Monday, November 17, 2008

Building a WEB2.0 Virtual Cortex

For many decades science fiction writers have fantasized about human-machine neural implants. The ability for humans to control machines with their minds (a reality today with the use of brain signals to move a mouse and prosthetic limbs) pales in comparison with machines capable of transferring knowledge (as seen in the early “Start Trek” or, more recently, the movie “The Matrix”), or event tap into our cerebral cortex to store information or create fabricated realities (as explored in “The Matrix” or William Gibson’s ? “Johnny Mnemonic”. MIT and CalTech are actively researching these options as the technology to interface the human brain with machine is becoming a reality. It is only limited by technological advancement, time and our biological understanding of the brain’s functions.

One aspect that has escaped most futurists and science fictions authors is the existence of a non-human neuro-pathway repository that is built from chaotic human experiences (let’s call it a Virtual Cortex). This concept is not far fetched when we observe the evolution of the WEB2.0 where events are accessible through RSS feeds. If you look at every event as recordable, categorizable and connectable to other events that are captured in time or within similar dimensions (categories), you can easily draw a parallel with the human’s ability to capture and organize the events that occur in their respective lives.

My work with WikiGazette exploits this concept to create an Ontotropic* Web Discovery Engine.