, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 553-566

An Information Continuum Conjecture

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Abstract

Turing tersely mentioned a notion of ``cultural search'' while otherwise deeply engaged in the design and operations of one of the earliest computers. His idea situated the individual squarely within a collaborative intellectual environment, but did he mean to suggest this in the form of a general information system? In the same writing Turing forecast mechanizations of proofs and outlined genetical searches, much later implemented in cellular automata. The conjecture explores the networked data-information-knowledge continuum as the subject of Turing's notions of search and intelligence, using analogous models from library systems theory. Floridi's philosophy of information is posed as a potential guide to applied information services design of the Turing type. The initial problem is to identify a minimal set of assumptions from Turing's essay beyond the general context of computing. This set will form a bridge to an analogous set of principles in library systems models by eliciting supporting evidence in the literature relating the two. Finally it will be shown how Floridi's philosophy of information more fully encompasses Turing's insight in view of the conjecture.