AI’s new type of knowledge
08 Mar 2023
This way of knowing works pragmatically for some very complex systems of the sort we find in the real world. But, oddly, itseems not to work so well in some artificially simple systems.
Knowledge as I remember it
09 Jan 2023
The web transformed the role of knowledge by making it instantly available but not inherently reliable.
Getting more confused about regulating social media
03 Nov 2022
Out of the mix of commercial greed, politics, and genuine desires to make the world better, we'll try many ways to "fix" social media. But I think it may take a couple of generations, affected by what we do, for us to begin to agree about what's right and wrong.
What ‘sentient’ AI teaches us
07 Sep 2022
As Gary Marcus says, a large language model is just a "spreadsheet for words" that lets it act as a massive autocompletion system that knows how words go together but has not the foggiest idea how those words connect to the world.
AI’s ways of being immoral
07 Jul 2022
The most powerful ML can require the resources of wealthy organizations. Such organizations usually have at best mixed motivations, to be charitable about it.
04 May 2022
Maybe the rise of machine learning will so transform our model of intuition that we'll start to trust it much more.
04 Mar 2022
In a book, not knowing how you got to a page would be a sign of a failed structure. On the internet, that can be a sign of a deeply rewarding intellectual expedition.
05 Jan 2022
Predictions can be used to try to get to the bottom of something in the present. That's often the case with arguments about what the web will do to us and society.
The state of knowledge
05 Nov 2021
The new norm is for us to learn in public and to share what we have learned.
The knowledge Zoom
08 Sep 2021
In choosing to disclose something about one's personality and interests—even though it's kept literally in thebackground—people are acknowledging that personality and personhood matter to the discussion.
The end of books?
08 Jul 2021
The structure of knowledge is dense, and our paths through it are carved not just by itscontours but by our interests and concerns.
The privilege of free speech
05 May 2021
The best counter to a bad idea was not to suppress it but to put forth a better idea or so we believed. That belief and the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of free speech resulted from the Enlightenment commitment to reason.
08 Mar 2021
The knowledge of bureaucrats comes from living at the nexus of strategy and implementation, the nexus of best practices and human values, the nexus of multiple departments with their independent goals, and at the nexus of wishes and reality. That makes their voices worth listening to.
Writing as empathy
11 Jan 2021
Communication is about revealing something about the world that the other person hasn't noticed—and often hasn't been able to notice because their ideas get in the way.
A little eternal knowledge is a dangerous thing
05 Nov 2020
Even if our business knowledge were as eternal and omnipresent as Newton's laws, we'd still have to apply that knowledge to a world that is unfathomably complex and ever-changing.
Data is never just data
04 Sep 2020
As with all tools, data has uses because of complex contexts that include other objects, physics, social norms, social institutions, and human intentions.
Links then and now
07 Jul 2020
Broken links used to be like potholes. Now there are entire neighborhoods that are gone.
14 May 2020
Science will not give up on hypotheses. But it already is becoming more willing to accept results based on the sorts of statistical analyses performed by machine learning. And it may be thatwhen science does rely on theories and laws, we will recognize that no matter how ironclad they are as generalizations, their application to a world of confetti will always and necessarily render them approximate and probabilistic.
250 Columns later
09 Mar 2020
Knowledge management has indeed become a multi-threaded discipline, embracing just about everything related to knowledge.
The challenge of emergence
03 Jan 2020
Traditionally, we humans have succeeded at building complex structures by breaking plans down into a multitude of simple, predictable, knowable causes and effects.