Notorious VC Fred Wilson has strong
opinions about the future of social media.
“I believe that we are headed to a world in which everyone will
share their lives with the rest of the world via the Internet. That
is social media. It’s a huge movement and we are at the start of
it,” he recently proclaimed on his blog.
Over the years I’ve heard many futurists express similar
sentiments about the direction of our species, arguing that the
benefits of ubiquitous life-streaming, transparency, and the
sharing of all information are so powerful that they will trump
people’s reluctance to open up their lives to the rest of the
world. While I certainly agree that we are probably at the start of
open information movement and that pervasive sharing is a
useful trend on which to base forward-looking extrapolations, I
nevertheless find it highly unlikely that ALL people will choose to participate, especially
over the next 20 years.
Considering that we co-exist in a complex environment in which
different people with very different personalities, cultures and
behaviors each compete for resources and control, betting on such a
simple future seems to leave a great many other futures out of the
At today’s big Singularity Summit researcher Ben Goertzel explained to the audience that achieving a working Artificial Intelligence will need to be accomplished through open source software. This of course is a hotly debated topic in the sense that the government may step in to stop development of such a thing. The idea that anyone in the world could then develop an AI freaks out military and political groups (not to mention a lot of the citizenry).
So how does an AI learn?
Ben says games will be used to teach computers to learn functions. You might have a virtual parrot which you’d teach to speak (the parrot being the virtual depiction of the AI itself), or by putting it through virtual world immersion in an interactive digital environment like Second Life, learn a basic skewed version of human reality.
November 13 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets Year: 2009 Rating: 2
Tanya Vlach lost her left eye in a car accident in 2005, now she’s appealing to the online community to build her an eye capable of recording video. “I am attempting to recreate my eye with the help of a miniature camera implant in my prosthetic / artificial eye.” She gives the dimensions of her current prosthetic and what she wants inside of the replacement.
She believes that it’s possible for the technology of today to construct her an eye that can can record video, take pictures, have a small power source and have a remote trigger (check out the full list here). But it’s not the product she wants which caught my eye (I believe it can be built with current technology) it was her plea to the online community instead of through hospitals. Tanya’s is the first case I’ve heard about where an individual has tried to petition the world to make something that is technologically superior to what’s currently on the market.
Can the online community accomplish this?
December 01 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets Year: 2010 Rating: 2
The Linux community could be described as a group of people across the globe with the best of intentions, but even within the Linux community there are still splits and divisions.
While the idea is to create community-based software that is free to everyone, getting quality software can be hard since instead of working on one program which can, let's say, edit video, there are multiple programs out there to perform this function. This has always surprised me about the Linux community. I always figured there would be just one program developers would work on to make the best instead of wasting their resources by working on multiple programs that perform the same function.
Why are there tons of media players when there should just be one? Why are there various operating systems when there should be just one? Even Ubuntu has multiple off-shoots which is understandable since people want to gear their computer towards gaming or speed specifically. But a media player?
But now it seems we might be seeing one platform dominating a field where previously there had been over 50 varieties.
Android has made Linux users happy with their Open Source Operating System. You can tell by looking through many of the different forums or sites Linux users use. Just about anytime you see a reference to a mobile phone operating system, Android is referenced in spades. A team of developers recently put the Linux kernal onto the iPhone. The reaction? People couldn't wait to try and put Android onto the iPhone. And while Apple has tried its best to keep the iPhone from being re-programmed, it may prove futile in the end.
The only hope Apple has now of avoiding the loss of its operating system (and becoming only a hardware manufacturer) is if it too opens up its programming to users and generates support from the community. As of now the iPhone is a novelty that, once Android is able to replicate or exceed, will eventually wear off. Then again, it may already be too late for Apple.