Disruptive Web Emergence Of Symbiotic Intelligence

By now you are already much familiar with the​ concept disruptive innovation that is​ going on all around you. if​ you have not noticed it​ yet, I would like to​ mention the​ ubiquitous iPod as​ an​ example. Sony’s reign on portable music player that started with the​ Walkman, an​ disruptive innovation by itself, was disrupted by a​ series of​ new technologies in​ the​ form of​ CD players, mp3 players and​ then the​ iPod.

Though the​ forces of​ disruption introduced by new ideas and​ concepts have overturned existing market places and​ people’s lives in​ the​ past several centuries, in​ the​ last decade a​ storm was introduced in​ the​ form of​ World Wide Web. it​ put its strong foothold on every aspect of​ modern lives - business, finance, sales, marketing, shopping, communication, relationships, and​ even crimes. the​ Web was the​ most disruptive innovation in​ the​ history of​ human civilization.

The Internet boom was followed by a​ financial bust for​ hundreds of​ companies but it​ created a​ pervasive technology that intertwined with everything we do today. it​ pushed us into the​ true information society. We are happy to​ use the​ Web to​ check our e-mail and​ weather before going to​ the​ office, do our banking during the​ lunch break, buy that dream vacation package for​ a​ bargain price from an​ online retailer before heading home in​ the​ evening, and​ occasionally chat with our college room mates using instant messaging after the​ dinner. We have started replacing more and​ more of​ existing technologies that we have used in​ the​ past by this all encompassing Net.

Virtual communities and​ social networking sites emerged in​ early 2000 (though instances of​ rudimentary social networking sites can be traced back to​ the​ early days of​ the​ Web) and​ the​ popularity of​ MySpace proved that we are trying to​ establish a​ symbiotic relationship with the​ Web. This relationship is​ not with the​ computer that we use everyday in​ our works and​ personal lives. it​ can be any device that lets us connect to​ this ethereal system that is​ all around us. We don't see it, we don't feel it​ but we need it.

We have started using these new breed of​ sites to​ establish far reaching connections that would not have been possible in​ human history before. We contribute to​ this ever expanding network because we believe in​ the​ saying, "I will share my knowledge in​ return for​ helpful information from others". We trade ideas when buying a​ digital computer or​ visiting a​ health specialists and​ use the​ collective information and​ knowledge to​ drive our actions. Social connections that we establish using these sites help us find jobs, business partners, friends with mutual interests, and​ even life partners.

For the​ last 200 years, the​ Industrial Revolution has provided us the​ impetus to​ replace manual labor with machines that do things faster and​ cheaper. the​ Industrial Revolution brought societal, cultural and​ economic changes in​ human lives. Ordinary persons freed themselves from the​ drudgery of​ manual labor for​ enjoying personal lives.

The Web has brought us the​ Information Revolution. for​ the​ first time, one is​ able to​ free herself from the​ drudgery of​ many personal chores (e.g. shopping) using the​ Web. the​ freed time is​ spent on getting connected, collaborating, and​ developing network for​ sharing information and​ knowledge. Now, she is​ able to​ make decisions using the​ collective intelligence that was not available before. for​ example, she is​ able to​ order her party supplies from reliable suppliers found in​ her favorite social bookmarking site, organize her party and​ invite guests using social a​ networking site, send personalized driving directions for​ each guest using a​ mash-up site that uses vCard and​ road maps, buy that camera, for​ party pictures, recommended by her favorite collaborative filtering site.

We have started witnessing the​ emergence of​ some rudimentary symbiotic intelligence. People are using collective intelligence to​ their advantages. the​ Web will provide mechanisms to​ mine information scattered over databases, documents, web pages, pictures and​ videos and​ then collaborate and​ connect to​ address users' concerns. People will further free themselves from the​ drudgery of​ going to​ specialists like financial planners, tax advisors, or​ even physicians, for​ obtaining intelligent and​ reliable course of​ actions.

The Web itself is​ a​ disruptive event in​ the​ human history. Each phases of​ the​ Web (are we in​ Web 2.0 phase?) is​ a​ natural progression of​ that disruption. What we have witnessed so far is​ information stored all over the​ globe in​ millions and​ millions of​ networked computers and​ the​ emergence of​ user generated contents, collaboration and​ social connection.

In the​ next phase we will see the​ emergence of​ sites that will be mash-ups of​ mash-ups, networks of​ networks, etc. These sites will further free us from some of​ our today's daily chores. Besides being cheaper and​ omnipresent through held held devices, it​ will provide us the​ ability to​ setup semi-intelligent agents that work for​ us. for​ example, after work a​ person will spend 30 minutes using her handheld device connected to​ a​ website to​ configure her party organizer agent that will order supplies, invite guests, and​ purchase a​ digital camera using social book markings, networking and​ collaborative filtering sites. She will be harnessing the​ collective intelligence of​ many people to​ plan her party.

We already use many of​ the​ technologies that are required for​ the​ maturing of​ the​ symbiotic intelligence. We use more powerful cell phones with digital cameras, Internet connections, and​ the​ push technology. University and​ corporate labs are researching intelligent agent technologies. We are enjoying the​ falling prices of​ almost all hardware and​ services. We utilize virtual communities and​ social networking sites, and​ we participate in​ creating and​ filtering contents.

The central theme of​ the​ symbiotic intelligence will still remain collaboration and​ connection. But the​ intelligence will not be void of​ emotions. There will be mechanisms to​ make us feel good based on our moods, surroundings, and​ circumstances. Let's say you setup a​ dinner date. During the​ course of​ the​ dinner, you feel that every thing is​ going all right. Based on her likings that you have just learned, your dating advisor agent may suggest a​ visit to​ a​ nearby petting zoo. We have already witnessed the​ emotional aspect of​ computing in​ games where cancer patients wage virtual battles against unhealthy cells.

We are just witnessing the​ emergence of​ symbiotic intelligence fueled by the​ Information Revolution. We will see intelligence evolve from the​ interaction of​ experts and​ non-experts and​ people will use it​ to​ solve their problems. the​ Web will provide mechanism to​ harness this collective intelligence to​ fulfill people, communities, groups, countries and​ world's needs.

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