Point. It’s surprising how a single simple word can be brought to life with multiple meanings. It’s difficult to interpret the meaning of a word, a group of words and often even entire stories without context, more details or a meaningful basis. What is the information that we’re building meaning on? What is it that makes it possible for us to assess a situation one way or another? How can we avoid conflation, confusion or a quid pro quo? Each of these challenges only elicits vague questioning, without any clear and precise answers.
Making ourselves understood and understanding our environment
Humanity subsists from day to day with a relatively simple goal: to live and meet its needs. It’s a constant battle to understand our environment, to establish an exchange and to make ourselves understood by all intelligent forms. We have therefore developed numerous ways to meet this challenge: signs, sounds, postures, manners, protocols, drawings, paintings, presents, writings and more. The very existence of this article confirms a need that is growing today: to make ourselves understood by our environment, and the intention to understand it in turn.
From information to disinformation
Today’s channels of communication are constantly evolving and becoming ever more complex: social networks, telephones, television, newspapers, advertising, product packaging, groups of all kinds (schools, businesses, associations, circles of friends, etc.), radio and more. Access to verified information has become much more complex and scattered, and its volume is increasing rapidly and massively. This proliferation and democratization of information are multiplying sources and complicate understanding. It naturally pushes us toward interpretation of this information.
We are losing our focus on reality and clouding the understanding of our environment. Interpretation simply creates a new issue for which very few concrete solutions have been devised. Issue like prejudice, which is not base on context but past experience, is a perfect representation of a lack of understanding. Interpretation seems to “facilitate” our daily lives by providing us with ideas and principles, but without encouraging thought and clarification. Information is losing a property that determines much of its existence: exchange.
An exchange in more ways than one
Exchange. A notion falling into disuse and being forgotten with time. Nowaday, when we want to understand, reassure, reinforce our knowledge or raise a doubt, we interpret more than we exchange / seek. Confronting our interpretation to others is a way out to situation like prejudice mention above. It becomes aware of the situation and contextualize our opinion.
A piece of information is a record of an event, experience, memory or fact, whether it is tangible or not. Let’s look at writing. Writing consist in combining groups of symbols (words, calligraphy, hieroglyphs and so on) in order to transmit a particular piece of information. As seen in the introduction, there are terms that can mislead us and keep us away from the meaning evoked. Our interpretation of the writing remains bound by our personal experience.
Let’s stop and think for a minute. We must make an effort to extend our experience to others. We must give information the chance to express itself in different lights to understand and avoid errors or worse, conflation. Our personal interpretation of information is very seldom the absolute truth, but when we expose this interpretation to other ones, it enriches that information and brings it efficiently closer to its true and initial meaning.
Daneel’s goal is quite simply to avoid drowning the user in information by establishing an exchange and by seeking to understand the user. Whoever seeks understanding seeks to ascribe a meaning to exchange.
Daneel could obviously only rely on influence brought by combinaisons of symbols to understand meanings, but doubts can arise because multiple meanings. In this case, it does not hesitate to question the user on the meaning of a term, his remarks or the idea that is alluded in his request.
Daneel removes doubt by exchanging in order to disambiguate dialogue and intention. It learns from these dialogues, builds on them to create concepts and develops these concepts to expand knowledge. In this way, it avoids “trends” and relies more on its user. It becomes aware of theindividual and the constants that make up his uniqueness, without generalities.
Let’s stop restraining information. Instead, let’s take this multidimensional aspect into account and give information the chance to reveal its true form. To put it simply: let’s exchange, think and share.