Monday, December 17, 2012

Anticipatory Computing

I was so intrigued when I came across a new iPad app called MindMeld that is based on the emerging science of “anticipatory computing.”
Using video and voice chat capabilities similar to Skype, MindMeld not only facilitates the discussion, but also adds pertinent photos or videos to the conversation as it interprets what is being said.
We tend to worry about computers that are smarter than we are, automating our skills and taking our jobs. But if computers become more human-like in their thinking, adding our own emotional values to everything we think is important, the heartless machine-only qualities of these technologies will disappear, moving computers away from the paradigm of human-replacer to something more akin to human-enhancer. Here’s what I see happening.
The MindMeld Approach

“We have a predictive model that changes second to second and surfaces relevant information without searching,” says Tuttle. He views this as an effective application of “anticipatory computing” because of the predictive nature of its computational decision-making.
Over time, MindMeld will accrue intelligence as it becomes better at reading and aggregating ambient data.
Capturing Real Human Intelligence
Artificial intelligence only goes so far. But finding a way to capture pieces of real human intelligence can give us far more pertinent information.
As example, if someone conducts a typical search on a search engine, the connecting path between the search terms and the final destination is a very real piece of human intelligence.
Certainly not everyone will agree on the final site selected from a set of search terms. But that will improve over time.
According to Futurist John Smart, in 1998 the average online search phrase consisted of 2 words. Today, the average search contains 5.2 words, trending towards something far longer, more akin to a natural question of 8-10 words.
Over time, capturing millions of “paths” will yield a base of growing intelligence based on the cumulative thinking of everyone involved.
Similarly, when groups of people get into a conversation, and a variety of images are displayed, a selection process where users click on applicable images to help refine the “yield,” the anticipatory computing process will get much smarter, and more relevant, over time.


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