the Communications Web site, http://cacm.acm.org,
features more than a dozen bloggers in the BLoG@cacm
community. in each issue of Communications, we’ll publish
selected posts or excerpts.
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the chaos of the
internet as an external
Brain; and more
Greg Linden writes about the Internet as a peripheral resource;
Ed H. Chi discusses lessons learned from the DARPA Network
Challenge; and Mark Guzdial asks if there are too many IT workers
or too many IT jobs.
Greg Linden’s “the Rise of the xternal Brain” http://cacm.acm.org/blogs/ blog-cacm/54333 From the early days of computers, people have speculated that computers would be used to supplement our intelligence. Extended stores
of knowledge, memories once forgotten, computational feats, and expert
advice would all be at our fingertips.
In the last decades, most of the
work toward this dream has been in
the form of trying to build artificial
intelligence. By carefully encoding expert knowledge into a refined and well-pruned database, researchers strove to
build a reliable assistant to help with
tasks. Sadly, this effort was always
thwarted by the complexity of the system and environment, with too many
variables and uncertainty for any small
team to fully anticipate.
Success now is coming from an en-
tirely unexpected source—the chaos of
the Internet. Google has become our
external brain, sifting through the ex-
tended stores of knowledge offered by
multitudes, helping us remember what
we once found, and locating advice
from people who have been where we
now want to go.
ed h. chi’s “the
challenge and the
Design of social
The DARPA Network Challenge recently made quite a splash across the Internet and the media. The task was to