[P2P-F] Fwd: social-semantic networking

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Thu Dec 24 08:27:44 CET 2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Eric Hunting <erichunting at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 12:09 AM
Subject: Re: social-semantic networking
To: Michel Bauwens <michel at p2pfoundation.net>

I don't have an active login for the wiki or blog site so if it's OK I'll
write a piece in email.

Social-Semantic Networking:

What is the future of social interaction and organization on the Internet?
What comes after Facebook and Twitter? One possibility is the
Social-Semantic Network as explored in projects like Netention. A
Social-Semantic Network is the application of Semantic Web technology to
the coordination of human connections, exchanges, and communication through
the automated association of personal information. It could become the
'killer app' that justifies the creation of the Semantic Web.

The Semantic Web is the anticipated future basis of information storage on
the Internet. It functions by creating 'metadata' to accompany information
as it is entered into the on-line environment so that this information can
be automatically associated with related information by passive distributed
intelligence. It's as though everything you write or store on-line
automatically synthesizes links to everything else that logically relates
to it. So, in the future, instead of finding things on-line using a search
engine like Google and having to sift through long lists to figure out
what's really relevant, those things find you by virtue of the automatic
associations the Semantic Web is forever cultivating like a collective,
active, memory.

The user interface to this environment is called a Semantic Desktop hosting
various applications to work with the Semantic Web in specific ways, much
like an operating system but one designed with the Internet and the future
web as its primary environment. One might characterize it as like a very
personal Google integrated into your personal computing environment.
Curiously, the Internet is fast becoming the primary environment in which
we do just about everything with computers, our data storage increasingly
cloud-based and applications increasingly net-dependent if not web-based.
Eventually, it might even become Blockchain-based. A unified encrypted
global cloud. Yet for some reason our old-fashioned computers still use the
Internet through an application--a web browser--rather than fully
integrating the data environment of the Internet into theirs. This is
likely to change and the Semantic Desktop may be one form this takes.
Netention is an exploration of a possible Semantic Desktop platform.

A Social-Semantic Network is intended to create a semantic web across a
community of people by first creating private semantic webs of individual
personal information. It builds this in a variety of ways; through
interaction in the network or with its various services, through
communication between users privately or publicly, through various kinds of
public or private personal records (like school records and digital
shopping receipts), through personal diaries, through the information
collected by Smart Devices in the habitat, and through
procedurally-generated questionnaires. Perhaps one day even through casual
conversation with voice controlled digital assistants and personal digital
companion characters. Because much of this information is sensitive it will
be kept private and likely encrypted, but the metadata automatically
generated with it will be open across the Semantic Web. Using this, the
Social-Semantic Network can seek associations between personal information
webs and connections and convergences between people and other on-line
resources, businesses, and services. Having found these connections, it can
facilitate, and in some cases automate, communication and exchange between
them. On a simple level this can take the form of a smart newspaper that
can push articles of interest to your desktop. It might help you find a
restaurant or doctor. Or it might do things like auto-manage your grocery
shopping list and link to on-line shopping. It might help manage your
health and use of prescription medicine. Or it might link your
ever-changing personal work and travel schedule to your self-driving
automobile, or the ticket sales of railways and airlines, or the
registration for hotels or future ' albergo diffuso'. It might take the
form of a conventional social media platform like Facebook but one where
the choice of front-page posts are automatically managed by mutual
associations--common interests. It might take the form of group project or
activity management systems to coordinate group activity/activism across
the globe. It might form the basis of an Open Value Network. It might
automate the dynamic linking of networked production chains and smart
contracts to suit on-demand production of products. The potential uses are

But on a deeper level the Social-Semantic Network can come to understand a
person's emotional state, quality of life, personal needs, life goals,
personal development, and intentions. (hence the name Netention) It's like
an Internet that knows you as a person. It can likewise develop a model of
the state of society, their collective opinions, interests, and intentions.
Like a system of direct democracy that's silently polling everyone about
everything. It can know the mind of the public like no politician ever has.
And so, functioning like the ideally wise butler (the ultimate Jeeves), it
can seek out information and associations across that larger social
information web--across the world--that are beneficial or, ideally,
mutually beneficial and subtly push information to the user that helps them
make those usually random social connections to meet their needs, goals,
and intentions. Cybernetic Pronoia--a secret digital conspiracy that's out
to help you and everyone else. The power of the Semantic Web is that it
doesn't just collect and store information. Through auto-association, it
builds knowledge. It doesn't just 'parse' data. It 'reads' information and
can apply it. And it doesn't need some active artificial intelligence to do
that because its relying on a distributed intelligence built on simple
rules and the weighted associations across information. When you create
your personal semantic web you're creating something rather like a natural
language rule table that describes who you are and defines how you relate
to the rest of the social network and the larger Semantic Web. A digital
identity within a digital community facilitating your activity within a
Smart Habitat. The potential impacts of this on civilization itself could
be profound. A Social-Semantic Network could evolve to play Buckminster
Fuller's World Game from the global level right down to the personal level.
A Digital Tao.
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