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The knowledge level reinterpreted: Modeling socio-technical systems

Clancey, William J. (1993) The knowledge level reinterpreted: Modeling socio-technical systems. [Book Chapter]

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Abstract

Knowledge acquisition is a process of developing qualitative models of systems in the world—physical, social, technological—often for the first time, not extracting facts and rules that are already written down and filed away in an expert's mind. Models of reasoning describe how people behave—how they interactively gather evidence by looking and asking questions, represent a situation by saying and writing things, and plan to act in some environment. But such models are inherently brittle mechanisms: Human reinterpretation of rules and procedures is metaphorical, based on pre-linguistic perceptual categorization and non-deliberated sensory-motor coordination. This view of people relative to computer models yields an alternative view of what tools can be and the tool design process. Knowledge engineers are called to participate with social scientists and workers in the co-design of the workplace and tools for enhancing worker creativity and response to unanticipated situations. The emphasis is on augmenting human capabilities as they interact with each other to construct new conceptualizations—facilitating conversations—not just automating routine behavior. Software development in the context of use maintains connection to non-technical, social factors such as ownership of ideas and authority to participate. The role of knowledge engineering is not merely "capturing knowledge" in a program delivered by technicians to users. Rather, we seek to develop tools that help people in a community, in their everyday practice of creating new understandings and capabilities, new forms of knowledge.

Item Type:Book Chapter
Keywords:knowledge level, socio-technical systems, software engineering, participatory design, expert systems, knowledge acquisition
Subjects:Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
Philosophy > Epistemology
Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:312
Deposited By:Clancey, Bill
Deposited On:11 Jun 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53

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