Mind Dump, Tech And Life Blog
written by Ivan Alenko
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posted at 01. Sep '18

Do Not Assume My Name

I’ve seen an interesting EuRuKo 2018 presentation. One called Amr Abdelwahab - An empathy exercise: contextualising the question of privilege made me thinking about designing information systems for names. Again.

When I started programming Rails a long time ago, I spent insane amount of time trying to do everything as general as possible. And even back then I didn’t imagine there is somebody without a typical surname like Amr.

I believe going with first name and surname is the best way. Some people have multiple names. Ok, why not, they can fill them into the first name field. Maybe they are surnames or something other, but we don’t really care.

Well, I don’t really care. From the point of the society, my name is only a unique word to distinguish me among people. It’s just practical. The “western” system is good.

We need guidelines if there is something better. But now there is not enough information and it seems not many people care.

There is no point to complicate things. Try to put only one field for a name into a form. People are incompetent, distracted, lazy to read or just stupid. It’s impossible to validate and use the information and I’ve never seen advanced validations of the name like a database of names.

So you end up with every possible combination of weird and incomplete data which sucks and need human hours to fix.

UPDATE: I was informed about this source https://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-personal-names. A good document, but still so complex. Since one person cannot implement really implement and maintain it in a project and it’s still not a fully automated process.

I imagine a fully automated system which can validate name and address at least like a human can tell data are probably realistic or not.

Why do I see a solution in an artificial intelligence?

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