Monday, October 25, 2010

The "Social Network Super Brain's" Immune System

Do you remember the Concorde?
Imagine you were there with your smart phone
What would you have done if you were at the end of the Charles de Gaulle Airport with your smart phone?
  1. Nothing
  2. Call your best friend
  3. Call the local newspaper
  4. Post a message on Facebook
  5. Record and post of video on YouTube
Since you are very tech savvy, chances are your picked 4 or 5. However for the purpose of this post, lets assume you did both.

Would you like to know what would have happen after you had done that? 
      Beginning a Chain Reaction

      By posting the event on social networks, you would have initiated a "social network chain-reaction."
      Social Network Chain Reaction
      Powered by both human and automated processes, the realtime web, would have enabled the information to reach all corners of the world within minutes.

      The Super Social Network Brain Goes to Work

      Human beings are hardwired to find solutions for events they don't understand. Soon after your post, many individuals and organizations, moved by their own interests, would have initiated their own investigation into the disaster.
      The Super Social Network Brain at work
      Since the news cycle is highly competitive, even bad news is good for business. In the absence of any recognized experts, people would turn to self-entitled experts to fill articles and airwaves, until any official news was released.

      The Byproducts of the Social Brain

      From the moment the event was published on the web, until an official solution was presented to the public, many bits of knowledge, without any correlation with the truth, would have been produced.

      This would happen because those the author of the knowledge processed information without having the proper knowledge to do so.  In other words, their were using knowledge (to process information) that had not been proven to lead to negative results. Worst off, it would have been stored.

      Infinity storage
      Wrong information is one of the worst enemies of the knowledge economy. Wrong information behaves like cancer cells because how easy it is to incorporated in other chains of knowledge.  Incorrect knowledge results from applying intuitive analysis to complex problems.
      Cancer cell dividing. Unlike healthy cells that stop being able to divide after 50-60 times, cancer cells continue the process. They don't die.
      The reason is simple. In today's society, there is still a large percentage of the population not engaged in continuous learning. Their ability to keep up with innovation reduces every day.  Without the proper knowledge to process new information, they are led to the wrong conclusions by using their intuitive cognitive abilities.

      Unfortunately, in the times we are living in, we are part of a complex system that has very counter-intuitive behavior.  In fact, as we become increasingly inter-dependent, most problems will continue to grow in complexity, which invalidates our ability to use or innate abilities.

      The Social Network Super Brain's Immune System

      Cancer kills. Bad information does too.

      Purported WMD site in Iraq
      The knowledge economy needs a system that prevents it from being infected by bad cancer cells. For that we will have to develop a system that is able to recognize whether the people producing information are truly qualified to do it or not.

      We need a system to recognize true knowledge from incorrect knowledge, and prevent incorrect knowledge from entering the system.  When it does, we need to fight it, just like biologic immune systems do.

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