LinkLog: Is Internet Impacting Our Intelligence?

Is internet changing the definition of human intelligence? In a  survey that explores whether internet is making us smarter or dumber, there are several interesting opinions:

Experts and stakeholders say the Internet will enhance our intelligence – not make us stupid. It will also change the functions of reading and writing and be built around still‐unanticipated gadgetry and applications.

As a gadget lovers and application builders, this is good news for a few of us. It is also a challenge. What do we need to understand to build future applications?  A post titled Text me – Don’t call me, gives us a glimpse.

We are in the midst of four distinct generationsBaby Boomers (born 1946-64), Generation X (1965-79), Net Generation (1980-89) and the new iGeneration (born in the 1990s and beyond). The “i” designation represents the “individualized” nature of their media.

Are these four overlapping markets (one for each generation)? What are the new literacies you require to function in this mixed world? What will be the new jobs,  new skills? Where does education fit into all this?

New literacies will be required to function in this world. In fact, the internet might change the very notion of what it means to be smart. Retrieval of good information will be prized. Maybe a race of “extreme Googlers” will come into being.

Do we need to redefine IQ? Will Social Collective Intelligence play a more important part?

If one defines ‐‐ or partially defines ‐‐ IQ as literary intelligence, the ability to sit with a piece of textual material and analyze it for complex meaning and retain derived knowledge, then we are indeed in trouble. Literary culture is in trouble….

…while the proliferation of technology and media can challenge humans’ capacity to concentrate there
were signs that we are developing “fluid intelligence—the ability to find meaning in confusion and solve new problems, independent of acquired knowledge

I am looking forward to exploring a few of these topics in  Program For the Future Collaboration Mashup

Information About Information

I was jotting down ideas on the various aspects of Information that a business has to deal with. Not all of them are relevant to all businesses. However, as I was thinking about Information,  I was amazed by the number of attributes and activities related to information. Here is a list.

  1. Gathering – Identifying the Right Sources
  2. Finding – Search and Other tools
  3. Aggregating
  4. Validating – Verifying the authenticity and sources
  5. Deduplicating – Enormous overload occurs due to slightly modified versions of Information occurring over a period of time
  6. Normalizing – Reducing it to some kind of canonical form (who are the players, what is happenings etc.)
  7. Filtering – The essential tool to manage the overload and separate signal from noise. But the noise of one person may be the signal for another. So can we customize, individualize filters? What do we do with sediments left behind the filtering process?
  8. Detecting patterns – occurrence patterns and source bias patterns and other cause-effect patterns
  9. Classification  – Topic Aggregation, Topic Similarity, Topic Hierarchy
  10. Relating  – independent, interdependent, co-occurrence and correlations
  11. Analysis – contextual analysis, source context, use context, bias, analysis of language, overtones/undertones,
  12. Synthesis – Making sense of different pieces of information
  13. identifying Propagation Patterns – How does it propagate? What is the correlation of information paths to styles of information
  14. Insights – Detecting trends, velocity and currency
  15. Intelligence – Deriving actionable intelligence, mining, extracting facts, extracting entities, why/what/how/when/where analysis
  16. Layering  – how each layer maps to the organization’s layers?
  17. Flow – An analysis of flow of information. Tracing information between people, teams, departments, up and down the organization. Also flows between an organization, its partners and customers.
  18. Structuring  –  How do we link these different pieces – Unstructured, semi-structured and structured?
  19. identifying barriers to use – stovepipes/silos, lost information
  20. Supplementing/Augmenting Information – with annotations and collaborative editing
  21. Visualizing – Different levels and types of visualization
  22. Alerts and Notifications  – Smart alerts/notifications based on analysis and detection of patterns and occurrence of events based on rules. Needed for both internal and external information.
  23. Synchronizing – Updating internal information based on changes taking place external to the organization.

This is just a partial list. As the information increases dramatically, we need to think about these various aspects of Information and how we can leverage it to help an organization. What is your IIQ (Information Intelligence Quotient)?

Update June 2012

The team at Next Wave Multimedia were kind enough to create a presentation from this post.  Do you want to create your own fun presentations? You can try ComicsHead, an iPad app.

Steven Pinker: Human Intelligence

In this TED Talk,  Steven Pinker talks about the way we use words, how we learn, and how we relate to others.

Human Intelligence consists of:

  • A repertoire of concepts (objects, space, time, causation, intention) useful in social, knowledge intensive species
  • A process of metaphorical abstraction: conceptual structure bleached of its content, applied to new abstract domains