No worries about the delay - just forgive me mine
I was also busy the last couple of days, and will be out of town beginning of August. I’ll be meeting old friends, which may make me unreliable, but perhaps I can activate some of them for this as well, so…
Just for your orientation, I’ll try to put it in a nutshell - but it’ll be fuzzy around the edges (on purpose, let’s see if we can dock other things from your side into this (I have truckloads):
I want to rebuild the small series/prototype manufacturing sector into a strongly digitally connected net of physical clusters. These are to function as a shared element of an innovation platform. The physical parts of it are relatively expensive, so we will try to work with what is there in most cases (business parks, research institutes, universities, some companies). However below that level (about fablab, library, or small business/large club facilities) I’d want to spec out a bunch of tweaks & investments that will allow dramatically improved collaboration & information sharing. There’ll be lots of thorny privacy and IP issues but we’ll get to that later.
A quick example: You had an idea a few weeks ago and have hit a problem, so you take some data about this and meet with a friend and potential partner at one of the closest hubs of the net (e.g. in a fablab, library, or small business that offers those). There you feed the data (which you may not have wanted to upload for privacy reasons) into the system which will directly scrape out and correlate the semantically significant bits in the background. While you explain to your potential partner what it is you are trying to do (ideally in your native language), by going through some files together. You use a lightly modified presentation device (it does not just to next slide, but also allows you to give 3-4 relevant semantic/logic infos) the system listens, translates to text and correlates again. After about an hour of discussion it slowly starts to shows a few pertinent images of the things/concepts you are talking about, whenever it detects from your speech pattern that some help with clarification would be useful now. It listens to find out which are the images that you meant, and which ones may have surprised you (in a positive way), and tries to figure out where it misunderstood you. After 2 hours you are pretty much done for the day and ask the system to wrap up the documentation for you with focus on easy onboarding (as opposed to for example a detailed user manual style), in file sizes of 50 kB, 50 MB, 500 MB. Just before it finishes the system asks if and to what level it should crawl and correlate, or even alarm your respective social networks, and if you are looking for a long term partner or just someone to fix a problem (e.g. more or less emphasis on social compatibility). After having a look at the relevant public calenders it suggests 3 different options on various dates as next steps, and updates your social web settings with your consent. You decide to keep the project in a separate persona for now, and decide later which one of your peer-certified identities it should influence and how.
6 months later, while you were discussing the system correlation meter spiked several times in a short time, and you decide to take a look. It turns out you have hit on a related problem from a totally different angle, that a heavily funded strategically working group mostly based in Korea and Japan are going crazy about. You authorize them to a predominantly automatically generated (translated and original) high level wrap up of your project, and also give them the last 100 hours in high detail, under mutually agreed terms (including you being able to watch them looking at it). After minimal back and fourth it becomes clear that according to their project plan you would want to start working intensively with them in approximately 3 months. That means you really have to start searching for someone who can bridge the language and well as the technical details. Unfortunately most people with this combination seem to be very busy at the time, so you may have to free someone up. Finally the system finds a pair of students that is in very close contact and shares the necessary skills between them (even though they won’t move and quite a bit out of anyone’s way). You make them an offer to help them with their current task (after talking with their teacher) and thus get them ready to join your project a little earlier.
Of course this is not going to be done tomorrow, but I’d like to build a plausible vision using mostly off the shelf tech (no moonshots) and showing some of the potential as well as some of the problems. I think the current European situation is close to optimal for bootstrapping this to life. We have a potentially powerful economic sector, relatively well educated workforce, and a totally defunct structure that damns half the population who need to invent the future NOW sitting on their hands, feeling useless. This will not do. Also, we have language barriers that come at an immense cost of opportunity (p2p in europe?), which to the elite perhaps does not exist, because they seem oblivious to them both. We are not going to get this fixed tomorrow, because this is BIG, but if we don’t seriously start to do things about this we’re not getting anywhere. So in the spirit of: “Who fails to plan, plans to fail.” I’d like to build a (couple of) cases for such a innovation network architecture.
The EU translates 3.5 billion characters (Giga chars) per year for its 500 M citizens. That is 1 tweet for every 20 citizens. Compare this to the 305 active twitter users sending 200 billion tweets in the same time, so about 5000x more than the all official translations of the EU…