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Knowledge machines

  • Paul Smart (a1)

The World Wide Web has had a notable impact on a variety of epistemically relevant activities, many of which lie at the heart of the discipline of knowledge engineering. Systems like Wikipedia, for example, have altered our views regarding the acquisition of knowledge, while citizen science systems such as Galaxy Zoo have arguably transformed our approach to knowledge discovery. Other Web-based systems have highlighted the ways in which the human social environment can be used to support the development of intelligent systems, either by contributing to the provision of epistemic resources or by helping to shape the profile of machine learning. In the present paper, such systems are referred to as knowledge machines. In addition to providing an overview of the knowledge machine concept, the present paper reviews a number of issues that are associated with the scientific and philosophical study of knowledge machines. These include the potential impact of knowledge machines for the theory and practice of knowledge engineering, the role of social participation in the realization of knowledge-based processes, and the role of standardized, semantically enriched data formats in supporting the ad hoc assembly of special-purpose knowledge systems and knowledge processing pipelines.

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