Pierre Lévy está pesquisando uma meta-linguagem universal, que computadores podem “ler” e “entender” (e, portanto, ajudar a formular/relacionar/derivar conceitos e idéias), e da qual todas as demais linguagens podem ser traduzidas. Se relaciona com o conceito de web semântica de Tim Berners-Lee.
Lévy afirma que este é o quarto passo – depois da escrita, do alfabeto e da prensa (e da tecnologia digital de massa) – (necessário) para a evolução de como lidamos com linguagem e conhecimento.
A pesquisa, ainda em um estágio bastante teórico, está sendo desenvolvida no The Collective Intelligence Lab – visite o site aqui.
A Quarta “Grande Mudança”
Do site do projeto:
The human species can be defined by its special ability to manipulate symbols. Each great augmentation in this ability has brought enormous economic, social, political, religious, epistemological, educational (and so on) changes. (…) I think that there has been only 4 of these big changes. (…) [T]he invention of writing, (…) the invention of the alphabet, (…) the invention of the printing press and the subsequent invention of electronic mass media. (…) We are currently at the beginning of a fourth big anthropological change, because the symbols can now be transformed by massively distributed automata in the digital medium.
My main hypothesis is that we still [haven’t] invented the symbolic systems and cultural institutions fitting the new digital medium. So my research in the past 15 years has been devoted to the invention of a symbolic system able to exploit the computational power, the capacity of memory and the ubiquity of the digital medium.
This symbolic system is called IEML, for Information Economy MetaLanguage. It is:
(1) an artificial language that translates itself automatically into natural languages,
(2) a metadata language for the collaborative semantic tagging of digital data,
(3) a new addressing layer of the digital medium (conceptual addressing) solving the semantic interoperability problem,
(4) a programming language specialized in the design of semantic networks,
(5) a semantic coordinate system of the mind (the semantic sphere), allowing the computational modeling of human cognition and the self-observation of collective intelligences.
Neste artigo baseado em uma entrevista com Lévy (que tuitei aqui), Eelke Hermens explica que esta iniciativa é necessária por conta da “bagunça” decorrente do crescimento desenfreado da internet nos últimos anos. Nos trechos selecionados a seguir, Hermens elabora sobre isso, e compara a web semântica de Berners-Lee com o projeto de Lévy:
See more blog.
Tim Berners Lee recognized the problematics of the messy web early on and proposed the Semantic Web to overcome messiness and apply a semantic structure to bring order (read: computer logic) in the chaos (read: human expression). (…) The problem with Berners Lee semantic structure is that implies a universal ontology, which might prove out to be the Achilles heel of the protocol. Levy’s approach overcomes these problems.
Levy’s research program: IEML (Information Economy Meta Language): a metalanguage – the language of collective intelligence “formalizing ideas, instead of words” “IEML also functions as a bridge between languages, the natural language of the end user is not relevant.
[I]n order for an idea to contribute to the sphere of collective intelligence it should be described in a formal manner. (…) One of the main reasons why this computational potential is not actualized today is the lack of semantic interoperability. A universal (interlinguistic and interdisciplinary) system of computable metadata, like IEML, could be the stepping stone leading us into a renewal of human sciences. Of course, every team or individual should be free to categorize and assess the data as he wishes. The common semantic code will allow for comparison and sharing.
The creation of IEML is based on the explicit assumption that all human beings, and all cultures, have in common a basic linguistic-symbolic ability. The main limitation of artificial intelligence is the belief that logic and statistics are sufficent to model human intelligence.