The Global Brain and the Seoul Digital Forum

This week the Seoul Digital Forum took place under the theme of Coexistence - Technology, Humanity and Great Hope for the Future. The forum has been running since 2004 and has previously featured talks by likes of Al Gore, Lawerence Lessig and Eric Schmidt. This year Postscapes was given a press pass for the event and we wanted to highlight a few of the talks related to Internet of Things covered by speakers throughout the 3 day event.

Start with fun and unfold into utility - In reference to using gaming tool-kits to engage with Big Data

Ben CERVENY, Bloom Studio / Experience Design Lab, frog design
Big Data and Our Future The Key to Popular Understanding of Data is Play
New contexts for computing such as the tablet and intelligent TV are already changing how people relate to information on the network. Rich, dynamic graphics and gestural interfaces form the foundation of a new set of tools to guide users through data-rich services like social networks, streaming media services and cloud file systems. By building real time, dynamic simulations in which data is mapped into responsive, game-like environments, we can tap into people's instinctive ability to learn through play. Several generations of digital game design have provided countless metaphors for navigating and understanding fast-moving and complex systems. Experience design veteran Ben Cerveny argues that by aiming these metaphors at the data that users care about most—like their social network news or favorite media services—we can allow them to leverage instinctual understandings about patterns of behavior and relationships in the systems they use every day, and collaborate and express themselves more richly than ever before.Visionary

Tim O’REILLY, Founder & CEO, O’Reilly Media
Towards a Global Brain: Man-Machine Symbiosis and Collective Intelligence
At the same time as we’re seeing breakthrough after breakthrough in artificial intelligence, we’re also seeing the fulfillment of the vision that computers could augment human information retrieval and problem solving. AI turned out not to be a matter of developing better algorithms, but of having enough data. The key applications of the web combine machine-learning algorithms with techniques for harnessing the collective intelligence of users as captured in massive, interlinked cloud databases. Bit by bit, this is leading us towards a new kind of global brain, in which we have met the AI, and it is us. We and our devices are its senses, our databases are its memory, its habits, and even its dreams. This global brain is still a child, but as its parents, we have a responsibility to think about how best to raise it. What should we be teaching our future augmented selves? How can we make the emerging global consciousness not only more resilient, but more moral?

We are building a network-mediated global mind. It is not skynet. It is us augmented.

Kevin KELLY, Founding Executive Editor, Wired / Author
What Technology Wants
Technology fills our lives but we don't really understand what it is. Technology as a whole is not a jumble of wires and metal but a life-like, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. We can look out through the eyes of this global technological system to discover ‘what it wants.’ We can use the past to trace technology’s long course, and then follow a dozen trajectories of technology into the near future to project where technology is headed. From this we can deduce a simple theory of technology. Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired magazine and renowned tech visionary, tell us this new theory of technology offers three practical lessons: By listening to what technology wants we can better prepare ourselves and our children for the inevitable technologies to come. By adopting the principles of pro-action and engagement, we can steer technologies into their best roles. And by aligning ourselves with the long-term imperatives of this near-living system, we can capture its full gifts.

If we have a bad idea, the proper response is not "stop thinking", it's "lets come up with a better idea". The same goes for problems caused by previous technologies. The response to that is not less technology, but better technology..

Adrian D. CHEOK, Howard CHARNEY, Genevieve BELL
Mixed Reality: Beyond the Real-Virtual Dichotomy, Expanding Human Potentials
The scope and reach of human influence is being extended. The new generation of mixed reality technologies is merging the real and the virtual, making possible simultaneous interactions between the two worlds. With its limitations in interface design and accessibility being mitigated, mixed reality is making tangible contributions to expanding the human potential in an increasing number of practical fields including healthcare, education, training and media by lowering spatiotemporal barriers. With the real and the virtual coming to coexist and be increasingly interfused, what kinds of benefits and obstacles lie in store for us?

Videos of the talks will be posted on the events Youtube page shortly, and in the meantime a slightly modified version of the talk Tim O'Reilly gave is embedded below for your viewing pleasure.

Image Credits: Seoul Digital Forum, Kevin Kelly - Aeranis CC Attribution, Tim O'Reilly - DFarber CC Attribution, Ben CERVENY - Joi ito CC Attribution

Towards a Global Brain from Tim O'Reilly