There are many incredible, fascinating and inspiring videos and presentations available on the web and this seems to increase every year. Below one of the better ones in my view. The reason is an upcoming science fiction novel called DAEMON - Bot-Mediated Reality by Daniel Suarez. Recently, he gave a high-impact presentation at the LongNow Foundation, of which I am an active/paid member since the beginning of 2008.
DAEMON deals with bots (software based on narrow AI incorporating algorithms for specific search, retrieve and actionable goals) and the future of the (mobile) web. Daniel shows us that bots are on the rise and that they redefine what it means to be human. What strikes me about this presentation can be summed up as follows:
- The first time it impressed me, but by the time of the second viewing this video really inspired me to broaden my vision.
- Bots are within my field of interest since May 2005 when I worked with/for Yme Bosma and Bas Verhart within MediaRepublic for extending the opportunities of the Eccky bot. Artificial Intelligence (AI), both narrow and general, is key to the development of chatbots.
- Recently, I visited the The Singularity Summit 2008, a remarkable and highly recommended event with speakers like Esther Dyson, Ray Kurzweil, Nova Spivack, Eric Baum, Neil Gerschenfeld, Cynthia Breazeal (fantastic!) and Ben Goertzel. Many talks in this one-day-event considered AI, bots and robots.
- Daniel Suarez raises several important questions based on the rise of bots. They focus on a new Internet (DarkNet with limited bot-access), lifelogging, pattern recognition, copyright (User Owned Data?), security, terrorism, privacy, authentication, authenticity, identity, outsourcing, (hyper)efficiency, games and virtual worlds and new organizational structures.
- Amazing insights related to advanced reputational (human) systems, social networks and Mobile Augmented Reality as a gateway to a newer, more secured and better Internet (DarkNet) as to block unlimited powers of bots in the next decades in the current internet.
- Bots are also related to the current global financial crisis. Bots are in almost all cases linear, dualistic and digital in nature. The non-linearity of the real world (see the remarks by Nassim Taleb) in most cases might imply sub-optimal decision making by financial bots as can be seen by our current crisis.
Recommended viewing by Peter Schwartz, Paul Saffo and Kevin Kelly! The book will be officially released on January 9th, 2009.