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Premium member Presentation Transcript How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Imminent Internet SingularityOr: Why right now may be the best possible time to be an Internet technologist: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Imminent Internet Singularity Or: Why right now may be the best possible time to be an Internet technologist Gary William Flake Microsoft Live Labs Outline For Today: Outline For Today Internet Singularity Why right now is the best time in the history of the universe to be an Internet technologist Introducing Live Labs A partnership between Microsoft Research and Windows/Windows Live Back Story: Back Story Singularity: The idea that the exponential speed of technological improvements will produce super-human capabilities, making the future completely unknowable Introduced by Vernor Vinge, in 1993 Evangelized by Ray Kurzweil in multiple books Name purposely suggests black hole event horizon Primary causes cited as the realization of true AI and nanotechnology, yielding asymptotic upper limits of intelligence, power, and ability to manipulate reality Corollary: Human society will end as we know it Talked about in both optimistic and pessimistic terms Multiple Paths To The Singularity: Multiple Paths To The Singularity Nanotechnology Hacking Human Intelligence Artificial Intelligence The Internet Singularity: The Internet Singularity Loosely defined: The idea that a deeper and tighter coupling between the online and offline worlds will accelerate science, business, society, and self-actualization Coined by me. Also called the 'Baby Singularity' Primary cause is claimed to be ubiquitous computing, democratization of computing resources, and iterative processes of creation and discovery becoming continuous Corollary: The increased pace of discovery will fuel amazing innovations in the near future Will completely reshape society as we know it A kinder and gentler singularity. Very optimistic statement Making The Case In Four Steps: Making The Case In Four Steps Democratization and 'macro-ization' Power law distributions and 'long tails' Internet ecosystems and network effects The Innovators’ Dilemma (1/4) DemocratizationAnd “Macro-ization”: (1/4) Democratization And 'Macro-ization' Personal and business computing Greater availability of raw CPU power Today’s desktop andgt; Yesterday’s super computer Tomorrow’s cell phone andgt; Today’s desktop Greater availability of powerful software tools Greater integration among toolsets Largest changes occurring in Content Commerce Community Positive feedback loop from virtuous cycles (1/4) DemocratizationOf Content: (1/4) Democratization Of Content Documents: Office, LaTeX, HTML Images: Digital cameras, Photoshop, iPhoto Movies: Camcorders, DVDs, iMovie, Xbox Audio: MP3, GarageBand, podcasting Publishing: Blogs, RSS Software: Open source, VB, Flash Research: Search engines, wikipedia Meta Data: Tags, play lists, recommendations (1/4) DemocratizationOf Commerce: (1/4) Democratization Of Commerce Hosting: Y! Stores, Office Live, Amazon P2P Sales: eBay Transactions: PayPal Marketing: Overture, Adwords, AdCenter Syndication: Adsense, RSS Development: Web APIs Trivial Work: Mechanical Turk, ESP game Business Intelligence: Web analytics (1/4) DemocratizationOf Community: (1/4) Democratization Of Community Communication: IM, email, VOIP Distribution: RSS, BitTorrent, P2P Social: Friendster, blogs, groups, Meetup Romance: Match.com, eHarmony Virtual Economies: Everquest, WoW, Second Life Reputation: eBay, PageRank Preference: Collaborative filtering Affinity: Implicit relationships via similarity (1/4) DemocratizationAnd “Macro-ization”: (1/4) Democratization And 'Macro-ization' Major Themes Today’s 'amateur' has more resources than yesterday’s 'professional' The difference between 'amateurs' and 'professionals' is diminishing over time The number of producers/creators is increasing in both absolute and relative terms Implications The distribution of 'creators' is dramatically growing and radically changing in structure (2/4) Power Laws And “Long Tails”: (2/4) Power Laws And 'Long Tails' Power Laws Exponentially more small things than large things Canonical example: Distribution of bio-mass Small number of whales and elephants Enormous number of bacteria Commonly found on the Internet (2/4) Power Laws And “Long Tails”: (2/4) Power Laws And 'Long Tails' Long Tails The 'weight' of the tail is greater than the head Coined by Chris Anderson in Wired article of the same title Canonical example is the recording industry Few 'Britney Spears' (i.e., performers with enormous record sales) Vast number of unsigned performers with little or no record sales Requires that 'tail' producers be able to survive Without filters, can lead to low signal/noise (2/4) Power Laws And “Long Tails”: (2/4) Power Laws And 'Long Tails' Visualizing Long Tails Head Tail (2/4) Power Laws And “Long Tails”: (2/4) Power Laws And 'Long Tails' Major Themes Long tails found in content, commerce, and communities Exist because 'physics' of the online world differs from the offline world Size of warehouse and shelf space is irrelevant Distance and medium are irrelevant Aggregation, remixing, and tagging all contribute Scale can increase independently of human action Implications Consumers are slowly becoming producers In combination, the small producers may outweigh the large producers (3/4) EcosystemsAnd Network Effects: (3/4) Ecosystems And Network Effects Ecosystems – participants on all scales Head participants – old school companies Tail participant – 'prosumers' Aggregations and playlists Remixes and mashups Annotations, reviews Tags and meta data Mere activity (3/4) EcosystemsAnd Network Effects: (3/4) Ecosystems And Network Effects Network Effect The phenomenon whereby the value of a network increases as a function of the number of participants Direct Network Effect: Telephones The more people that have one, the more valuable each phone is to each user Indirect Network Effect: OS Development Users use an OS because it has the most applications Developers write to an OS because it has the most users (3/4) EcosystemsAnd Network Effects: (3/4) Ecosystems And Network Effects Major Theme The whole andgt; sum of the parts Content: The language of preference Commerce: Promotes information flow through endorsements, reputation and market signals Community: Acts as a collective filtering mechanism Implications Each is the 'chicken' to the other’s 'egg' in that lacking any makes the other two less valuable In combination, networks mutually reinforce one another (4/4) The Innovators’ Dilemma: (4/4) The Innovators’ Dilemma The Pattern First in industry focus on small number of large and high-margin customers Late arrivals have to focus on lower-margin customers Late arrivals learn efficiencies because they compensate lack of margin with scale Meanwhile, competition increases, margins shrink The established companies rarely learn the efficiencies that the younger companies grew up with The late arrivals win because they can take optimizations and apply them to the head (4/4) The Innovators’ Dilemma: (4/4) The Innovators’ Dilemma The Dilemma Defined The first companies in an industry (the innovators) must eventually destroy their own business before someone else does Why? Disruptions happen from the bottom Cray killed by SGI; SGI killed by Sun; Sun killed by PC; (Will the PC be killed by cell phones?) (4/4) The Innovators’ Dilemma: (4/4) The Innovators’ Dilemma Offline World Huge startup costs for new businesses Aggregate size of the tail is limited by physics More business usually implies more employees (work harder) Quality product usually implies high touch Innovation iterations follow product and business cycles Online World Diminishing startup costs for new businesses Aggregate size of tail potentially unlimited More business may not require more employees (work smarter) Quality product can be a better algorithm Innovation iterations follow data flow cycles (4/4) The Innovators’ Dilemma: (4/4) The Innovators’ Dilemma Major Themes A bigger tail makes for more potential disruptions The non-physical aspects of the Internet speed up the natural 'clock cycle' of progress Implications The process of societal evolution is itself changing Let’s Recap: Let’s Recap Democratization and 'macro-ization' Yields massive parallelization Power law distributions and 'long tails' Decentralization is bigger than centralization Internet ecosystems and network effects The whole andgt; sum of the parts The Innovators’ Dilemma Higher bandwidth and lower latencies on information flow More frequent improvements Remember This Slide?: Remember This Slide? Nanotechnology Hacking Human Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Let’s Change The Labels: Let’s Change The Labels Ability to Create Digital Artifacts Human Knowledge Ability to Analyze the Online World The Internet Singularity: The Internet Singularity Ability to Create Digital Artifacts Human Knowledge Ability to Analyze the Online World Search become the means by which humans discover new things Ubiquitous computing empowers anyone to be a creator of new things The relationships between objects will inform our understanding of the world The Internet As A Mirror: The Internet As A Mirror As time goes on, the Internet’s content, composition, and participants more accurately reflects the physical world In the limit, the physical world effectively becomes instrumented by the virtual world Having this strong connection between the online and offline worlds allows for science to be carried out in a revolutionary new way Theories will be tested relative to Internet data Empiricists will have almost unlimited data Simulations will truly allow us to experiment in a universe of theories The Computer Science Singularity: The Computer Science Singularity Engineering Scientific Knowledge Mathematical Analysis The more we can analyze the Internet, the more knowledge we can extract The more we know about the universe, the more we can embed online The online world lends itself to more thorough analysis Outline For Today: Outline For Today Internet Singularity Why right now is the best time in the history of the universe to be an Internet technologist Introducing Live Labs A partnership between Microsoft Research and Windows/Windows Live Microsoft Live Labs: Microsoft Live Labs Partnership between Microsoft Research and Windows/Windows Live 100+ new positions but also a 'virtual' organization Aspires to hit the 'sweet spot' between Science and engineering Top-down and bottom-up Users and businesses Short-term and Long-term Problems and solutions Incubates ideas, projects, and people Live Labs – High Level Goals: Live Labs – High Level Goals Create a virtuous cycle in three parts Help build great Internet products and facilitate great Internet-focused research Enhance Microsoft’s reputation for delivering on the above Attract more talent to Microsoft that believe in this mission Repeat Each part depends on the others Each part suggests a group performance metric We want this process to be continuous (instead of discrete) Live Labs – Secondary Goals: Live Labs – Secondary Goals Hire more talent! Invest in more partnerships Make more engineering resources available to Microsoft Research Create an applied science career track within Windows/Windows Live Improve our innovation clock cycle Allow for efforts outside of the product roadmap Reserve resources for rapid prototyping Reserve resources for Randamp;D platforms Strategy – Complement,Don’t Duplicate: Strategy – Complement, Don’t Duplicate Corral related efforts to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts Research Platforms Activities Recruiting PR and technology branding Innovation efforts Use extra resources as pixie dust Seek to align product and Microsoft Research efforts by adding resources to early partnerships (e.g., CMT++) Strategy – Translate Between Worlds: Strategy – Translate Between Worlds Form a 'basis' between business and Randamp;D Give clarity in how business can cherry pick solutions Give clarity in how Microsoft Research can more easily add value Inform long-term planning for what is important Business Needs Research Programs 'Rosetta Stone' Strategy – A Blend Of Activities: Strategy – A Blend Of Activities But remember: We need to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts, for both execution and external influence To A First Approximation…: To A First Approximation… Microsoft Research: Science, math, and Randamp;D excellence Live Labs: Internet technologies and applied Randamp;D excellence Live Labs VersusMicrosoft Research: Live Labs Versus Microsoft Research Focus is Internet technologies Measured by product impact Part top-down and bottom-up Will always build things Aspires to build Randamp;D platforms to product scale More horizontal Intermediate term Focus is computer science Measured by academic impact Almost entirely bottom-up Doesn’t have to build Rarely builds Randamp;D platforms to product scale Even more horizontal Longer term Final Remarks: Final Remarks We have a vision for how the Internet is ushering in profound changes that will benefit everyone This vision suggests major changes to all of society Our mission is to create and nurture the virtuous cycle from creationpublication feedback Our strategy is to create an institute that hits the 'sweet spot' on many dimensions to more effectively bridge between worlds Slide39: © 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista and other product names are or may be registered trademarks and/or trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries. The information herein is for informational purposes only and represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation as of the date of this presentation. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided after the date of this presentation. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION. Slide40: You do not have the permission to view this presentation. In order to view it, please contact the author of the presentation.