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← Michael Chorost explores the WORLD WIDE MIND

Michael Chorost explains the way our brains and technology will eventually connect is in a space called the World Wide Mind, a space similar to the Internet.

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Showing Revision 1 created 02/08/2011 by BethFrazier.

  1. The World Wide Mind is an idea. The World Wide Mind is a concept.

  2. So what I tried to do in the book is talk about the World Wide Mind as a coming global intelligence.
  3. And I mean that in the sense of an intelligence with an intentionality and a consciousness of its own,
  4. entirely part of human intelligence. And what I try to do is get away from the science fiction
  5. idea that the internet by itself is going to become intelligent. I think that's an absurd idea.
  6. That's like saying that putting a bunch of transistors together will just get you a radio automatically.
  7. I don't think that's going to happen. The argument I make is that the World Wide Mind is a combination
  8. of humans and the internet acting together in concert, and that the combination of the two yield to being,
  9. which is more power than either in isolation. And that, I argue, gives you the seed of an intelligence that neither has by itself.
  10. And that's what I think of as the World Wide Mind.
  11. It's very legitimate to worry that the internet is alienating us from each other.
  12. You only have to look at figures like the average teenager sends and receives 2,272 texts per month,
  13. and some teenagers send 14 or 20,000 texts in a month.
  14. So when you look at numbers like that, you really can't avoid the conclusion that
  15. they're spending more time looking at the screen than they are looking at people.
  16. And the argument I make is that you can't really stop that hunger to be connected. You can't stop that urge to look at the screen.
  17. The argument that I make in the book is that you can incorporate that urge, and by actually fusing technology
  18. with the body to make that connection through technology a physical connection,
  19. a connection that you make as part of your own internal bonding experience.
  20. Here is my own human machine connection. I've got two cochlear implants.
  21. So what I wear on my ear is a processor where sound goes in the microphone, gets processed by the
  22. unit here into ones and zeros and the data is sent to a headpiece, which is a radio transmitter with a magnet in it.
  23. And the magnet will stick to the implant that's in my head. And it's sending data through my skin to that implant.
  24. And there are electrodes that connect to my auditory nerves that send little pulses of electricity to my auditory nerves
  25. that recreate the sensation of hearing for me.
  26. So I'm a guy who actually has 32 electrodes and tens of thousands,
  27. actually hundreds of thousands of transistors in his head.
  28. What I hope that we'll learn is that there is a new way to think about how technology
  29. and human relationships can be brought together.
  30. Right now people think of these domains as mutually exclusive.
  31. And what I suggest in the book is that there is a way to put these worlds together
  32. with physical integration of humans and machines.
  33. You know, I don't claim that this is something that's around the corner.
  34. But I do draw from my own personal experience of having a cochlear implant.
  35. So it is a daily reality of my life to boot up my ear in the morning
  36. by putting on the processor of my cochlear implant and having it activate
  37. the computer chips that are in my head.
  38. So what I'm really trying to say is that technology can be used
  39. to create more humane connections between people.