Showing posts from February, 2009

Old Applications

Sometimes the old road should have never been left for the new one. Take the new skype (version 4.x): a disaster, a video-related bug (my guess, it was a problem for version 2.x as well) slowly eats up all your memory until the computer crashes. Second opinion? It's also big and ugly. So better go back to the old 3.8x. You can find it here

Web 2.0 vs. the Semantic Web: A Philosophical Assessment

Episteme , volume 6, 2009, Pages 25-37 DOI 10.3366/E174236000800052X Preprint available here . The paper develops some of the conclusions, reached in Floridi (2007) , concerning the future developments of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and their impact on our lives. The two main theses supported in that article were that, as the information society develops, the threshold between online and offline is becoming increasingly blurred, and that once there won't be any significant difference, we shall gradually re-conceptualise ourselves not as cyborgs but rather as inforgs, i.e. socially connected, informational organisms. In this paper, I look at the development of the so-called Semantic Web and Web 2.0 from this perspective and try to forecast their future. Regarding the Semantic Web, I argue that it is a clear and well-defined project, which, despite some authoritative views to the contrary, is not a promising reality and will probably fail in the same way AI

APA Barwise Prize

On Monday, I was waiting for my opponent to show up for a university squash match, but since he was a bit late I thought I could check my email. You cannot imagine my surprise, delight, confusion and useful energy (to which I owe a 3-0) when I read that the American Philosophical Association had select me to receive the Barwise Prize “for significant and sustained contributions to areas relevant to philosophy and computing [...] in recognition of his research on the philosophy of information”. I will receive the award during the APA’s Eastern Meeting in NY in December 2009, when I will deliver the Barwise Lecture. Amazing. Previous winners are: 2007, David Chalmers (Australian National University); 2006, James H. Moor (Dartmouth College); 2005, Hubert Dreyfus (UC Berkeley); 2004, Deborah Johnson (University of Virginia); 2003, Daniel Dennett (Tufts University); 2002, Patrick Suppes (Stanford University). Humbling.

The Construction of Personal Identities Online

Funded with £165,521 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this research, entitled ‘The Construction of Personal Identities Online’, will explore how people reinvent themselves in virtual environments. Information and communication technologies are building a new habitat (infosphere) in which people spend an increasing amount of time and how individuals construct and maintain their personal identities online (PIOs) is a problem of growing and pressing importance. Today, PIOs can be created and developed, as an ongoing work-in-progress, to provide experiential enrichment, expand, improve or even help to repair relationships with others and with the world, or enable imaginative projections (the "being in someone else's shoes" experience), thus fostering tolerance. However, PIOs can also be mis-constructed, stolen, "abused", or lead to psychologically or morally unhealthy lives, causing a loss of engagement with the actual world and