Kutachi
Ted Goranson

The word kutachi is derived from the Japanese term katachi, which can be loosely translated to mean form, but also has nuances that do not exist in any other culture.

In Japan, katachi refers to form that has a sense of rightness and inevitability. It is one of the few terms of measurement that can be applied equally to art or science. As an ultimate balance between structure and functionality, it can be considered in terms of an aesthetically pleasing scuplture, or just as easily, refer to the elegant minimalism of an insect wing.

Our work models key aspects of the cognitive process in order to build next-generation intelligence systems. The structures of narrative provide some foundational structures, including analogy, which we have studied in cinema under the term folding [More]. One feature of analogy is that it is an intuitive means of transfering information across contexts. One difficultly that it presents, when being used as a decoding device, is that it generates and is composed of fields of elements. How do we decide which parts of a field are central to the meaning of a particular phrase? When surveying all possible interpretations, what parameters can we use to determine which fits the context best?

The kutachi project is an online initiative that uncovers the rules of form as they apply to function. Kutachi studies what forms transfer most easily between contexts, or which preserve complexity better. In our system, two-sorted logic redefines the notion of truth to something more like “correctness of interpretation.” Without absolute truths, meaning is conditional. Context requires new foundations for evaluating how “right,” good or likely a cluster of information is [More]. Kutachi is the way we refer to experience-based rules for what seems good.

This system refers to form at every level, which leads to user interfaces that are tightly anchored in the actual information. It can also lead to new and more intuitive visual grammars. In addition to rules of functional form, the Kutachi project also aims to understand how to more effectively evaluate and communicate ideas in graphical form. Very likely, one form of visualisation will use the notion of a fluid flow — like an ink flow — in a heavy turbulent medium [More].

The work is primarily via web tools [Here ]. This study is anchored with Japanese partners, because of their long experience with, and deep understanding of, these concepts. A short paper proposing the project in PDF form [Here ].

The charter is on the Kutachi site [Here ].

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