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.
Choosing and evaluating knowledge acquisition methods can be facilitated by shifting our perspective about the nature of knowledge engineering:
1) The primary concern of knowledge engineering is modeling systems in the world, not replicating how people think (a matter for psychology).
2) Knowledge-level descriptions (e.g., "this physician follows this diagnostic strategy") characterize human behavior in some social environment—what people say and do in particular situations, not stored, physical structures inside the head.
3) Modeling intelligent behavior is fraught with frame-of-reference confusions. We must tease apart the roles and points of view of human experts, mechanical devices they interact with, the social and physical environment, and observer-theoreticians (with their own interacting suite of recording devices, representations, and purposes).
The challenge to knowledge acquisition today is to clarify what we are doing (computer modeling), clarify the difficult problems (the nature of knowledge and representations), and reformulate our research program accordingly (how to collaborate with social scientists and users). I sketch out these ideas in this position statement.
2) a model of reasoning processes (the inference procedure, e.g., a diagnostic procedure).
These aspects of expert systems are reflected in two dominant, interacting areas of research, called qualitative reasoning and generic expert systems. The focus of qualitative reasoning (Bobrow, 1984) is to develop notations and calculi for modeling processes in the world. The focus of generic expert systems is develop task-specific representations and inference procedures (e.g., specific to diagnosis, configuration, scheduling, auditing, control) (Clancey, 1985). These complementary areas of research are integrated in expert systems and associated tools with enhanced capability for knowledge acquisition and explanation. Second generation expert system techniques produce a growing library of abstractions, enabling new programs to be constructed by reusing and refining existing representations and inference procedures (Marcus, 1988).
The content analysis involved in constructing generic expert systems
is called "knowledge-level analysis." It contrasts with earlier emphasis
on implementation-level distinctions (e.g., using rules vs. frames). Developing
alternative representational notations (e.g., more formal conceptual structures
(Sowa, 1984)) plays a secondary role. Questions about notations do not
go away, but are recast in terms of tasks, domains, process representations,
and model construction. Useful dimensions for describing expert systems
—the nature of the system being modeled (e.g., an isolated, designed device vs. an open, biological system),
—how processes are represented (e.g., classification vs. simulation),
—the inference method for constructing a situation-specific model (e.g., contrasting alternatives on a blackboard vs. depth-first, incremental refinement of a single hypothesis),
—the macro-structure of the relational network used for describing the domain and inferential processes (e.g., hierarchies, state-transition networks, and compositions of these) (Clancey, 1989).
Questions of computer encoding are thus reformulated in terms of process modeling methods that separate process descriptions of the domain, inference, and communication (Clancey, in press).
In short, all knowledge bases contain models of systems in the world. A human expert serves as an informant about how a given system tends to behave, how it can be designed or controlled to generate desirable behaviors, and/or how it can be assembled or repaired. It follows that an expert system's performance can be evaluated in terms of the suitability of the model it constructs for the purpose at hand. For example, for medical diagnosis we need to look beyond the names of the diseases output by the program to determine whether the preferred diagnosis covers the symptoms that require explanation (Clancey, 1986). Previously, such consideration of completeness and consistency was reserved for programs using simulation or so-called "model-based reasoning." But all expert systems construct models and can be evaluated on this basis.
In summary, qualitative reasoning embraces modeling based on classifications (e.g., a taxonomy of disease processes), as well as modeling based on simulations (e.g., a behavioral simulation in the form of a causal network relating abnormal substances and processes internal to the system being modeled). From this second generation viewpoint, we can define knowledge engineering as a methodology for modeling processes qualitatively, in the form of relational networks describing causal, temporal, and spatial relations. Having shifted from the view that the knowledge base is a model of expert knowledge exclusively, we have no qualms about integrating qualitative and numeric models. We are belatedly discovering that many expert systems have done this all along. For example, SOPHIE used qualitative modeling to control and interpret a FORTRAN simulation of its electronic circuit (Brown, et al., 1982). SACON used simplified numeric equations to estimate stress and deflection, which were then abstracted to select programs that provide more detailed analysis (Bennett, et al., 1978)).
Disease descriptions characterize the result of recurrent interaction between an individual person and his or her environment. Consider for example tennis elbow. This syndrome cannot be causally explained in terms of processes lying exclusively within the person or within the environment. Rather it is a result of a pattern of interaction between the person and environment over time. As for any emergent effect, it can't be predicted, explained, or controlled by treating the person in isolation, or even by studying the person-environment system over short periods. It is a developmental effect, an adaptation in the person that reflects the history of his or her behavior in the world. The same claim can be made about the entire taxonomy of medical diseases—trauma, toxicity, infection, neoplasms, and congenital disorders—they are all descriptions of bodily processes after a history of recurrent interactions. Similar examples can be drawn from computer system failures; faults cannot be reduced to changes in a blueprint, but are in fact constantly introduced and prone to change in an open environment. A favorite story at Stanford's SUMEX-AIM is how system crashes were caused every fall when the first October rains wet the phone lines going to Santa Cruz, swamping the computer with spurious control-C's attempting to get its attention. Such problems aren't fixed by swapping boards.
The consequences of this systems-modeling perspective are more staggering than we might first imagine. Simply put, blueprints and functional diagrams of a device being modeled (including the human body), fail to capture emergent, historical effects of the system's interaction with its environment over time. If the device is adaptively developing new structures during its interactions with its environment, then a classification model is necessary in order to characterize how the device will behave and be internally organized over time. Such descriptions are necessary in order to describe the state of the device, to explain—historically—how it got into this configuration, and thus to provide a basis for modifying or controlling the system in some desired way (e.g., to prevent the tennis elbow from recurring). Biological systems are replete with examples of emergent structure; common examples are tree rings, the spirals of the nautilus shell, and the distribution of species over the landscape (Bateson, 1988).
In effect, a category jump has been made: The system we are now describing is the environment and the embedded device interacting over time, not the device in isolation. Thus, classification models constitute a level of system description, but they cannot be reduced to or mapped onto pre-existing physical structures in individual devices. As we move from blueprint-like structure-function models, we move from the domain of an isolated system to social, interactive, emergent processes. As Ryle warned us, we make a category mistake if we try to find the university in the members of colleges, the division in the parade of soldier battalions, or team spirit in specific "cricketing operations" (Ryle, 1949, p. 16). It is no coincidence that Ryle's examples all contrast social organizations with individuals or entities viewed in isolation. To suppose that classification models of how adapted behavior of a system-in-its-environment appears to an observer can be reduced to internal mechanisms of individual agents that existed before the interaction began is to make a category mistake.
We have to be careful in modeling complex, interactive systems like a computer, the human body, or a team of workers. We are interested not only in how a system works (its components and their purposes), but how its behavior develops in different interactional environments. This is precisely the province of the human expert, who can tell us what he has observed from experience, as he has participated in the system's operation. For different purposes, we may find it necessary to get the viewpoint of different observers, providing descriptions relative to different points of view (for further discussion, see (Clancey, 1991d; in preparation b)).
—as pattern descriptions, rules and scripts describe habits and routines that develop over time. Behavior patterns cannot be attributed to internal, stored structures that are first learned as theoretical descriptions (e.g., memorized facts and procedures) and subsequently control behavior in the manner of a template (by retrieval and mere application, in the manner of a tool that remains the same from situation to situation (Lave and Wenger, 1991)).
Part of the confusion in relating knowledge bases to human behavior is that we work backwards from our models to attribute properties of the computer to people. Observing the static nature of rules stored in a computer memory, we start explaining human behavior in terms of retrieving, matching and interpreting stored rules. We view human behavior as caused by symbolic structures. This is certainly true of computer system behavior, but it is a great leap to assume that it is literally true of people. Our representations have a great effect on how we see people, to the point we forget that an expert system is just a model, and that psychological claims prevalent in the early knowledge acquisition literature (Hayes-Roth, et al., 1983) are disputable.
Philosophical and psychological studies of memory, representations, and perception (see Clancey, 1991a; 1991b; 1991c) suggest radical shifts from the early knowledge-engineering points of view that knowledge acquisition is "transfer of expertise" (Davis and Lenat, 1982). Crucially, we must distinguish between representations out in the world (such as this book chapter and rules in an expert system), perceptual experiences (such as silently talking or singing to yourself, or visualizing something), and neural structures which are coming into being during our behavior.
We must not confuse representations of knowledge with whatever neural structures are in the brain coordinating our activity. A knowledge-level description, as a physical representation, must be expressed in some perceived medium. When we speak we are not translating internal representations of what our words mean, but creating the representations in our activity. Interpretable representations only exist physically in an observer's statements, drawings, computer programs, silent speech, etc.
Representing meaning is a subsequent perceptual act. In interpreting an already existing representation—that is, in using it—we perceive some structures and comment on what they mean. Representations, including knowledge representations, are always open to interpretation; their meaning is never fixed or defined, but always relative to an observer's frame of reference in the next act of interpretation (Agre, 1988). Thus, a second level of perceptual construction is interposed by the observer of the observer's representations (Clancey, 1991d).
Elaborating some implications, we find ourselves almost overwhelmed
with reasons for doubting that a knowledge base can be associated with
structures that were previously encoded in the head of the expert:
o Knowledge-level descriptions abstract a sequence of behaviors (what the expert does and says in the course of solving a sequence of related problem examples), not single, moment-by-moment responses;
o Descriptions of the device being modeled and inferential processes are informed by the expert's observations and problem-solving behavior, but they are not primarily intended to be the expert's "mental models" or psychological explanations of behavior;
o To the extent that the processes people follow in gathering data to solve a problem and taking action in the world are intended to be simulated by the expert system, these descriptions always model the combined, usually social, system (how the expert interacts with his or her environment);
o Meaning is not fixed or stored in the brain. Knowledge-level descriptions have an open interpretation, dependent on the point of view of the observer of the representation, in the course of his or her ongoing activities;
o People express knowledge-level descriptions in perceptual space (e.g., on paper or in a computer file), so they can be subsequently reperceived and interpreted (Clancey, in preparation). Human use of representations (e.g., reading this article) involves new conceptualization, not syntactic manipulation of definitions and meaning templates, which is all that today's computer programs can do (Clancey, 1991a);
o Designing knowledge representations is the province of the knowledge engineer and AI researcher. The human expert, despite often being a theoretician of his or her own behavior, in general does not bring representational languages ready-made to the knowledge acquisition session. Otherwise, there would be no need for knowledge representation research.
In light of this perspective, it is illuminating to reinterpret Newell's
comments about the knowledge-level (Newell, 1982) (reinterpretations
—Knowledge isn't a substance that behind the scenes causally drives human behavior. A knowledge-level pattern, such as a natural language grammar characterizes the product of interaction, how behavior routines and the world appear; it doesn't describe structures in the head. Put another way, the neural structures coordinating perception and action in people come into being in the course of interaction itself. Thus, new knowledge (capability to speak, perceive, and act) develops as new coordinations in the course of behavior itself; people are not automatons rotely executing stored programs.
Knowledge can only be "imagined as the result of interpretive processes operating on symbolic expressions." (p. 105)
—When we comment on (represent) the meaning of perceived structures, in effect claiming that they are symbolic, we reorient our behavior (e.g., reading a map, following instructions). Interpretation of representations by people is always perceptual, involving new conceptualization, not syntactic interpretation as in an inference engine. This gives us new capability to act, which we call knowledge.
"Knowledge of the world cannot be captured in a finite structure." (p. 107) "Knowledge can only be created dynamically in time." (p. 108)
—Every human behavior is an adaptation; every perception, thought, and action is a generalization (Clancey, 1991b). Words, meanings, and understandings are not merely retrieved or syntactically combined. Coordinations and capabilities are always at some level new; they are constantly constructed out of previous coordinations. Again, we must distinguish between the product of knowing (a spoken sentence) and the process by which neural structures are selected and recomposed. People needn't store away descriptions of behaviors; our capability to speak and act is created dynamically in time.
"One way of viewing the knowledge level is as the attempt to build as good a model of an agent's behavior as possible based on information external to the agent." (p. 109)
—The knowledge engineer's knowledge-level description of the expert emphasizes the expert's awareness and use of materials and circumstances in the environment; that is, it accounts for behavior in terms of interaction between agent and environment. Reasoning procedures and domain models describe how experts behave, as well as recurrent processes in their environment. Knowledge bases are models; no claims need be made about internal structures in the agent.
As Newell says, knowledge can be represented, but it is "never actually in hand." Each statement by the observer captures what he needs to say at any point in time, and each such statement is later interpretable in different ways. We must work against the common sense tendency to rationalize observed behavior in terms of physical representations of goals, meanings, intentions, and assumptions that supposingly exist inside the head of the agents before behavior begins. People can of course represent their goals and assumptions, and this of course influences their behavior. But all human behavior—including uttering such representations—is immediate, without requiring intermediate plans or other semantic schemas that model what we are about to say or do. When an observer describes an intelligent agent, a distinction needs to be drawn between knowledge as a capacity ascribed to the agent (dynamically changing through interaction with the environment) and the observer's representations of this capacity (perceivable structures, open for interpretation). Hence, we may be ready to return to and build upon Ryle's famous distinction between knowing how (a capacity to perform some action) and knowing that (a representation). The capacity to perform cannot be reduced to (mechanistically replaced by) knowledge-level descriptions of how the performance appears.
Perhaps the strongest claim is that a machine that syntactically manipulates representations can model human behavior, but as an agent, an expert system isn't capable of what the human brain allows in flexibility and creativity. This isn't something that can fixed by adding more representations, but requires inventing a new kind of mechanism that doesn't rely on stored models or programs (Clancey, in preparation a). This places a premium on understanding the differences between today's expert systems and human capability, and exploring uses for computers beyond automation of reasoning.
But more radical changes to knowledge engineering are required. In developing
expert systems, we must reconsider how human work relates to computer models.
To restate some claims made above:
A representation of what a person knows is just a model of his or her knowledge, a representation of a capacity. Knowledge cannot be reduced to (fully captured by) a body of representations. Knowledge cannot be inventoried.
o The meaning of a representation cannot be made explicit.
Meaning can be represented, but it cannot be defined once and for all, captured fully by representations. The meaning of a representation is open, though there are culturally stable representations of meaning (e.g., word senses).
o The context in which a program is used cannot be made explicit.
Context can be represented, but the world cannot be objectively and exhaustively described; cultural or social circumstances cannot be reduced to a set of facts and procedures (Lave, 1988).
One way of summarizing this is "practice cannot be reduced to theory." This contrasts with the familiar idea that theoretical descriptions are a kind of ideal, but the world is a messy place. In effect, by saying that human behavior isn't driven by stored theoretical descriptions (e.g., formal procedures, rules, or models), we are saying that models of behavior and the world always selectively abstract and give a limited impression of human capabilities. It is the unspecifiable "messiness" of the neural system—becoming organized in new ways at the time of interaction itself—which gives human behavior its robust, always adaptive character.
The limitations of scientific models based on pattern descriptions has
also been brought to the forefront by the invention of chaos models (Gleick,
1987, p. 6):
Strikingly, at the level of workplace analysis, both knowledge engineering and ethnography have opened up everyday experience as a target of inquiry (Lave, 1988). But like the physicists, we must make some new distinctions between our models and the phenomena of study. We must distinguish between activities, patterns, and theories:
Social activities and physical phenomena: The world being modeled has an inviolable nature; it cannot be exhaustively described. We can model the world, but we can always go back to find new perspectives for describing what we are modeling, usually involving new perspectives on what constitutes information (data), new languages for modeling, and new perspectives on the purpose for constructing models.
Design and interaction patterns: Rules, classifications, scripts, grammars, structure-function models, causal state-transition networks, metaphors, statistics, etc. are useful for describing complex designs and social systems. Models are especially useful for creating new designs (Alexander, et al., 1977), diagnosing and repairing undesired situations, and teaching. But we must remember that models (notably formal specifications) remove us from the world we are attempting to understand and influence. In the design process, for example, we must develop disciplined means of relating tools to the context of use.
Social-psychological theories: At another level, we develop theories about why the models we create are valid, why these representations have been constructed and not others. For example, the idea that the purpose for using a model determines what kind of model is desirable is part of knowledge engineering theory. In general, metatheoretical considerations help us organize our modeling techniques into a coherent methodology. For example, having related modeling techniques to domains (Clancey, 1986), we might go back to the world of artifacts and social activities to flesh out our repertoire by attempting to model new domains. In general, to be effective, knowledge engineering requires more extensive, integrated theories of work, collaboration, communication, understanding, creativity, routines, perception, and representations.
One implication of these distinctions is that researchers should make clear whether they are providing practical knowledge acquisition tools or focusing instead on theories and new modeling techniques. Providing tools requires more careful attention to the social setting in which expert systems are used, focusing on how teams of people interact to solve problems and how job aids can facilitate this interaction.
Studying the nature of intelligence will continue to involve knowledge-level analyses, for this is the leverage that cognitive science provides over neurobiology. However, a clear separation should be made between knowledge-level descriptions and physical mechanisms. The idea that human-equivalent behavior could be generated by interpreting stored programs that predescribe the world and ways of behaving must be abandoned, for this view confounds descriptions an observer might make with physical mechanisms inside the agent.
Researchers can commit to both practical knowledge engineering and the study of intelligence, as surely both feed into each other. However, the practical needs of tool users and the difference between knowledge bases and the human mind require a more explicit commitment than before, otherwise evaluation and choice of methods will be confused.
To elaborate on what can be done today, I will discuss two recommendations
for designing expert systems:
2) Facilitate, don't just automate conversations.
One implication is that knowledge engineering splits between the attempt to invent new theoretically interesting uses of computers and the attempt to deliver useful tools for industry, schools, professionals in the short term, while furthering our theoretical understanding. This "action-oriented research" can be viewed as basic research on the problem of how to design useful tools in partnership with users on the job. Researchers focusing on these problems believe that the fundamental problems are not just in the realm of technology, but in understanding what workers are doing and in changing work practice (Zuboff, 1988; Ehn, 1988; Wynn, 1991).
Research shifts to the design process: learning how to discuss
designs with non-technical people, finding out how work really gets done,
promoting invention, resolving organizational paralysis (Bannon, 1991).
Central design questions include:
2) What program features would enhance apprenticeship, non-routine problem solving, and innovation?
3) What changes to organizational structures are required by and would enhance the new tools?
Recently, anthropologists, sociolinguists, and human factors specialists have been collaborating to invent new ways of working with users, new uses of computers, and new organizational structures (e.g., Zuboff, 1988; Kukla, et al., 1990; Greenbaum and Kyng, 1991; Hughes, et al., 1991). The role of ethnography is to provide a global view of the workplace, to keep tool design integrated into the dynamics of the workplace, and to know what other tools should be built and how they are related to worker identity and role. Social scientists in effect help to keep the project honest. They ask, "Are we solving the most pressing problem? How does our technology relate to users' priorities? What non-technical factors could lead to failure?" This is similar to a "market analysis," but based on looking at how people work together—more like investigative journalism than psychological experimentation or surveys.
A key idea is rapid, incremental development in the context of use. In effect, this entails redistributing responsibility for design. Such a shift is facilitated by good prototyping tools, so programmers are less committed to early designs and other people have control over design decisions (e.g., users, graphic designers, managers). The role of prototyping is not just a way of making programming efficient, but a means of keeping programmers and users open-minded, ameliorating the investment in tedious work to implement any given design. In effect, program design needs to be more like architectural sketching than laying bricks in concrete. We need the interface equivalent flexibility of moving around walls and furniture, not nailing and sawing wood. This is the promise of task-specific programming environments (Clancey and Barbanson, 1991).
A new role for knowledge engineering is to help ethnographers organize and model workplace observations. Ethnography could benefit from a process-modeling language (scripts, transition networks) for describing how people interact. Notably, such models transcend individual points of view. They describe what coordination between people accomplishes as a whole, not individual "reasoning." They include pattern descriptions that many people in the workplace itself might not recognize (Jordan and Alpert, 1991). They are patterns of interactions, not templates or formal procedures. In effect, we can use qualitative modeling techniques to analyze and share ethnographic data—to model workplace interactions—without making commitments to putting models in computer tools for workers.
Specifically, qualitative work process models could:
o Model job functions and schedules, representation manipulation (e.g., how logbooks are modified and shared), and interaction patterns. That is, qualitative modeling can be used in the workplace to model physical systems, reasoning, and communication processes (Clancey, in press).
o Represent agent roles and interaction strategies. In knowledge representation systems, we have developed languages for describing roles that people play and strategies they follow.
Such formal models could complement more prosaic ethnographic descriptions, for example, by providing multiple indices to a video library illustrating workplace practice. In effect, representational languages and calculi developed for knowledge engineering can be used broadly to model the interaction of social, physical, and technological systems.
The information-processing view of people is quite idealized. People are usually described one-dimensionally—assumed to be on-task, rational, dedicated, and loyal to the company. Although knowledge engineers pay lip service to such ideas as "breaking down barriers to communication," they focus exclusively on access to information, leaving out issues of identity and membership in the organization (Wenger, 1990). What interactions occur outside the web of information-processing computers and telecommunications links? Work schedule, salaries and job scales, war stories, role-defined "knowledge-making rights" (Eckert, 1989) are all important workplace considerations that computer tools might take into account.
As an example, consider Kukla et al's (1990) study and designs for process control communication in a Monsanto plant. Kukla's view of work is dynamic, always non-routine, and intricately formed by a web of interactions greatly distributed in space. Following Winograd and Flores' advice, Kukla modeled conversational interactions in great detail. In contrast with traditional knowledge engineering, Kukla's proposed communication tool designs take into account that people dynamically define what their tasks are and reconceive what constitutes information for doing their job.
But Kukla's view is always oriented towards problem-solving at the manufacturing task level. People are only described as they exist "on task," without any sense of the dynamics of how roles get defined, how new people are brought on board, how conflicting interpretations are resolved, etc. Kukla designs are claimed to promote innovation, but he doesn't say how, except to say that the right people are put in touch with each other, and they can show each other what is happening (different views of the work), at critical times. How does learning occur? How are contradictory goals of different organizations reconciled? (Kling, 1991) Kukla's proposed tools for the Monsanto workers are strikingly different from most "automate everything" systems. But by providing more details and theoretical descriptions of what is happening, we might further justify and improve these designs. A learning perspective would focus more on how new practices are introduced, rather than just how serious events are handled. For example, we should analyze what changes in people's interactions as a result of working through a difficult situation together. In effect, we are designing for communities of practice, not information processors (Wynn, 1991; Wenger, 1990).
Given the distinctions between human knowledge, practice, and representations
I have laid out, we might reformulate how we view qualitative modeling.
Example shifts in perspective:
That is, to facilitate group interpretation of past work, represent the cases on which the model fails and rationalizations for the failures. View failure annotations as ways of representing the boundaries of a model; recognize that such boundaries always exist and that modeling them is important for users.
o Don't attempt to exhaustively model the world in terms of patterns.
Rather than attempting to build an omniscient program, capitalize on the program's inability to model every situation. For example, detect when modeling exceptions occur and sound an alarm (Byrnes, et al., 1990).
o Provide modeling tools for students and workers to reflect on their practices.
View the computer tool not as doing someone's job for them, but as a means for them to represent typical work practices, as well as the details of specific situations, and reflect upon them (Rodolitz and Clancey, 1989).
o Use computer models as tools for mediating conversations.
Rather than constructing a tutor to talk to an individual student, conceive of the simulation model as a means for students to experiment and explain things to each other (Roschelle, 1990). How can an expert system be used to facilitate a conversation between a sales person and a client? Between the sales person and the in-house product designers?
To use expert systems appropriately, we must respect how representations
are continuously reinterpreted and created in social interactions. We must
abandon the idea that the computer model is a kind of "correct," once-and-for-all
view of the world. The representations people put in a knowledge base are
as much for people as for the program. We must take into account how people
continuously construct and reinterpret their own models in the course of
their work (Wynn, 1991). Ethnographic studies (Linde, 1991; Jordan and
Alpert, 1991; Kukla, et al, 1990) suggest that computer tools might be
based on the following considerations:
—make resources (human and artifacts) more available;
—allow people to see, copy, incorporate, possess, modify, and become responsible for work in new ways.
o Make tools accessible to everyone in the group:
—support overlapping responsibilities;
—relate contributions, don't isolate jobs;
—accommodate novices and experts, people familiar or not with everyday situations.
o Map designs to problem-solving and innovation phases:
—phases include orient, explore, collaborate, coordinate, take action;
—allow non-routine processes to remain ad-hoc; allow the invention and flexibility required for dealing with difficult, emergency situations to still take place.
In many respects, this research has just begun. Some of the open issues
o Computer tools to facilitate learning on the job: What designs provide for shared workspaces, allow improvisation, and coordinate contributions? How can "intelligent tutoring" systems be incorporated in job performance aids?
o Representation and meaning construction: What are heuristics for promoting creativity, encouraging creation and distribution of design stories? What are new artifacts for communication (e.g., electronic blackboards)?
In effect, knowledge engineering moves radically from its original concern in "acquiring and representing expert knowledge" to the larger arena of social and interactional issues involved in collaboration and invention in everyday work. We shift from the idea that a glass box design is an inherent property of a device, to realize that transparency is relative to the observer's point of view, and this depends on cultural setting (Wenger, 1990). We shift from the idea that computer models are equivalent to habits and skills; rather as representations they play a key role in reflection and hence learning new ways of seeing and behaving (Schön, 1987). We shift from the idea that goals, meaning, and information are fixed entities that are inherent in a task, to helping people in their constant, everyday efforts to construct their mutual roles, contributions, and identity (Wynn, 1991). In all this, we see the role of knowledge engineering not as "capturing knowledge" in a program that is 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.
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