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Connie: An Experiment In Augmented Social Cognition

Page history last edited by michael silverton 13 years, 2 months ago


RSS #converge | Full results #converge :: RSS #convergence08 | Full results #convergence08


About Connie


Connie is an improvisational experiment in Augmented Social Cognition taking place during Convergence 08. This "talk" will take place for the full duration of the conference. Participants can, of course, use any of their favorite hashtag tracking tools or techniques. Friday 11/14 Only: Live demo at http://tinyurl.com/globerisk


Why Connie?


As audiences have begun using Twitter to share their thoughts during events, we all began accidentally participating in a qualitatively different kind of collective thinking which crudely emulates -- under conditions marked by sufficiently high message volumes -- a rudimentory sort of hive mind experience; and an archivable cognition space.


Perhaps due to my slow reading speed, as the event-specific #hashtagged tweets at these events accelerated (due to the sheer number of participants) I could eventually not easily keep up with the accounting function of ascribing individual tweets to distinct "others." Therefore, I consciously suspended that function and began skipping the names, reading and processing only the thoughts (tweets) themselves; momentarily suspending disbelief, as if they were emanating from remote portions of my own mind.


Following along with hashtag streams at the Singularity Summit and Web 2.0 Summit in this manner provided an unexpected and unique kind of realtime "neuro-presence," as unexpected new "OBSERVATIONS" arose from the audience in a manner vaguely reminiscent of individual cognition.

This was the surprise. My mind began sloppily accepting the tweets not just as the thoughts of others, but as valid OBSERVATIONS. I decided to indulge this entertaining illusion of direct perception.


I was not physically located at either of those events; yet, I was able to comprehend and contemplate many of the central theses of the events. I do not know how many, if any of my fellow collective cognitioners, realize that I was dozens of miles away, richly experiencing the proceedings through the highly granular, succinct, collective salient reflections of the Singularity Audience Mind; wistfully dubbed "SAM" or the Web2Summit Mind, "WES."


I also do not know if the audience at Convergence08 will have a sufficient number of tweeters who log their OBSERVATIONS and REFLECTIONS in a similar manner to those other two audiences. However, if we do achieve a similar volume and quality of messages, they will be streaming at http://tinyurl.com/connie08, at this link, (to be updated if different tag selected), and below on this page, so long as the iframe embed continues to function here.


I therefore propose that Convergence08 attendees who would like to participate in "Connie" -- a twitter-mediated Convergence08 collective cognition space -- agree upon a single twitter hashtag as early as possible, perhaps even voting here http://poll.fm/nlis/ prior to the opening of the conference. I will monitor the Twitter streams and update the grids above to reflect the group's decision; ideally converging on a single hashtag. This is a 100% self-guided, opt-in, improvisational experiment.


While the ASC Group at PARC is best known for its WikiDashboard; perhaps the group will consider expanding its reach to include this emergent human behavior. SIAI may also find the research useful in training up an AI. One could readily imagine experiments in this "remote viewing" by having physically present attendees and twitter-only attendees take the same quiz about the content of a given lecture or event and comparing comprehension.



Please add yours here, with initials, name or twid (TWitterID).


@silverton - To the degree that participants tweet consciously with intent, their most salient observations and reflections of proceedings, a crude form of "manual analog neuropresence" is somewhat emulated. Greatly looking forward to experiencing this neuropresence in multiple sessions at once, to degree we are able and willing to participate.


@silverton - If hashtags had been organized in advance, or as part of session organization, might have had unique logs-per-session. E.g., #converge01, #converg02, for each track. Alternately, new tools like Yammer (limitation is TLD-dependence, for this context) or SocialCast (limitation is cost for large conference group) provide opportunity to configure Groups of tweets, so could have one Group per session. Will post other emerging tools that do similar things, later; or share your Augmented Social Cognition tools here. Thanks!


@silverton - Traffic on #converge seems to have literally died, full stop, when breakout sessions began.


@silverton - "Connie" is silent stalking Cat brain compared to Sam and Wes Dog brains? Will explain in post-event writeup. :-)


@silverton - The is opportunity for collective cognition in this context is attenuated by awareness of this experiment, participant interest, willingness, and individual capabilities. The experience of emulated neuropresence -- as if attending multiple sessions at once via the 130-char (less hashtag) thoughts and reflections of others -- is limited by participant buy-in and performance. To the degree that attending and comprehending such very high signal-to-noise information session PLUS tweeting exceeds individual cognitive capacities, Social Cognition data loss is incurred.








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