Chapter 9 Subject Analysis

Subject analysis still requires human beings to determine the “aboutness” of objects and documents… there are complications and limits related to subject analysis, for a conceptual analysis of the relationships between different forms of knowledge could never be fit into clean categories such as the “twelve distinct forms of knowledge”. Algorithms that mimic the “objective method” of subject analysis are not sufficient, for quantitative data such as a count of keywords being mentioned is easily taken out of context. Quantitative analysis does not do justice to intricacies, and no method of subject analysis can be purely objective. I suppose that Michael and I’s final paper about image indexing will pose interesting complications in terms of subject analysis; what “data” is more important for the classification of images? “Aboutness” is harder to index that hexadecimal color codes and image formats and sizes. Computers are not as intricate as humans in determining what an image is “about”, however, and as art history shows us, there are many different paradigms by which a human may analyze an image; none of these “world-views” are objective.


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