Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On the Gaia BRAIN

Recently I have dug myself into Tera Architecture/ Cloud Computing and the likes. Along the Way I read some articles by Chris Anderson on the results of petabyte paradigm shift that occurred some 8 years ago, of which we now perceive the first ripples of the impact:

also I agree more with what People on the edge wrote:

I see possibilities of computer-aided petabyte analysis like a microscope that enables us to see phenomena normally hidden from the human eye. computer-aided petabyte analysis can uncover correlation previously indiscoverable for human kind, but still we will try to model the underlying principles and try to understand what is going on. Statistical facts will not eradicate systematic modeling. The beauty of proof over evidence is that it can predict farther into the future, like we saw with the Laser, the Memristor or Black Holes. All predicted years before a real-world representation was discovered.
Combined this will lead to an unparalleled explosion of invention and innovation in the next years.

What I see emerge in the networked globe is that we are currently creating a new brain. The Gaia Brain or One Machine (Kevin Kelly).
1. We have billions of computers networked n:n, the storage capacity is unlimited. The network cables are the neurons. As Kevin Kelly sums up here.
The quality of a silicon based intelligence will be fundamentally different from a protein based one. The comparison has to take place on a higher abstraction level.

(What is interesting though is my observation, that anything you imagine or ideate, has been thought and published on the internet already by someone else [often only weeks or days before I though of it], you only have to find it.)

2. On top we have the World wide web with links and gigabit transfer speed (much faster that the 300 m/s of a human brain). The Links and email are the axons and neurons used to transfer concepts. concepts are stored and grouped in webpages and databases.
3. Google, de.licio.us and others are working the reinforcment cycles like Axons and Dendrite. Important "learnings" are reinforced by the number of links linking to a specific information, increasing the visibility across the globe. There is short term knowledge and long term knowledge.
4. The Gaia Brain does not forget, which is a new quality. The Gaia Brain has all the information ever published available in 0.25 seconds.
5. We have all the memories a human brain can hold: visual, audible, structured, unstructured and so on.
6. the social networks climb even higher by linking representations of ourselves to other concept holders.

Apparently creating statistical representations of facts (google translate, farecast) help in conceiving a new quality that will complement the classical Neural net theories.
The new thing is that statistical approaches in the petabyte scale do not need a structured model of how it works to work. Those representations produce fairly valuable results, also it will still need a human interpreter to assess the quality of the source.

This could lead to the working Gaia Brain, where we humans have no idea how it works and it will take years and years until we do so. First we would have to understand how our brain works, then see how the Gaia Brain works. Where meanwhile the new findings will be applied to the Gaia brain to improve it.

Kelly writes: To keep things going the Machine uses approximately 800 billion kilowatt hours per year, or 5% of global electricity.
If we compare this to the human brain, which consumes around 20% of the body's energy, this could be a starting point for our growth and development prediction. What will happen once the the Gaia brain consumes 20% of the planets energy?

Maybe we will see that Zenos parable holds true: Achilles cannot outrace the turtle. We can use but never understand the new Brain we have created.

Eventually we will connect ourselves to the Brain with cybernetic components, so we will have immediate parallel access to any resource in the world. We will form the Gaia Brain 2.0.
That will be the Omega Point.


Anonymous said...
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tillg said...

Fun to read, interesting thoughts.

Some interesting approaches on visualising what's going on within the Gaia brain can be found here: http://infosthetics.com/

And then, by now we know that an infinite series may very well converge, so Achilles will outrace the turtle. Unfortunately Newtons enlightments about sequences won't do for Gaia...