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The Digital Self When Social Media Gets Personal NextTech CHM  Mountain View, CA Mar 2010 John Smart, President, Acceleration Studies Foundation Slides: Acceleration Studies Foundation: What We Do.

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The Digital SelfWhen Social Media Gets Personal


CHM  Mountain View, CAMar 2010

John Smart, President, Acceleration Studies Foundationjohnsmart@accelerating.orgSlides:

acceleration studies foundation what we do
Acceleration Studies Foundation: What We Do

▪ We practice evolutionarydevelopmental (“evodevo”) foresight, a model of change that proposes the universe contains both:

Contingent and unpredictable evolutionary choices that we use to create unique, informationally valuable, and creative paths (most of which will fail) and a small set of

Convergent and predictable developmental constraints (initial conditions, constancies) which direct certain aspects of our long-range future.

▪ Some developmental trends that may be intrinsic to the future of complex systems on Earth include:

Acceleratingintelligence, interdependenceandimmunityin our global sociotechnological systems

Increasing technological autonomy, and

Increasing intimacy of the human-machine and physical-digital interface.

© 2010

evolutionary development evo devo the left and right hands of universal change

“Natural Selection”

Main Actor: Organism

(Local Adaptation)


Mixed Attractors


Evolutionary Development (Evo Devo): The ‘Left and Right Hands’ of Universal Change


Main Actor: Seed

(Mostly Nonadapted)

Stochastic Search

Strange Attractors


“Convergent Unification”

Main Actor: Environment

(Global Adaptation)

Environmental Optimization

Standard Attractors



‘Left Hand’ of Change


‘Right Hand’ of Change



New Phase Space ‘Opening’

Well-Explored Phase Space ‘Optimization’

  • Some change is:
  • Experimentation (Evo)
  • Adaptation/Selection (EvoDevo)
  • Optimizing/Dominating (Devo)
  • Learn to tell the difference.

For more:

© 2010

the 95 5 rule of thumb evolutionary and developmental contributions to change
The ‘95/5%’ Rule of Thumb:Evolutionary and Developmental Contributions to Change

5% Devo

▪ The vast majority (perhaps 95%) of the events and computation to create or control a complex system (organism, organization, technology, species, society) involve bottom-up, local, evolutionary processes.

▪ A minor yet critical subset (perhaps 5%) comes from top-down, hierarchical, developmental processes.

95% Evo

A few examples:

▪ Almost all genes in an organism (eg, 97-8% of Dicty DNA) change often to create evolutionary variety vs. a special subset (2-3%) which form the developmental toolkit and are highly conserved.

▪ Almost all cells compete for their location in the organism. A very few are fated to a particular location early in development.

▪ Almost all ideas and actions in an organization will not persist. A special few become stable strategies seen in all orgs of that type.

▪ Almost all technology products and services are evolutionary experiments. A special few are destined to become the next big thing.

© 2010

are you accelaware
Are You Accelaware?

Free Energy Rate Density (Φ)

Substrate (ergs/sec/gm)

Galaxies 0.5


Planets (Early) 75

Ecosystems, Plants 900 (10^2)

Animals (hum. body) 20,000 (10^4)

Brains (human) 150,000 (10^5)

Culture (human) 500,000 (10^5)

Modern Engines 10^5 to 10^8

Intel 8080 of the 1970's10^10

Pentium II of the 1990's10^11

Global AI of the 21st C 10^12+

Cosmic Evolution, Eric Chaisson, 2001

Free energy rate density values inhierarchically emergent CAS.

© 2010

world economic performance
World Economic Performance

GDP Per Capita in Western Europe,

1000 – 1999 A.D.

The curve is quite smooth on a macroscopic scale.

And superexponential.

Note the “knee of the curve” occurs circa 1850, at the Industrial Revolution.

Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD, Angus Maddison, 2007

© 2010

Data grows even faster than processing power and storage.All these grow slightly superexponentially, believe it or not.

Developing the algorithms to use all this power, storage, and data is the challenge.

For now, humans are by far the best algorithms we’ve got.

▪ Computer power and storage double every 18-24 months.

▪ Created, captured and replicated data doubles every 14-18 months.

▪ By 2011 we’ll be throwing away half the digital data we generate.

▪ A flood of underused capacity in processing, even more in data.

The Singularity is Near, Ray Kurzweil, 2005

The Diverse and Exploding Digital Universe, John Gantz, IDC, 2008

© 2010

the j curve
The J Curve
  • First-Order Components are Growth-Limited Hierarchical Substrates (S and B Curves)
  • Second-Order Hyperbolic GrowthEmergence Singularities and a Limit Singularity


▪ Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar

▪ Chaisson’s FERD (Complexity)

▪ Global Economic Performance

▪ Sci & Tech Performance Metrics

▪ Cultural Adoption of Innovation

Accelerating Socio-Technological Evolution: From Ephemeralization and Stigmergy to the Global Brain, Francis Heylighen, 2007.

© 2010

as there is a hype cycle for almost any technology use other people s innovation wherever you can
As There is a Hype Cycle for Almost Any Technology: Use “Other People’s Innovation” Wherever You Can.
  • 95% of the time, you want to be a second mover / “fast follower”. (Evo)
  • Jump in or buy companies at the trough (Big co. acquisition strategy).
  • 5% of the time, you want to be a first mover / “pioneer”. (Devo)Go early correctly and you’ll get lock-in (Amazon, eBay, Google, Facebook…)

What immature tech products or services do you want to bet on next?

As a fast follower or a pioneer?

Are you too early or already too late?


Cumulative Production/Experience (Not Time)

The Well-Timed Strategy, Navarro, 2009; Mastering the Hype Cycle, Fenn & Raskino, 2008

© 2010

from the metaverse to metahumanity evolutionary development of the web
From the Metaverse to Metahumanity:Evolutionary Development of the Web




Web 1.0 Read Mainly (Graphical UI)

Web 2.0 Read/Write/Play (Participatory, Social UI)

Web 3.0 Video (iTV, Geosocial Web, AR, VW, MW)

Web 4.0 Semantic (CI, Cyber/Lobbytwins, Valuecosm)

Web 5.0 Intelligent(Planetization, Global Brain, NUI‘Tech and Social Singularity’)

We are climbing the hierarchies of the web, via design, use, feedback.

Edge platforms include search (Google, Bing, Wolfram Alpha), telephony (iPhone, Android, Google Voice), static and mobile social networking (Facebook, Foursquare), microblogging (Twitter), conferencing and collaboration environments (Skype, Wave, WebEx, Wikis), video (YouTube, Boxee, P2PTV), games and virtual worlds (XBox Live, Second Life), mirror worlds (Google Earth), avatars (Miis, MyCyberTwin), lifelogging (MyLifeBits), augmented reality (QR codes, Wikitude).

Collectively, these are today more a story of intelligence amplification (IA, ‘Sociotech’) than of artificial intelligence (AI, ‘Infotech’).

This is, by far, the largest and most meaningful complexity construction process society has ever engaged in.

Smart, John et. al. 2007. Metaverse Roadmap (to 2025).

© 2010

wearable web 24 7 augmented reality collective intelligence
Wearable Web: 24/7 Augmented Reality, Collective Intelligence

Necklace phone

(Nokia 2004)

‘Bracelet phone’ concept (Vodafone 2006)

‘Carpal PC’ concept

(Metaverse Roadmap 2007)

Flip Ultra (2007, $130)

Top-selling camcorder.’s first-gen

‘sousveillance’ cams (2001)

iPhone (Apple 2007)

© 2010

ia intelligence amplification and the conversational interface ci circa 2012 2019
IA (Intelligence Amplification) and the Conversational Interface (CI): Circa 2012-2019 Amazing NLP for phones today.

Codebreaking follows a logistic curve.

Collective NLP may as well.

  • Date Avg. Query Platform
  • 1.3 words Altavista
  • 2.6 words Google
  • 5.2 words GoogleHelp
  • 2019 10.4 words GoogleBrain

Average spoken


complex query is

8-11 words.

Smart, J. 2003. The Conversational Interface: Our Next Great Leap Forward.

Halevy et. al. 2009. The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data, Intell. Sys. 24(2):8-12.

© 2010

why will we want to talk to an avatar agent interface cybertwin in 2010 in 2020
Why Will We Want to Talk to an Avatar/AgentInterface (“CyberTwin”) in 2010? In 2020?

Nonverbal and verbal language in parallel is a much more efficient communication modality.

Birdwhistell says 2/3 (but perhaps only 1/3) of info in face-to-face human conversation is nonverbal.

“Working with Phil” in Apple’s

Knowledge Navigator Ad, 1987

Ananova, 2000

© 2010

milo and milly the faces of xbox natal conversational avatars for kids
Milo (and Milly): The Faces of Xbox Natal.Conversational Avatars for Kids.

▪ A permanently better new primary way of interacting with our machines.

▪ Start with a game (limited domain) and kids (patience for avatars of limited intelligence).

▪ Once this conversational interface is server-based, it will get smarter every month. Like Google’s does now. Then every week.

▪ A time when serious games can get serious.

Milo and Kate, Lionhead Studios, Peter Molyneux (Proposed Dec 2010)

© 2010

circa 2020 the symbiotic age
Circa 2020: The Symbiotic Age

A Coevolution Between Saturating Humans

and Accelerating Technology.

A time when:

▪ Complex things can “speak our language.”

▪ Our technologies become very responsive to our needs and desires.

▪ Humans and machines are intimately connected, and always improving each other.

▪ We will begin to feel “naked” without our computer “clothes.”

© 2010

symbiont networks the extended digital self a post 2015 emergence
Symbiont Networks: The Extended Digital SelfA Post 2015 Emergence?

When we have an early Web 3.0, lifelogs, and pervasive broadband connectivity, we can expect…

  • 150 (Dunbar number)of our kids most cognitively diverse (Page 2008) friends permissioned into their lifestreams, 24/7.
  • A reputation and reciprocity collaboration system that keeps everyone contributing to the symbiont (no free riders).
  • Powerful new group learning and expert performance, with symbionts seriously outperforming unconnected individuals. Always having 150 “lifelines” who know you, in any situation.
  • New cultural protocols, symbionts must be temporarily turned off for job interviews, tests, private moments, etc.).
  • Serious behavioral modification (juveniles, criminals, mentally ill) and performance enhancement era begins.
  • Fantastic new subcultural diversity (geek symbionts, futurist symbionts, Quaker symbionts, Shoppers United symbionts, etc.)

Page, Scott. 2008. The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies, Princeton U. Press.

© 2010

circa 2030 the valuecosm a more pluralistic and positive sum future
Circa 2030: The ValuecosmA More Pluralistic and Positive-Sum Future

Microcosm (Gilder), 1960’s

Telecosm (Gilder), 1990’s

Datacosm (Sterling), 2010’s

Valuecosm (Smart), 2030’s

- Recording & Publishing Cybertwin Prefs

- Avatars that Act and Transact Better for Us

- Mapping Positive-Sum Social Interactions

- Much Early Abuse (Marketing, Fraud, Advise)

- Next Level of Digital Democracy (Holding Powerful Plutocratic Actors Accountable)

- Today’s Leading Edge: Social Network Media

© 2010

your cybertwin your digital self helping you now helping others later
Your Cybertwin – Your Digital Self:Helping You Now, Helping Others Later

“I would never upload my consciousness

into a machine.”

“I enjoy leaving behind stories about my life for my children.”


▪ When your mother dies in 2040, your digital mom will be “50% her.”

▪ When your best friend dies in 2060, your digital best friend will be “80% him.”

Successive approximation, seamless integration, subtle transition… of you.

When you can shift your own conscious perspective between your electronic and biological components, the encapsulation and transcendence of the biological should feel like only growth, not death.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Greg Panos and his Digital

© 2010

the digital self social economic and political implications
The Digital Self: Social, Economic, and Political Implications

Some Challenges - particularly early:

  • Data Security and Privacy
  • Predictive Marketing and Profiling
  • Debt Slavery and Overconsumption
  • New Forms of Crime and Fraud
  • Polarizing and Isolating Eco Chambers (collapse of community)
  • Parenting (How early can kids have CT’s?)
  • New Addictions and Dependencies (CT ‘relationships’?)

Some Opportunities - particularly later:

  • Indiv. Intell./Performance Enhancement (Complete your sentences?)
  • Group Intelligence/Perform. Enhancement (Symbiont networks)
  • Subculture Diversity and Victimless Variety
  • Global Communication & Collaboration (no language barrier)
  • Digital and Educational Divides (greatly reduced)
  • Indiv./Group/Culture Rights Representation (‘lobby twins’)
  • Transparency and Accountablity of Corps, Institutions, Govts.

© 2010

the digital self biggest single catalyst we ll see in our lifetimes
The Digital Self: Biggest Single Catalyst We’ll See in Our Lifetimes

What Do You Want to Improve?

  • IT/Infrastructure Mgmt
  • Identity Management
  • Social Networks
  • Video Management
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Knowledge Management
  • Performance Management
  • Talent Management
  • Innovation
  • Social Responsibility
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Organizational Development
  • Collective Foresight

© 2010

tablet form factor as a developmental optimum what uses do you predict which will emerge next
Tablet Form Factor as a Developmental Optimum:What Uses Do You Predict? Which Will Emerge Next?

What are the most exciting developmental uses for a tablet? #1. iTV Remote! #2. e-Reading, #3 Video, #4 Games, #5 Clipboard.

Apple iPad: No Apple TV.Too little, too closed.

Will Google get this done?

A perfect YouTube front end.

Lenovo Ideapad U1: Bestmultiuse design. June 2010

  • There are about 2.3 billion TVs in the world. 15,000+ streamable TV channels. Thousands more sit on the web, waiting for bandwidth. May be hundreds of thousands by 2015.
  • 25% of US TVs sold in Jan 2010 were connected by consumers to the internet (internally or via a set top box, game console, DVD player), 40% of these were internally-enabled.
  • Tablet TV Remote: Voice enabled, collaborative filtering of thousands of channels, 2ndary screen, social viewing (chat, teamspeak), P2PTV, true internet television.

© 2010