Saturday, October 01, 2005

AI wakes up from Blogs

Blogs are the most human aspect of the Internet and of all human archived data and material. Blogs show personality, fallibility, value systems, perception and solving of general problems, adaptability and most closely what it is like to be human. It would be scary to see strong AI wake up from the OpEds or personal narratives represented in traditional journalism.

An interesting science fiction story would be an AI, a collaborative hive mind of course, waking up by reading every post in the blogosphere. It would evolve as bloggers keep adding posts and progressing in their own thinking and as additional bloggers come online. It begs the question of what impression AI (or any external observer) would have of human *intelligence* from the blogosphere. Interesting given the main current distribution areas of uber-techiness and random personal musings with a sprinkle of politics and business. What is the nature of collective human intelligence and how do we know if it is represented in the blogosphere or not?

Not only could blogs help an AI wake up, they could help with a real world problem - online dating. Though wildly popular, how effective are dating and linkedin-type social networking websites? One shortcoming is the gap between what people say they are (honestly or not) and what they actually are (or would be perceived as being externally). Dating and social software websites tell who the person thinks he/she is, blogs show how the person actually is. Depending on the tone and level of information, a blog usually cannot help but display the personality, attitudes, value system, key focus areas and many other aspects of a person that are lacking in a cold profile. Reading someone's blog is presumably somewhat similar in some ways to what it would actually be like to interact with that person.

Which further begs the question of how can/is human interaction changing. Reading someone's blog (political, business, technology, personal or futurist) is generally public but intimate. There is much more of a sense of knowing that person (or more precisely, knowing what that person is like) than with other communications media. This happens all the time with celebrities but is closer and more intimate with blogs since bloggers are 'people like us' and there may be a higher degree of shared interests and the possibility of reciprocal communication.

Reading a friend's blog is a great and efficient way to stay current with what the person is thinking and experiencing and comments can certainly make the experience interactive. When a live interaction occurs, the focus does not need to be on catching up but can be on higher level aspects like synergistically developing new ideas. Can face-to-face interaction be diminished by reading blogs? Should it? Is this already occurring? What are our real human needs for live interaction and are they evolving?

Inadvertently, blogs seem to be advancing human communication towards the broader mind meld mechanism science fiction writers have long-imagined (one example is described in Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress), a communication system that moves beyond the primitiveness of literal words, body language and tone to the comprehension of multi-dimensional chains of thoughts and their genesis including value systems, beliefs and life experiences. Communicating with someone can be much broader than responding to how they look and speak at a specific moment.