Re: cyborgs & ghosts

From: Pope Salmon the Lesser Mungojelly (
Date: Wed Oct 26 2005 - 21:09:30 MDT

On Wed, 26 Oct 2005 12:47:16 -0700 (PDT), Dani Eder
<> wrote:

> The computing power builds and refines a model of you
> as you live your life, by trying to match your
> actual outputs (speech, actions) to the model outputs.
> When the meat dies, if the model is good enough, it
> becomes you - taking actions for real rather than
> just a model output.

How does that actually emerge, though? It's not as if these things will
be invented one day and then suddenly begin to happen. They'll emerge
into the culture as fully as they can at each stage of the metamorphosis.
It's already happening with agents that select news articles for you;
they're a model of your behavior as far as picking out articles to read.
As you train an agent, it becomes an extension of your mind.

There's a text entry device called Dasher designed for disabled people
that's really fun to try out-- it predicts what you're going to type,
based on your past input. After a while you can let yourself go into it
and start to trust its predictions a little better and you're zooming
along, flying through the words. It predicts even across word
boundaries. My impression after a few days of use was that it could never
get anywhere close to keyboard entry speed, but I'm glad I tried it just
for the experience. I could feel the computer's direction & guidance--
which was also MY OWN guidance-- carefully directing me as I chose
characters & words.

The future of our connection with computers could feel a lot like that.
It won't feel like some alien intelligence surrounding us; it will feel
like our own intelligence. It may also feel like other people's
intelligence. This is an idea for what comes after email: You train an
agent & send it to someone (where it picks news articles for them or
arranges flowers or says "meow" in its own distinctive way). Or picture
the unconscious consensus building of shared agents, learning to bridge
gaps between people that they weren't even aware of.

I find myself in reverence of it. The intelligence spilling out of
everything. Don't y'all?


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:52 MDT