Magazine article AI Magazine

AAAI-2002 Fall Symposium Series. (Symposia Reports)

Magazine article AI Magazine

AAAI-2002 Fall Symposium Series. (Symposia Reports)

Article excerpt

Chance Discovery: The Discovery and Management of Chance Events

"Interesting keywords arose, such as serendipity, creativity, emergence, assertion, and...."

"You had a symposium on the creation of ideas by humans, did you?"

"Yes and no. We also talked about exploration, amplification, articulation, interaction, scenic information, subjectivity, and meaning."

"Hmmm, you considered the deepening of thoughts. I guess they are important for creation."

"That's right. In the first panel, we talked about prediction in dynamic environments, data mining, and...."

"So was it a conference on knowledge discovery inviting philosophers?"

"Not really. The first invited talk gave us deep insight into customer networks in the market, and the last panel extended to management, persuasion, communication, and trust, and so on. We found that the route, the context, and the timing of getting a piece of information during the process of discovery determines the value of the information."

"What was it about?

In this symposium, we had 17 papers, 2 invited lectures, and 14 other speakers. Six countries (Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic) were represented at the symposium, and the various research areas that were examined included psychology, management, economics, risk management, graph theory, biology, and AI. Through the discussions, we acquired keys to realizing chance discovery.

In a melting pot being heated up, things can adapt to the shape of the pot. A chance might mean no more than a sheer accident but also might be an event that might be rare but has significant impact on human decision. The occurrence of an event might be just an accident, but its significance to a human or an agent should have been determined in his/her/its mind not explicitly but lying with calm growth of desire and the shift of contexts. Such a prepared state of mind can be stimulated by information, sometimes given by a tool of data mining or a visualization technique.

However, even if you become aware of the value of a chance event, for example, with a new behavior of a customer in the market you are selling in, it is still hard to persuade your colleagues to make actions in response to the rare event. In the management of chance events, communication also becomes a significant issue. After the symposium, attendants are still continuing communications, seeking the next opportunity to meet and explore these ideas further. The symposium was a chance itself for all of us, without exception.

--Yukio Ohsawa,
University of Tsukuba
--Peter McBurney,
University of Liverpool
--Simon Parsons,
University of Liverpool

Etiquette for Human-Computer Work

The Symposium on Etiquette for Human-Computer Work began its meeting--with great propriety, of course--with a keynote address from Jeanne Comeau, an author, speaker, and teacher on etiquette and the director of the Etiquette School of Boston. Comeau taught us a great deal about etiquette's history and purposes as well as how to use our napkins and hold our forks.

Symposium participants wrestled with definitions of etiquette. Broadly speaking, two alternative but related themes emerged: (1) Etiquette is a (frequently implicit) set of prescribed and proscribed behaviors that permits meaning and intent to be ascribed to actions between (human or machine) actors, thus facilitating group identification, streamlining communication, generating expectations, and so on. (2) Etiquette encodes "thoughtful consideration for others"; that is, etiquette operates (when obeyed) to make social interactions more pleasant, polite, and cooperative and (when violated) to make them insulting, exploitative, and unpleasant.

We heard research demonstrating that etiquette in machine behaviors can affect human plus machine performance in both good and bad ways. …

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