Sunday, February 01, 2009

Do not exaggerate the importance of machines

There is a trend, which began several centuries ago since the First Industrial Revolution and it is still a fashion until today. We often tend to exaggerate the importance of machines, and think of this exaggeration to be scientific prediction, though history has repeatedly disapproved the imaginations.

Kevin Kelly, one of my most respected living thinkers, has a recent post titled Two Strands of Connectionism. In the post, Kevin claimed the co-existence of human connections and machine connections on the Web. Kevin thus suggested the future Web to be a balanced network in the middle of the two strands of connectionism. Nevertheless the vision is illuminating, Kevin exaggerated the importance of machines and, inevitably, overlooked the true value of human mind.

Kevin is right on observing the two strands of connectionism. What I do not agree to Kevin is, however, to equalize the importance of the two strands. The danger of this equalization is that it easily misleads people to believe that the Web intelligence is a fair mixture between the collective human intelligence and the collective machine intelligence. In fact, there is only human intelligence on the Web. The so-called machine intelligence is nothing but a steady, lack of self-creative, and embodied portion of the human intelligence. Any exaggeration of the machine intelligence would only lead us to some unrealizable plots that waste our resources and time.

We should be clear that the strand of machine connection is a way of distributing the strand of human connection instead of being another independent set of connections. By this vision, we may grasp the true spirit of World Wide Web evolution, which is essentially an evolutionary reorganization of human intelligence in contrast to constructing certain independent machine intelligence that is beyond humans. The greatness of the Semantic Web is not about building up machine intelligence. By contrast, it is to be able to connect various pieces of human intelligence in the mind of different individual human beings that we can never realize in any other environment except of the Semantic Web. Whether or not understand this distinction could be fundamental and crucial to the success of any Semantic Web business institute.


Anonymous said...

Actually machines just accelerate what human being are doing already: networking and connecting. Internet, with all its bots and automation just accentuates the 'small world effect'. We all are connected, and even more so now.

Francisco Antonio Cerón García said...

It could be interesting for you to take a look on the paper:

Brain, Computers And Mind Speech And Thought In Humans, Animals And Machines. The False Statement Of The Semantic Web & Artificial Intelligence (AI).

You could download and read it from:

Best Regards,

Francisco Antonio Cerón García

Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!