His message was twofold. First, on the Metaverse:
There are numerous scenarios for how the Singularity might transpire, but implicit in most is the notion that the technologies that trigger the Singularity themselves emerge from earlier generations of systems and tools. One particularly rich potential progenitor is the spectrum of technologies encompassed by the term "Metaverse."
Cascio traced how each of the four Metaverse scenarios lead to very different types of Singularities:
Virtual Worlds: simulation + increase of immersive network environments (e.g., Second Life)
Mirror Worlds: simulation + enhanced virtual technologies (e.g., Google Earth)
Augmented Reality: depth, not flows
Lifelogging: augmentation + intimate technology
However the strongest and most passionate point of his presentation was "opening the conversation" of Singularity. I live twittered his point, that:
It would be profoundly unethical to try and make it happen without involving all the stakeholders in the process. And we are all stakeholders in the future.
On how to democratize the Singularity:
- there must be a global inclusion of interests
- create relevant software models
- open access to information-laden risks makes them more manageable, not less
Cascio's closing point: if the Singularity is, in fact, near - then Singularity must be open. It must be transparent, participatory, and available to all. Hmm. Where have we heard that before? ;-)
[More on the Singularity Summit.]