It has gone 10 years since 1995, which is the year when I was working for Swedish Office of Science and Technology i San Francisco and closely watched the Netscape IPO (without getting any stocks :(). To me the development of the Internet was inevitable and I therefore didn’t think much about this special occasion then. I had been working with Internet technology since 1986. But even to me the revolution that came after 1995 was amazing. Despite all who thought the development of a global hypertext network was impossible due to lack of financing or business models, it exploded. In just a year or two after 1995 even public service News programs on TV had web addresses in the aftertext. It wasn’t the commercial forces that was the necessary driving force, but we as producers and consumers of information and goods using the electronic highways.
From the perspective within the Internet the last 10 years of development really has been a revolution. But what about the future? What happens if we take the perspective from the outside – what is Internet becoming? Kevin Kelly is a former editor of Wired and the man who wrote Out of control a book which pointed out the biological qualities which appears in an increasing complex system. He is brilliant when it comes to note things early and translate his observations into words and now he has written an article which looks back 10 years in the development in order to be able to look forward 10 years until 2015.
A number of thinkers who ponders about machine intelligence have since long abandoned single computer intelligence. It is much more likely that intelligence will appear in the complex network connecting all these computers. Kelly makes this argument more convincing by jumping forward in time from 1995 to 2005 and then to 2015.
I think this following quote can make you curious enough to read the article:
This planet-sized computer is comparable in complexity to a human brain. Both the brain and the Web have hundreds of billions of neurons (or Web pages). Each biological neuron sprouts synaptic links to thousands of other neurons, while each Web page branches into dozens of hyperlinks. That adds up to a trillion “synapses” between the static pages on the Web. The human brain has about 100 times that number – but brains are not doubling in size every few years. The Machine is.