My father, Mayer Spivack, passed away on February 12, 2011, in the Kaplan Family House, a beautiful hospice outside of Boston. He passed away, at the young age of 74, after a difficult year and a half battle with colon cancer.… Read More
In this interview with Fast Company, I discuss my concept of "connective intelligence." Intelligence is really in the connections between things, not the things themselves. Twine facilitates smarter connections between content, and between people. This facilitates the emergence of higher levels of collective intelligence.… Read More
I’ve been thinking lately about whether or not it is possible to formulate a scale of universal cognitive capabilities, such that any intelligent system — whether naturally occurring or synthetic — can be classified according to its cognitive capacity. Such a system would provide us with a normalized scientific basis by which to quantify and compare the relative cognitive capabilities of artificially intelligent systems, various species of intelligent life on Earth, and perhaps even intelligent lifeforms encountered on other planets.… Read More
There has been a lot of hype about artificial intelligence over the years. And recently it seems there has been a resurgence in interest in this topic in the media. But artificial intelligence scares me. And frankly, I don’t need it.… Read More
A very cool experiment in virtual reality has shown it is possible to trick the mind into identifying with a virtual body:
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Through these goggles, the volunteers could see a camera
view of their own back – a three-dimensional "virtual own body" that
appeared to be standing in front of them.
I just heard about a very interesting new discovery in neuroscience:. The basic gist is that it appears that axons process information. Until now it has been thought that only the cell body of neurons was the part that processed information.… Read More
I’ve been thinking for several years about Knowledge Networking. It’s not a term I invented, it’s been floating around as a meme for at least a decade or two. But recently it has started to resurface in my own work.
So what is a knowledge network?… Read More
Web 3.0 — aka The Semantic Web — is about enriching the connections of the Web. By enriching the connections within the Web, the entire Web may become smarter.
I believe that collective intelligence primarily comes from connections — this is certainly the case in the brain where the number of connections between neurons far outnumbers the number of neurons; certainly there is more "intelligence" encoded in the brain’s connections than in the neurons alone.… Read More
If you are interested in the future of the Web, you might enjoy listening to this interview with me, moderated by Dr. Paul Miller of Talis. We discuss, in-depth: the Semantic Web, Web 3.0, SPARQL, collective intelligence, knowledge management, the future of search, triplestores, and Radar Networks.… Read More
Thanks to Bram for pointing me to this article about how new research indicates that communication in the brain is quite different than we thought. Essentially neurons may release neurotransmitters all along axons, not just within synapses. This may enable new forms of global communication or state changes within the brain, beyond the "circuit model" of neuronal signaling that has been the received view for the last 100 years.… Read More
Another article of note on the subject of our evolving digital lives and what user-experience designers should be thinking about:
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Our lives are becoming increasingly digitized—from the ways we
communicate, to our entertainment media, to our e-commerce
transactions, to our online research.
Nice article in Scientific American about Gordon Bell’s work at Microsoft Research on the MyLifeBits project. MyLifeBits provides one perspective on the not-too-far-off future in which all our information, and even some of our memories and experiences, are recorded and made available to us (and possibly to others) for posterity.… Read More
Google’s Larry Page recently gave a talk to the AAAS about how Google is looking towards a future in which they hope to implement AI on a massive scale. Larry’s idea is that intelligence is a function of massive computation, not of “fancy whiteboard algorithms.” In other words, in his conception the brain doesn’t do anything very sophisticated, it just does a lot of massively parallel number crunching.… Read More
Check out this very impressive user-interface prototype for a desktop that works more like a real desk — a messy desk in fact. Very delightful design work that makes want to use it now!
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A Harvard University researcher believes that moral judgement is hard-wired into the brain:
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The moral grammar now universal among people presumably evolved to its
final shape during the hunter-gatherer phase of the human past, before
the dispersal from the ancestral homeland in northeast Africa some
50,000 years ago.
New research seems to indicate that memory loss may be related to common viral infections that cross the blood-brain barrier and chip away at cognitive function. Over a person’s lifetime, after two or three of these infections a year, it starts to add up to significant memory loss.… Read More
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All living things are made up of proteins. Each protein is a string of
amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids, and each protein can
consist of dozens to thousands of them.
Scientists write down these amino acid sequences as series of
Below is the text of my bet on Long Bets. Go there to vote.
“By 2050 no synthetic computer nor machine intelligence will have become truly self-aware (ie. will become conscious).”
(This summary includes my argument, a method for judging the outcomeof this bet and some other thoughts on how to measure awareness…)
A.… Read More
This study is strange. But plausible.
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Today, Cornell University researchers are reporting
what appears to be a statistically significant relationship between
autism rates and television watching by children under the age of 3.
The researchers studied autism incidence in California, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, and Washington state.
This article discusses an interesting fact — some women have extra color receptors enabling them to distinguish a vastly larger range of colors than everyone else. Instead of seeing in 3 colors, they see in 4 — enabling them to tell the difference between 100 million different colors.… Read More
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A severely brain-damaged woman in an unresponsive, vegetative state
showed clear signs of conscious awareness on brain imaging tests,
researchers are reporting today, in a finding that could have
far-reaching consequences for how unconscious patients are cared for
This is a cool pair of images showing a striking similarity between the structure of neurons and that of our universe. I’ve often wondered whether the entire universe isn’t some kind of a mind or a brain in which we are like subatomic particles.… Read More