Spurred on by a Steve Rubel article called "Become a Knowledge Management Ninja with Google Reader", I began to think about what Google Reader represents. Also, is knowledge management consistent with artificial intelligence? Also, what's the role of relevancy and how smart can people become?
Let's start with a constructive definition of intelligence:
- As we know, intelligence has a genetic and behavioral component
- Since what we read impacts our stored knowledge, reading better stuff will make us smarter
- The exponential explosion of information is causing our intelligence potential to suffer due to scarcity of attention
- Those who are thriving in the current attention economy tend to be knowledge workers, basically people who have some idea of where to go online for relevant information
- But the information explosion continues and those who do not embrace new relevancy-based techniques (what I call Relevancy2.0) may suffer
And now for the formulaic punchline. We can define intelligence iteratively:
Intelligence(N) = Intelligence(0) + Intelligence(1) + ... + Intelligence(N-1)
While this really doesn't help much, it provides a framework for discussion how intelligent we can be in the future. I'm 38 years old now, so if I want to define how smart I'll be when I'm 45, I could write:
Intelligence(45) = Intelligence(0..38) + Intelligence(38..45)
In plain English, this just says that how smart I'll be at age 45 is my current intelligence plus any new intelligence I develop over the next 7 years. Of course, our IQ is supposed to be unchangeable over time, but what I'm talking about here is a practical working intelligence. Having a more experience mind makes us smarter than spotting abstract patterns in an IQ test.
So how can I write Intelligence(38..45)? And how do Google Reader and artificial intelligence play a role?
Theoretically, we have something like:
Incremental Intelligence(T) = function( time, ContentQuantity, ContentQuality )
That is, the person who will get smarter over any time period (the "T" above) will be the person who both:
- Makes sure any content consumed is relevant
- Consumes a lot of content
Role of Artificial Intelligence
Can artificial intelligence make us smarter? No, I think overall it will have the opposite effect. Most people will tend to gravitate toward what is easier. We may have various artificial intelligence agents at our disposal and I think it could cause mass laziness. However, a small group of people will become masters of artificial intelligence, basically being their bosses or learning to work with them. Those who tend to be voracious users of Google Reader like Steve Rubel or Robert Scoble will certainly be in this crowd.
I'll need to revisit these thoughts once I've thought through them some more, just wanted to begin exploring these ideas.