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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 Humans Who Dream Of Companies That Won't Need Us

The Humans Who Dream Of Companies That Won't Need Us | Global Brain | Scoop.it
How would Ethereum's network autonomously run transportation apps, delivery services, and other companies? And would we even want that?
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This is very relevant to short and long term Global Brain technologies.

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Getting Smarter| Dan Falk | Summer 2015 | University of Toronto Magazine

Getting Smarter| Dan Falk | Summer 2015 | University of Toronto Magazine | Global Brain | Scoop.it
A U of T computer scientist is helping to build a new generation of intelligent machines
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Machine ethics: The robot’s dilemma

Working out how to build ethical robots is one of the thorniest challenges in artificial intelligence.
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An interesting read

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The iPhone of the robot world: introducing Softbank’s Pepper

The iPhone of the robot world: introducing Softbank’s Pepper | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Japanese robot Pepper is a hit with consumers despite low functionality - but could it become the iPhone of the robot world?
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‘Brain-to-Text’ system converts speech brainwave patterns to text | KurzweilAI

‘Brain-to-Text’ system converts speech brainwave patterns to text | KurzweilAI | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Brain activity recorded by electrocorticography electrodes (blue circles). Spoken words are then decoded from neural activity patterns in the blue/yellow
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Do Corporations Have Minds?

Do Corporations Have Minds? | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Not really. But we often think and talk about them as though they do, and that is cause for concern.
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Very interesting article with direct connotations to the Global Brain idea.

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Manufacturing hub starts work on first zero-labor factory - People's Daily Online

Manufacturing hub starts work on first zero-labor factory - People's Daily Online | Global Brain | Scoop.it
A manufacturing hub in South China's Guangdong province has begun constructing the city's first ze
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Artificial intelligence, human brain to merge in 2030s, says futurist Kurzweil

Artificial intelligence, human brain to merge in 2030s, says futurist Kurzweil | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Science fiction has a long tradition of pitting artificial intelligence against humanity in a struggle for dominance. Ray Kurzweil, a noted futurist and inventor, envisions a more co-operative future. He says the human brain will soon merge with computer networks to form a hybrid artificial intelligence.
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Google a step closer to developing machines with human-like intelligence

Google a step closer to developing machines with human-like intelligence | Global Brain | Scoop.it
An algorithm developed by Google is designed to encode thought, which could lead to computers with ‘common sense’ within a decade, says leading AI scientist
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Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics - Third Edition Preparation Site | Model Report: Systems Thinking, Modeling and Simulation News

Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics - Third Edition Preparation Site | Model Report http://t.co/ga9Fcgj1qh
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Synthetic Selves

Synthetic Selves | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Synthetic bodies, mediated selves. What themes become relevant in a technoprogressive world – as objects proliferate, what do the inundated people talk about? You are alone, at a computer. You talk to people but they are not around.
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Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck

Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Late last year, I took a road trip with my partner from our home in New Orleans, Louisiana to Orlando, Florida and as we drove by town after town, we got to talking about the potential effects self-driving vehicle technology would have not only on truckers themselves, but on all the local economies dependent on trucker salaries. Once one starts wondering about this kind of one-two punch to America’s gut, one sees the prospects aren’t pretty.
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Tech 2015: Deep Learning And Machine Intelligence Will Eat The World

Tech 2015: Deep Learning And Machine Intelligence Will Eat The World | Global Brain | Scoop.it
The biggest part of big data, the unstructured part, possesses learnable patterns that we now have the computing power and algorithmic leverage to discern—and in short order.
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Can We Control Our Technological Destiny—Or Are We Just Along For the Ride? - Singularity HUB

Can We Control Our Technological Destiny—Or Are We Just Along For the Ride? - Singularity HUB | Global Brain | Scoop.it
We assume humans choose which innovations to bring into existence. But a new techno-philosophy questions just how much we control our technological destiny.
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Yes, androids do dream of electric sheep

Yes, androids do dream of electric sheep | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Google sets up feedback loop in its image recognition neural network, creating hallucinatory images that veer from beautiful to terrifying
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Blade supercar has bi-fuel engine, signifies 3D-print platform

Blade supercar has bi-fuel engine, signifies 3D-print platform | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Divergent Microfactories made a name for itself this week with a twin announcement of its supercar prototype and the business platform underlying the car. It's all about 3D printing and the claims are impressive.
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This is scooped because of the innovative business model !

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You won’t believe what the smarter robot is reading these days…

You won’t believe what the smarter robot is reading these days… | Global Brain | Scoop.it
AI techies have discovered that the distinctive structure of the Mail Online is ideal for teaching machines intuitive language skills. Should we be worried?
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Engineers develop state-by-state plan to convert US to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050

Engineers develop state-by-state plan to convert US to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050 | Global Brain | Scoop.it
One potential way to combat ongoing climate change, eliminate air pollution mortality, create jobs and stabilize energy prices involves converting the world's entire energy infrastructure to run on clean, renewable energy.
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A Machine-Learning Supercomputer Woven from Idle Computers | MIT Technology Review

A Machine-Learning Supercomputer Woven from Idle Computers | MIT Technology Review | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Sentient claims to have assembled machine-learning muscle to rival Google by rounding up idle computers.
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A Computer Just Came Up With a Scientific Theory

A Computer Just Came Up With a Scientific Theory | Global Brain | Scoop.it

Big data—and big processing power—is a big deal for science. By crunching massive amounts of data billions of times faster than could be done by hand, computers have allowed scientists to discover faraway planets, unravel our genetic code, and even find the subatomic particle responsible for gravity. But imagine a future in which computers don't just use their awesome power to help scientists. Imagine a future in which computer can come up with useful scientific ideas and hypotheses all on their own.

Well, that just happened. As they report in the science journal PLOS, Michael Levin and Daniel Lobo, two computer scientists/biologists at Tufts University, have programed a computer that independently created its own scientific theory. It's one that may solve a 120-year-old mystery in biology that has eluded even our best explanations: exactly how the genes of a sliced-up flatworm conduct its symphony of cells when they regenerate into new organisms.

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Gary Bamford's curator insight, June 10, 3:00 AM

Now that's what I call big data analytics - and, yes, its a flatworm!

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Startup Unleashes Its Clone of Google's 'Knowledge Graph' | WIRED

Startup Unleashes Its Clone of Google's 'Knowledge Graph' | WIRED | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Giving apps the power to comprehend the web the same way a human would.
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We Should Consider The Future World As One Of Multi-Species Intelligence

We Should Consider The Future World As One Of Multi-Species Intelligence | Global Brain | Scoop.it
Considering machines that think is a nice step forward in the AI debate as it departs from our own human-based concerns, and accords machines otherness in a productive way. It causes us to consider the other entity’s frame of reference. However, even more importantly this questioning suggests a large future possibility space for intelligence.
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Why 3D Printing a Jet Engine or Car Is Just the Beginning

Why 3D Printing a Jet Engine or Car Is Just the Beginning | Global Brain | Scoop.it
The 3D printing (digital manufacturing) market has had a lot of hype over the past few years. Most recently, it seems this technology arena has entered the "trough of disillusionment,"... read more
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How the Internet's Collective Human Intelligence Could Outsmart AI

How the Internet's Collective Human Intelligence Could Outsmart AI | Global Brain | Scoop.it
An interview with French philosopher Pierre Lévy on why Elon Musk is wrong about AI.
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The Next Technology Revolution Will Drive Abundance And Income Disparity

There have been and will continue to be multiple big technology revolutions, but the most impactful on human society may be the one that finally builds systems with judgment and decision-making capability more sophisticated and nuanced than trained human judgment. Machine learning, sometimes called big data or artificial intelligence, is [...]
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