Friday, October 26, 2007

Evolving Knowledge

In one of my earlier post this year I discussed about atomicity of knowledge in itself. Then in subsequent posts I had an attempt made to relate the knowledge representation to stars. Also had the types of knowledge discussed a while ago. But they are just the bits and pieces of the knowledge is and what we call knowledge. In this post I am going to discuss about the evolving nature of knowledge.

"Change is the only constant thing in this world", Most of us have heard and read this line at different texts, blogs, literatures etc sometime or other in our life. But what do we mean by change here. Are we talking about something totally different than original or an evolution of what was originally available. The evolution at times could be n folds and the next evolved outcome may look like a different thing altogether. But as a species of this planet we have been evolving for billions of years now.

The evolution of life on this planet required billions of years for its first steps (primitive cells, DNA), and then progress accelerated. During the Cambrian explosion, major paradigm shifts took only tens of millions of years. Later, humanoids developed over a period of millions of years, and Homo sapiens over a period of only hundreds of thousands of years. With the advent of a technology-creating species the exponential pace became too fast for evolution through DNA-guided protein synthesis, and evolution moved on to human-created technology. This does not imply that biological (genetic) evolution is not continuing, just that it is no longer leading the pace in terms of improving order (or of the effectiveness and efficiency of computation). This is how we evolved from a primitive cell to the fully functioning (well almost) human being.

When we talk about knowledge. It takes a considerable amount of time to build the first bit of knowledge as that lays the foundation for future developments. One of the requirement of the knowledge is it should be evolving continuously with what is available. One similar example which relates to this nature is Fractals, to be precise Probabilistic Fractals. The Probabilistic Fractals the probability of each generator element being applied is less than 1. in this way, the resulting designs have a more organic appearance. So going back to use this theory in context of knowledge evolution the new piece of knowledge will appear more intelligent than the original piece which created it. The principle of Probabilistic fractal is already in use by computer chip makers. The computers are used to design the next generation chip which is faster and better than the chip which is used to design the new chip.

So the question which arises at this point in time is:
  1. What is the best way to represent this tiny bit of knowledge which can sustain growth at any scale?
  2. What are the other factors we must consider while designing this first bit of knowledge?
  3. Is there a way we can predict the growth path or evolution of knowledge and can influence its direction?
  4. What are the best practices we can or must follow to avoid and reduce chances of errors?
The problem is out there in front of research community. So I assume that there are few people who know the answers as well or at least have made some progress to find the answer. Any thoughts here?

Until Next Time... :)