Thursday, September 20, 2012 - Tim O'Reilly: Birth of the Global Mind

Interesting talk - O'Reilly believes that the evolution of technology has disrupted our social structures - resulting in the birth of the "global mind." A few years back, Howard Bloom wrote a book on this idea (Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century), from a deep evolutionary perspective.  A compare and contrast would be interesting.

Tim O'Reilly: Birth of the Global Mind from The Long Now Foundation on

Tim O'Reilly: Birth of the Global Mind

Tim O'Reilly discusses how evolving technology has disrupted society, and has given birth to the global mind. "The history of civilization is a story of evolution in our ability to build complex 'multicellular minds,'" says Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media (books, conferences, foo camps, Maker Faires, Make magazine.)

Speech allowed us to communicate and coordinate. Writing allowed that coordination to span time and space. Twentieth century mass communications allowed shared information and culture to blanket the world. In the 21st century, memes spread mind to mind in nearly real time.

But that's not all. In one breakthrough computer application after another, we see a new kind of man-machine symbiosis. The Google autonomous vehicle turns out not to be just a triumph of artificial intelligence algorithms. The car is guided by the cloud memory of roads driven before by human Google Streetview drivers augmented by powerful and precise new sensors. In the same way, crowd-sourced data from sensor-enabled humans is leading to smarter cities, breakthroughs in healthcare, and new economies.

The future belongs not to artificial intelligence, but to collective intelligence.

~ Tim O’Reilly is founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. O’Reilly also hosts conferences, including the O’Reilly Open Source Convention, Strata Online Conference, and Tools of Change for Publishing Conference. O’Reilly’s MAKE magazine and Maker Faire have been compared to the West Coast Computer Faire, which launched the personal computer revolution. O’Reilly is also a partner at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, and is on the board of Safari Books Online. He watches the alpha geeks to determine emerging technology trends and uses his platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community.

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