Wednesday, March 29, 2006

kirkyan timesuits for books 3

Bruce Sterling has been grinding the spime ax for a while, and I hope he continues. This line (from his column in the October '04 WIRED) is one of the most interesting things he's ever said on the matter:

"Forewarned is forearmed. Get ready for... unpredictable emergent forms of networked spime behavior." In the same article he talks about books as spimes.

It keeps me thinking about spimed libraries.

Imagine a hypothetical library... a meta-library which is the aggregate of all collections of all libraries in existence. Every book in it is a spime that kirks (grows in complexity, in consciousness, in time, across all instances of itself). Every kirking spime in the whole kirking thing learns from every interaction it has with every person who uses any kirking "book" in this meta-library.

Such a situation would become a platform for emergent consciousness. The conditions would be right for the spontaneous development of conscious complexity (artificial intelligence, that is). Packets of information coming to know themselves as parts of a whole body of information through their individual interactions with other packets and with something wholly other (the human users).

If this kind of thing is actually possible, then libraries will become the mommas of A.I. in more ways than one. Is this already beginning?


csven said...

Funny you mention the potential for an emerging consciousness. I traded emails with Jamais Cascio of WorldChanging earlier today and was hinting at the same thing (he's apparently been thinking in terms of "systems" and trying to fit this concept into his ideas).

It's difficult for me not to see this as a means by which something could potentially become self-aware; especially when a kirkyan so easily lends itself to comparison with the building blocks of life (e.g. the "tranreality amoeba" in one of my earlier comments). At least to me it does. At that point I'm thinking it goes from being a "dumb" kirkyan to becoming a true artificial intelligence.

Woody Evans said...

I think intelligence might be a kind of illusion... when many many many individual "dumb" parts work in relationship to other "dumb" parts. If enough parts work and relate, it looks like the whole is "smart". Seems to me that kirkyans would be pretty "smart" for "dumb" things.

csven said...

Yea. And we wouldn't be the first to consider it from that perspective.

The more we learn, the less we know.

Restless said...

Yes, Marvin Minsky talked about this very thing in his book, Society Of Mind. It's a fascinating read, and I think it will come to play in this realm more than people realize.