In typical Web-industry style we’re all focused minutely on the leading trend-of-the-year, the real-time Web. But in this obsession we have become a bit myopic. The real-time Web, or what some of us call “The Stream,” is not an end in itself, it’s a means to an end.… 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’m here at the BlogTalk conference in Cork, Ireland with a range of bloggers and technologists discussing the emerging social Web. Including myself, Ian Davis and Paul Miller from Talis, there are also a bunch of other Semantic Web folks including Dan Brickley, and a group from DERI Galway.… 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
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
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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
A new mathematical technique provides a dramatically better way to
analyze data, such as audio data, radar, sonar, or any other form of
… Read More
Humans have 200 million light receptors in their eyes,
10 to 20 million receptors devoted to smell, but only 8,000 dedicated
My father, Mayer Spivack, has written an interesting piece on managing thinking styles in organizations. He points out the difference between the thinking styles in early and later stage companies, and the challenge of managing and integrating these two aspects of the organization’s cognitive process.… Read More
Today I read an interesting article in the New York Times about a company called Rite-Solutions which is using a home-grown stock market for ideas to catalyze bottom-up innovation across all levels of personnel in their organization. This is a way to very effectively harness and focus the collective creativity and energy in an organization around the best ideas that the organization generates.… Read More
Where’s George, an internet game in which people track the spread of dollar bills as they move around, has yielded an unexpected breakthrough in the science of predicting the spread of epidemics.
The theory of quantum evolution is a radical new take on how mutations
in DNA occur. Basically the theory postulates that DNA molecules are in
fact macroscopic quantum objects that undergo quantum interference. It
is spearheaded by Johnjoe McFadden, a professor in the UK and makes for an interesting
read.… Read More
This article proposes the creation of a new open, nonprofit service on the Web that will provide something akin to “collective self-awareness” back to the Web. This service is like a “Google Zeitgeist” on steroids, but with a lot more real-time, interactive, participatory data, technology and features init.… Read More
The Edge has published mini-essays by 119 "big thinkers" on their "most dangerous ideas" — fun reading.
… Read More
The history of science is replete with discoveries
that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally
dangerous in their time; the Copernican and
Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious.
Today I read this nice article which provides a short consumer-friendly overview of the history of the Digital Physics paradigm. Digital Physics is not mainstream physics — but it is growing and someday could become huge. It brings together computer scientists and physicists in an interdisciplinary approach to physics.… Read More
Researchers in Europe have completed the first phase of what may be the largest computational physics experiment in history: They built and ran a simulated universe through 14 billion years of development. The experiment used up 25 million megabytes of memory, and the biggest supercomputer in Europe for a month.… Read More
Significant new research findings indicate that a new ice age may be starting sooner than anyone expected…
… Read More
CLIMATE change researchers have detected the
first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream — the mighty ocean current
that keeps Britain and Europe from freezing.
Here is an interesting article about an analysis of SMS messaging versus e-mail messaging on mobile networks. The conclusion is that e-mail messaging is more efficient for mobile consumers because email networks are scale-free networks. The article predicts that services based on scale-free topologies will ultimately win out over less optimal alternatives.… Read More
Many years ago I spoke with Will Wright — one of the most interesting visionaries I’ve met (and who happens to be the creator of Sim City) about his dream of a universe game — one in which the player could evolve life from the simple cellular level all the way up through galactic scale civilizations.… Read More
After 30 years of research, a very interesting new theory of cognition has been announced. The theory posits that all human cognition and behavior is based on just one simple, non-algorithmic procedure that has been named confabulation. If the theory is correct it could offer a radical new approach to artificial intelligence, knowledge discovery, and knowledge management.… Read More
study reveals processing differences between Semantic Memory and Episodic Memory in human brains.
Nature performs these functions differently, and there is probably a good reason why that
is so. On the Web we don’t really have an equivalent of Episodic Memory or Semantic Memory yet… but we’re working on it!… Read More
Here’s an interesting speculation. Assume for the moment that our universe is in fact a simulation running on a vast computing system created a race of beings that is far more advanced than we can presently imagine. The next logical question would be, “Why would an advanced civilization want or need to undertake such a project?”
Without debating whether or not such a project is possible, let’s simply address this second question.… Read More