Crossposted from Superconcepts.
User Generated Content (UGC) is increasing exponentially, as is the ease of creating and hosting home made material.
To get an idea of what this might mean for us in the future, we’ve only got to look at the best example of UGC around today: YouTube.
Blogging was great, but there appears to be far more power in a video than a long winded piece of text. Home made internet radio is pretty popular, but sadly not to the extent it could be. For this I blame the lack of microphones as standard on modern PCs. YouTube has allowed people to present themselves and their opinions in a way far more effective than has ever been seen before.
Who knows how this could evolve. Anyone can create relatively high production values given the right software. As it becomes easier to edit, present, manipulate, and even research content, more and more possibilities open themselves up to amateur creators. Professionally created material that amateurs could use in their own content, such as blue screen backgrounds, soundtracks, or special effects, could become a respectable market in a few years.
Perhaps User Created interactive experiences could have even more impact. Tools could be written allowing radical and user friendly customisation of game engines. Spore has already started to embark on this fascinating path.
How can the power and scope of social networks, combined with human capital metrics, be used to facilitate shared creation and innovation?
How smart will humans become as change accelerates through
Futurists and sci-fi authors often present scenarios in which
humans interact with discrete artificial intelligence (like a robot
or software program that talks to us), but far less frequently
offer visions of
runaway human intelligence enhancement (people made smarter by
advances in communication, science & technology) and the
resulting cultural and behavioral changes. The most interesting of
these I’ve encountered include the rapid-time expanding-shrinking
problem-solving networks in Vinge’s Rainbows End,
Stephenson’s Metaverse idea,
Hesse’s Glass Bead
Game concept, Cascio’s participatory
Panopticon, the increasingly
smart mobs envisioned by Howard Rheingold, some of examples
listed in the ASF’s Metaverse Roadmap, and
what Richard Florida calls The Rise of the Creative Class .
But though each of these are important visions in their own right,
I remain a bit surprised at the overall lack of speculation re:
what it might be like for humans to gradually bootstrap their
intelligence over the coming years.
Given the deluge of brain-enhancing, capability-extending new
technologies and ideas soon to be made widely available and
affordable, it’d be great to see more thinkers, writers, and
bloggers venture into the territory of plausible near-term culture
Amplification (IA). Supported by a large body of consistent,
powerful growth trends and near-term predictions (check them out on
Scanner), a wide range of social scenarios could be generated,
many of which would be interesting, entertaining and ultimately
valuable to people working to navigate the future (aka, everyone).
In particular, I’d love to see/read simulations in which the most
plausible near-term intelligence enhancing technologies and
software are combined into believable slice-of-life vignettes.
What follows is a list of some powerful trends and technologies
(some broad, some specific, many related to information and
communication) that forward-thinkers might consider when developing
scenarios for how human culture and social cognition will change as
we approach 2020:
Drivers of Near-Term Intelligence Growth
WIDENING BANDWIDTH: Faster
pervasive WiFi – perhaps
syndicated through people’s mobile devices.
GROWING GLOBAL INFORMATION: The
amount of preserved digital data is
growing exponentially as we capture more information about
everything around us.
EVOLVING SOCIAL MEDIA: New
media structures on a wider and more fluid web are evolving to
better organize and process data. Portals like Wikipedia, Digg, Facebook, Medium, Twitter, FriendFeed, and Predictify are just the first
in a long wave of innovation that promises to convert massive
information into knowledge more efficiently.
VIDEO-to-VIDEO CHAT: Expect most cell phones to enable
video-to-video chat by 2012 or so. (cont.)
cross-posted from www.emergentbydesign.com
I've seen a bunch of posts bubble up over the past few days that are really sparking my curiousity about what is really going on with Twitter, so I need to do a little brain dump. Bear with me.
An article by Rosabeth Moss Kanter was just published today on the Harvard Business Review website, titled On Twitter and in the Workplace, It's Power to the Connectors. In it, she highlights the fact that there is an organizational trend moving away from the hierarchical networks of the 20th century, and towards complex, distributed, non-hierarchical structures of business organization and leadership. She also points out that success today is based on a person's ability to leverage power and influence within their social networks, to act as "connectors" between people and information, and in turn build social capital. She leaves the evaluation of the significance of Twitter open-ended, but she lays out a few characteristics of Twitter that I found most interesting:
In the World According to Twitter, giving away access to information rewards the giver by building followers. The more followers, the more information comes to the giver to distribute, which in turn builds more followers. The process cannot be commanded or controlled; followers opt in and out as they choose. The results are transparent and purely quantitative; network size is all that matters. Networks of this sort are self-organizing and democratic but without any collective interaction.
(just keep those points in mind, I'm going to come back to it)
If a virtual world works, then you can live for eternity. A new online memorial, EternalSpace, not only lets friends and family celebrate your life after death, but can be used while alive to send messages to people - friends, family and others - well into the future. It's social media feature let's you gather family and friends together virutally to share stories or view a pre-recorded greeting that can be preserved for eternity.
Following is a description of this service...while designed primarily for grieving loved ones, it's possiblities are interesting to imagine: