors
martin at ics.forth.gr
Tue Sep 21 22:04:50 EEST 2021
I support this.
I suggest the non-human Actors to go into CRMsci. It is a
straightforward extension of scope, and has been discussed in the past.
Non-human actors cannot be hold liable, and will not report. They are
obviously a sibling to the human actors, and fall under a common
generalization. In the same way, we have generalized over physical
things in CRMsci.
I think any opinion that animals in general cannot take intentional
actions has been proven non-sense. Conversely, human actions are often
enough instinct driven.
So far, I do not think we have evidence of conceptual objects created by
non-human actors. Whales may turn out having oral traditions in the
future. Bird songs are, however, partially tradition and not innate, but
we miss the creator individual...
On 9/21/2021 5:13 PM, Robert Sanderson via Crm-sig wrote:
> Dear all,
> In working with our natural history museum, we have a need to assign
> non-human "actors" to "activities", which is not currently possible.
> I think the easiest case to discuss is the construction of a
> (collected) nest by a (known individual) bird.
> We have an identity for the bird (and indeed, we have the remains of
> the bird!) and we have an identity for the nest that the bird
> constructed. We can estimate the time when the nest was made, and we
> know exactly where it was made (due to where it was collected from).
> For example:
> Or a dinosaur nest, where the adult and the eggs and the nest are
> If the bird (or dinosaur) could be an Actor, then it would be easy -
> the bird carried out a Production, during the TimeSpan, which produced
> the (coughcough)MadeObject, at the Place. However the only thing that
> can carry out activities is a human or group thereof.
> Similarly, the nest might have been built by a mated pair of birds,
> thereby requiring a Group-like construct for non-human actors as well.
> At the moment it seems like the best we can do is
> (beginning-of-existence-of-nest) P12 occurred in the presence of
> (bird-as-biological-object), which seems woefully inadequate
> semantically as it likely occurred in the presence of a lot of things,
> including other birds that didn't actually do anything. The closer
> subproperty is P11 had participant, which we can't use as birds cannot
> be actors.
> This might also relate to other discussions, in particular:
> * Instruments -- the instrument is somehow more responsible for the
> measurement than the thing being measured. It is at least
> "instrumental in" the measurement, be it digitally or mechanically.
> * Bias -- that animals cannot take intentional actions is a pretty
> biased viewpoint. Canis virum mordet, not only vir canem mordet. This
> might be extended to un-observable agents -- a culture might believe
> that a ghost, spirit, god, or other non-physical entity carried out
> some action.
> * Software "agents" -- even if the software is acting totally
> deterministically at the behest of another actor, a hard determinist
> might argue the same for humans.
> We could add a property either something like "instrumental in" with a
> broad range (Persistent Item, as super-class of Actor?) that is less
> about intent and responsibility, and more concerned with the
> required-ness of the entity for the event. Or we could go further and
> create some new classes between E77 and E39 that allow limited
> performance of activities by non Humans.
> Rob Sanderson
> Director for Cultural Heritage Metadata
> Yale University
> Crm-sig mailing list
> Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr
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
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