February 14th, 2011
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. During his illness he never lost his spirit of childlike curiosity, enormous compassion, and [...]
February 13th, 2009
If you are interested in collective intelligence, consciousness, the global brain and the evolution of artificial intelligence and superhuman intelligence, you may want to see my talk at the 2008 Singularity Summit. The videos from the Summit have just come online. (Many thanks to Hrafn Thorisson who worked with me as my research assistant for [...]
December 8th, 2008
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.
February 5th, 2008
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 [...]
January 24th, 2008
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. My human intelligence is quite good, thank you very much. And as far as [...]
October 18th, 2007
My company, Radar Networks, has just come out of stealth. We’ve announced what we’ve been working on all these years: It’s called Twine.com. We’re going to be showing Twine publicly for the first time at the Web 2.0 Summit tomorrow. There’s lot’s of press coming out where you can read about what we’re doing in [...]
August 25th, 2007
A very cool experiment in virtual reality has shown it is possible to trick the mind into identifying with a virtual body: 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. When the researchers stroked [...]
August 19th, 2007
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. Our present understanding of the brain, and also of psychopharmacology, is based completely on [...]
August 18th, 2007
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? I define a knowledge network as a form of [...]
July 3rd, 2007
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 [...]
March 24th, 2007
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.
March 23rd, 2007
We had a bunch of press hits today for my startup, Radar Networks… PC World Article on Web 3.0 and Radar Networks Entrepreneur Magazine interview We’re also proud to announce that Jim Hendler, one of the founding gurus of the Semantic Web, has joined our technical advisory board.
March 3rd, 2007
I’ve been thinking since 1994 about how to get past a fundamental barrier to human social progress, which I call “The Collective IQ Barrier.” Most recently I have been approaching this challenge in the products we are developing at my stealth venture, Radar Networks. In a nutshell, here is how I define this barrier: The [...]
March 1st, 2007
Here at Radar Networks we are working on practical ways to bring the Semantic Web to end-users. One of the interesting themes that has come up a lot, both internally, as well as in discussions with VC’s, is the coming plateau in the productivity of keyword search. As the Web gets increasingly large and complex, keyword [...]
February 27th, 2007
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" [...]
February 21st, 2007
Another article of note on the subject of our evolving digital lives and what user-experience designers should be thinking about: Our lives are becoming increasingly digitized—from the ways we communicate, to our entertainment media, to our e-commerce transactions, to our online research. As storage becomes cheaper and data pipes become faster, we are doing more [...]
February 20th, 2007
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. This is a good application [...]
February 20th, 2007
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 [...]
January 27th, 2007
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!
January 12th, 2007
Read this fun article that lists and defines some of the key concepts that every post-singularity transhumanist meta-intellectual should know! (via Kurzweil)
November 6th, 2006
NOTES Master Copy can be found at this URL or http://tinyurl.com/yynb93 Last Update: Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 10:17AM PST License — This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Deed. If you would like to distribute a version of thisarticle, please link back to http://www.mindingtheplanet.net from yourversion, thanks. Printable version — Click here to download [...]
November 1st, 2006
A Harvard University researcher believes that moral judgement is hard-wired into the brain: 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. This may be why events before our [...]
October 23rd, 2006
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.
October 23rd, 2006
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 text letters. Clark and her colleagues assign musical notes to the different [...]
October 17th, 2006
This is a surprisingly good article on the nature of consciousness — providing a survey of the current state-of-the-art in cognitive science research. It covers the question from a number of perspectives and interviews many of the leading current researchers.
October 17th, 2006
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).” Spivack’s Argument: (This summary includes my argument, a method for judging the outcomeof this bet and some other thoughts on how to measure awareness…) [...]
October 16th, 2006
This study is strange. But plausible. 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. They found that as cable television became common in California [...]
September 13th, 2006
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.
September 9th, 2006
Wow… 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 and diagnosed. In response to commands, the patient’s brain flared with activity, lighting the same language [...]
August 19th, 2006
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.