Wired’s Danger Zone blog reported last week that DARPA is looking to sensemake various forms of data by combining them into stories.
The Cognitive Edge training I took last week discussed (among many other topics) gathering narrative fragments into composite stories as a way to make sense of a situation and convey that information to others. Similar thus far. A possibly reality-defying assumption follows, though. According the Danger Zone post:
The author of this tale, however, would be a series of intelligent algorithms that can pull all of this information together, tease out its underlying meanings, and put it in a narrative that’s easy to follow.
In the Cog Edge method the sensemaking is done by a group of humans, not a computer. The assumption is that distributed cognition of a group of people can elicit meaning where a single person, or a computer, cannot. I’m not up on the latest in artificial intelligence, but I’m doubtful that an entirely computerized approach can yield anything of use.
Perhaps a partially-computerized method, where fragments were gathered (sampled?) by machine and sensemade by humans, would work better. Or if the fragments could be human-coded as they were captured the significant or related ones might be easier to isolate. I don’t know. Can any readers weigh in who are more optimistic that a totally-computerized approach might work?