VIDEO: The Case for Human Data Curation

Jul 26, 2019


Article ImageInfoloom CLO Michael Biezunski discusses computer vs. human error tolerance in this clip from his presentation at Digital Experience 2019.

Watch Michael Biezunski's complete Digital Experience Conference presentation, A204. Moving to a New Home Once it Gets Messy, in the Digital Experience Conference Video Portal.

Transcript

Michael Biezunski: For computers, mess is a bug. For humans, mess is a feature. And why do I say it's a feature? Because, to go back to the example of a home or house, you don't feel at home if you cannot have your own mess. I mean, you always put things around, otherwise, I mean, if things are always in the same place, it's not your house, it's someone else's house or a hotel room or whatever. And the mess becomes a problem only gradually at one point. So there's too much of it, I have to do something about it, but before that, you just let it go. And also, one person's mess is not necessarily another person's mess. So everybody who has had children knows that problem, 'cause the children are perfectly happy in what a parent calls a messy room.

That's another which is important. The computer does not tolerate any mess. And I believe that this is one of the reasons why XML is so unpopular these days. Because XML, if you put, let's say, an ampersand sign in your text, you're done, your browser is going to crash and say, "I can't read this file." So that's just the most frequent example, but there are other examples. Even the smallest error in your XML will break your system.

So what you can say is, "Well it's a good thing, because at least I know my information is correct." That's true, but the problem is that, by saying that, you say, "I'm surrendering my humanity to computers. I'm basically doing the work for the computer, because they are too stupid to understand that this was just a small error."

For the HTML, it's still surviving, because I think HTML has a level of tolerance of something a little bit messy, which is higher. Although it can still break, but it's more difficult to break an HTML than XML.


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