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Stigmergic self-organization and the improvisation of Ushahidi

Stigmergic self-organization and the improvisation of Ushahidi | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Here are some excerpts from Janet’s fascinating paper. In late 2007 in Kenya, US educated Kenyan journalist Ory Okolloh had become one of the main sources of information about the election and the violence that broke out soon after.
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luiy's curator insight, April 10, 2013 9:30 AM

A study of the evolution of the Ushahidi software presents strong evidence of cognitive stigmergy at two levels. The first level is the development of the Ushahidi platform, both initially and through the creation of the enhancements. The development of the software using a Rapid Prototype model and crowdsourcing on widely available mobile phone platforms follows examples of some FLOSS development teams that have been shown to use cognitive stigmergy as a tool to organize and coordinate work. The utilization of the software by end users as volunteers and contributors also demonstrates the role of cognitive stigmergy at the level of group action. The occurrences of crowdsourcing demonstrate cognitive stigmergy. The reasons for the great success of Ushahidi lie precisely in its raison d‟etre: it was conceived as a way for people to give testimony to the world about a great crisis that was occurring. Ushahidi was meant to empower, to give voice, and was specifically designed to do so for all.


Heylighen points out that the inexpensive cost of information via the internet is a major force for the increase in all forms of information, easy access to it and voluntary creation and sharing of forms of it. The combination of easy access, low cost, and a compelling social concern lead to powerful motivations for many to participate. The use of the Rapid Prototype Model meant that the functionality could be delivered while there was still an urgent need for it, before the crisis could pass and life returned to normal and that urgency was forgotten. The use of Visualization and Mapping was crucial. Human cognitive stigmergy is based on people perceiving changes in their environment and responding to them. Visual images and information are more meaningful even when the place is not known, even more powerful when it is. Testimony has more power when it is visualized. The dependence on Crowdsourcing as a resource for development, support and the generation of information is an obvious example of stigmergic self-organization. As a way to maximize participation and crowdsourcing, the use of Mobile Phone Platforms via FrontlineSMS is a clear success: “In Africa, cellphone penetration – the number of phones as a percentage of the population – is still the lowest in the world, but it is growing quickly. In 2010, an estimated 41 per cent of the population on the continent had cellphones, compared with 76 per cent globally. That’s double what it was in 2005”. Worldwide, it is estimated that there are five billion mobile phones in use as of 2010, and for many users, these are the only access they have to computing or telecommunications capability.

Global Brain
The prospects of an emerging global intelligence on the internet and elsewhere
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The Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore | Backchannel

The Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore | Backchannel | Global Brain | Scoop.it
This startup has built a brain-machine interface that enables mind control of machines—no implants required.
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A living programmable biocomputing device based on RNA | KurzweilAI

Ribocomputing devices ( yellow) developed by a team at the Wyss Institute can now be used by synthetic biologists to sense and interpret multiple signals in
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High-speed light-based systems could replace supercomputers for certain ‘deep learning’ calculations | KurzweilAI

(a) Optical micrograph of an experimentally fabricated on-chip optical interference unit; the physical region where the optical neural network program exists
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letter from Ray | Supporting universal basic income as step in world progress | KurzweilAI

column: letters from Ray date: May 27, 2017 topic: Adopting a universal basic income for all people can help society think creatively with new
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The Threat | Edge.org

The Threat | Edge.org | Global Brain | Scoop.it
People who are able to live digitally enhanced lives, in the sense that they can use all the available tools to the fullest extent, are very much more productive and capable and powerful than those who are still stuck in meatspace. It’s as if you had a forest where all the animals could see only in black and white and, suddenly, along comes a mutation in one of the predators allowing it to see in color. All of a sudden it gets to eat all the other animals, at least those who can’t see in color, and the other animals have no idea what’s going on. They have no idea why their camouflage doesn’t work anymore. They have no idea where the new threat is coming from. That’s the kind of change that happens once people get access to really powerful online services. So long as it was the case that everybody who could be bothered to learn had access to AltaVista, or Google, or Facebook, or whatever, then that was okay. The problem we’re facing now is that more and more capable systems are no longer open to all. They’re open to the government, to big business, and to powerful advertising networks.
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Giving the Behemoths a Leg Up on the Little Guy

Giving the Behemoths a Leg Up on the Little Guy | Global Brain | Scoop.it
The new F.C.C. chairman’s plan to slacken net neutrality rules is a boon to tech giants and a bane to competitors and innovators.
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Elon Musk wants to enhance us as superhuman cyborgs to deal with superintelligent AI | KurzweilAI

Elon Musk wants to enhance us as superhuman cyborgs to deal with superintelligent AI | KurzweilAI | Global Brain | Scoop.it
(credit: Neuralink Corp.) It's the year 2021. A quadriplegic patient has just had one million “neural lace” microparticles injected into her brain, the
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There's a dark secret at the heart of artificial intelligence: no one really understands how it works

There's a dark secret at the heart of artificial intelligence: no one really understands how it works | Global Brain | Scoop.it
As the technology advances, we might soon cross some threshold beyond which using AI requires a leap of faith.
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Scientists Hack a Human Cell and Reprogram It Like a Computer

Scientists Hack a Human Cell and Reprogram It Like a Computer | Global Brain | Scoop.it
By hijacking the DNA of a human cell, they showed it's possible to program it like a simple computer.
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Aleksej Vasyliev's curator insight, March 29, 4:01 AM
Cell (DNA - ?)  and Computer
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What’s Next in Computing? - Chris Dixon - Pocket

What’s Next in Computing? - Chris Dixon - Pocket | Global Brain | Scoop.it
The computing industry progresses in two mostly independent cycles: financial and product cycles. There has been a lot of handwringing lately about where we are in the financial cycle. Financial markets get a lot of attention. They tend to fluctuate unpredictably and sometimes wildly.
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Why connecting all the world’s robots will drive 2017’s top technology trends | KurzweilAI

Why connecting all the world’s robots will drive 2017’s top technology trends | KurzweilAI | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Most robots dancing simultaneously (credit: Guinness World Records) By Tom Garner, Research Fellow, School of Creative Technologies, University of
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China Wants to Build a $50 Trillion Global Wind & Solar Power Grid by 2050

The company that is tasked with running China's power grid just proposed a $50 trillion global electricity network to help us tackle pollution and climate change.
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Building Connections: Inside The Tech Powering The Next Industrial Revolution

Building Connections: Inside The Tech Powering The Next Industrial Revolution | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Machine-to-machine communication forms a vast plexus of precise data on land, at sea, in the air, and in space. Homes and offices and cars: connected. Products and environments and people: smarter, safer, greener. Some of this is easy to imagine. Some of it still boggles the mind. A radical new type of interconnectivity has recently…
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Do We Need a Speedometer for Artificial Intelligence?

Do We Need a Speedometer for Artificial Intelligence? | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Measuring how quickly machines are getting smarter could help us prepare for the consequences for society and the economy.
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A Blueprint for Coexistence with AI | Backchannel

A Blueprint for Coexistence with AI | Backchannel | Global Brain | Scoop.it
There's no getting around the fact that artificial intelligence will upend our world—but human empathy can't be coded.
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Researchers decipher how faces are encoded in the brain | KurzweilAI

This figure shows eight different real faces that were presented to a monkey, together with reconstructions made by analyzing electrical activity from 205
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Google’s AlphaGo Levels Up From Board Games to Power Grids

Google’s AlphaGo Levels Up From Board Games to Power Grids | Global Brain | Scoop.it
By redesigning how its AlphaGo AI learns, Google has made a system that can tackle much more than just boardgames.
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Algorithmic accountability

Algorithmic accountability | Global Brain | Scoop.it
When Netflix recommends you watch “Grace and Frankie” after you’ve finished “Love,” an algorithm decided that would be the next logical thing for..
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Look to Zuck’s F8, Not Trump’s 100 Days, to See the Shape of the Future

Look to Zuck’s F8, Not Trump’s 100 Days, to See the Shape of the Future | Global Brain | Scoop.it
While the fate of the Trump administration matters, it may shape the world much less decisively than the changes rapidly altering the digital landscape.
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What if you could type directly from your brain at 100 words per minute? | KurzweilAI

What if you could type directly from your brain at 100 words per minute? | KurzweilAI | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Regina Dugan, PhD, Facebook VP of Engineering, Building8, revealed today (April 19, 2017) at Facebook F8 conference 2017 a plan to develop a non-invasive brain-computer interface that will let you type at 100 wpm — by decoding neural activity devoted to speech.
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Yuval Harari on why humans won’t dominate Earth in 300 years

Yuval Harari on why humans won’t dominate Earth in 300 years | Global Brain | Scoop.it
"It's not because I overestimate the AI. It's because most people tend to overestimate human beings."
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To Make Us All Safer, Robocars Will Sometimes Have to Kill

To Make Us All Safer, Robocars Will Sometimes Have to Kill | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Not only will robocars fail to completely end traffic deaths, but they’ll be choosing who to sacrifice—all to make the roads of tomorrow a safer place.
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How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next | William Davies

How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next | William Davies | Global Brain | Scoop.it
The Long Read: The ability of statistics to accurately represent the world is declining. In its wake, a new age of big data controlled by private companies is taking over – and putting democracy in peril
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Highly informative and interesting article!
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The four pillars of a decentralized society | Johann Gevers | TEDxZug

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. What if we could rebuild our society in a way that works fo
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Social Media’s Globe-Shaking Power

Social Media’s Globe-Shaking Power | Global Brain | Scoop.it
The election of Donald J. Trump is perhaps the starkest illustration yet that social networks are helping to rewire human society.
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