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June 15, 2007 / ergonomic

We are Softwares

“Computers make us smarter

and we make them smarter”

Revisando la página de Openbusiness me encontré una entrevista a Tim O’Reilly que me pareció interesante. En ella habla de muchas cosas, pero hay dos ideas que ameritan un post: la primera son algunas reflexiones sobre el uso de los contenidos como negocio (que vuelve sobre algunas ideas del post sobre Joost) y la idea de “bionic system” como híbrido entre inteligencia humana y computacional. Aquí una muestra.

Content is king: Software became free, content even became largely free but now Google and Yahoo are collecting enormous sums of money by directing attention to their free content using a platform that’s built on top of their free software. Similarly, we look at Napster and thought that all of music would be free and now Apple has a billion dollar business selling songs. We’re also just a the early stages where Skype is making telephone calls free and Asterisk and making telephone calls free –relatively speaking– and I believe that there will be new sources of revenue that will be overlaid on top of that market.

The real lesson is that the power may not actually be in the data itself but rather in the control of access to that data. Google doesn’t have any raw data that the Web itself doesn’t have, but they have added intelligence to that data which makes it easier to find things.

Bionic System: A concept that was introduced by You Mon Tsang [+] Juman Zeng with his start-up called Boxxet, by which people are becoming components in software. … “What are the differences between web applications and PC applications?” Web applications have people inside of them. You take the people out of Amazon and it stops working. It’s not a one-time software artifact, instead it’s an ongoing process where people have to do things everyday for the software to keep working.

For a long time, many people thought that we were going to arrive at some kind of artificial intelligence where we get the computers to be smart enough and match people. And what we’re doing instead is building a hybrid system, in which the computers make us smarter and we make them smarter – that’s bionic software.

Supongo que éste es el tipo de post que inquieta a mis ‘compas’ antropocéntricos que dicen que las tecnologías nos desnaturalizan y que no lo son todo en la vida. Todos mis respetos para ellos y mi complicidad. Sin embargo, ello no me parece motivo suficiente privarnos de la posibilidad de reflexionar sobre estos temas.

Para terminar no quise dejar fuera esta frase que resume toda la entrevista de O’Reilly: The real one [turning points] came when Tim Burners Lee introduced the world-wide web and everything else has just been a voyage of discovery.

Definición extra para quien quiera seguir explorando el tema:

Bionics is the study of living systems with the intention of applying their principles to the design of engineering systems.” … Using this image, a bionic system is one that combines the biological and mechanical systems to create an enhanced system that is more powerful than either alone [vía radar.oreilly].

[y para que no todo sea tan serio un pequeño homenaje a Steve Austin, el “Hombre Biónico“]

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