Date : Nov. 30, 2023, 1:30 p.m. - Room :Amphi 3 - Pôle commun

A datamodel for Trojan-horsing problems related to information and knowledge management

Mathilde NOUAL - ENS Lyon

A long time ago it was OK to scare of an entire herd of wild bisons off a cliff just to kill the one bison that was needed to sustain a tribe of humans for a week. Times have changed. Wild bisons are rare, humans are not. Humans still need to eat but it isn’t OK any more to waste many bisons. Hardin who wrote about the tragedy of the commons in the 60’s warned us about the scale of problems changing the nature of the solutions required to address them. Problems related to information are among the most obvious to have recently undergone the effects of scaling. Linear (text) documents (books, articles, letters, pages etc) used to be the right unit of information. Since the printing press democratised them half a millenary ago, times have changed. Internet and the Web started a 2nd Information Age. The majority of people can now read. Attention is rare, information is not. People who can write and have access to ways of broadcasting their ideas now represent a significant proportion of the population (probably comparable to the 60% of the population with access to the internet). Arguably, just like herds of animals, traditional coarse-grained linear documents (herds of pieces of information) no longer are appropriate foundations for our (technological) solutions.

I propose to introduce the MMM datamodel as a finer grained foundation for a solution to information problems. The solution emerged from recent years of discussions within the community of academics and entrepreneurs. In my talk, I will define the MMM datamodel, evoke its intended applications, and outline the technological infrastructure to support it. The MMM project calls for further work in a diversity of directions, including a number of research areas that I will list to invite comments and ideas.