If the Net Were Smarter
Saturday, March 8, 1997 by Dave Winer.
Last week, in a postscript to What's Going On?, I asked who did the song. Was it Smokey Robinson? No, of course not. It was Marvin Gaye.
I'm lucky. In a moment of forgetfulness, when I want to know something, I can ask 40,000 people the same question. It was an easy one. Lots of DaveNetters are Motown fans. I got a lot of email.
So, in doing the web work for the Apple @ InternetWorld site, I have two more queries.
1. Is anyone maintaining a party list site for the InternetWorld show?
2. I'd like to accumulate a list of Mac or cross-platform developers with Mac software with booths at the show. Please send your company name, booth number, and a brief description of what you're showing.
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imagine something that worked like DNS, the domain name server structure that gives the net words like www.scripting.com instead of numbers like 22.214.171.124.
John Gilmore, one of the founders of Sun, wants something like this to provide access to PGP public keys. Chuck Shotton, a web server guy and AI man, talks about this kind of stuff too.
I'd like to be a user! In fact, I already am. I broadcast my needs and answers come back. The same process can be systematized and implemented in software so many more people can pose questions and get answers.
At the client end, you'd pop up a page with some of the current questions. If you know the answer, send an email to a server. On to the next question. Bing bing bing. Not artificial intelligence, real human intelligence.
An object database with relations running at each node. A super distributed sandbox that runs on the server and the client and everywhere inbetween. Accessible to C, Java and scripting languages. A traversable hierarchy just like DNS, but instead of mapping names to IP addresses it would map assertions, and allow distributed queries from any Internet user.
You've seen a demo here on DaveNet. Someone has to step up and make the software. I'm happy to help, especially if it builds on the stuff we already have working in Frontier.
We could turn the Internet into a neural net, a knowledge database that you can traverse using algorithms, not just web browsers.
I believe this is where the next major upgrade of the net will come from.
How's that for a strong endorsement?
Back to my web work...