Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The player's semantic experience

In my first posting I outlined what it means for a player to communicate at will without distance or devices. Just as we have conversations with people in the room we are in and our friends hear our talking and respond, that in the future we can have the same natural interaction when we want to accomplish anything digital. The excitement of this statement is when we interpret “anything” as a “rich communications experience”. We are no longer restricted to verbal communications between two people. Secure natural communications includes all communications and computing interactions that exist for people and devices - for human communications as well as device communications.

I also introduced the five key constructs required to achieve this new capability and infrastructure. We require support for the player’s semantic experience, the player’s physical experience, the decode engine, core infrastructure, and information intelligence. If you have been following some of the dialog on this blog you know that Chiku has proposed that we should also focus on new enabled applications as a sixth construct.

In the next set of postings I will elaborate on each of these constructs and also discuss some of the research problems that can be addressed to further improve capabilities

The player’s semantic experience

To better characterize how the player will intellectually interact with other players, we characterize the following components of the player’s semantic experience. In the infrastructure we build for secure natural communications we will require support for each of these components.

The players. The players in secure natural communications are the potential parties to communications. In today’s terms it would be anything with an IP address. This includes people, computers, devices, sensors, microphones, cameras, items with RFID tags, MP3 players, anything with a GPS system attached, scanners, medical imaging devices, etc. So the notion of “natural” communications means that each of these devices is able to send and receive communications in a way that is natural for them. And any user is able to naturally refer to these items and find them.

The groups. Group communication has become a fundamental paradigm through the advent of social networking. The infrastructure must make it natural for users to participate in arbitrary ad hoc groups.

Media. Secure natural communications must support unstructured data as well as voice, video, high quality music, fax, etc.

Semantics. We have developed increasingly sophisticated means for people, computer systems, and applications to communicate with each other in a highly coded fashion. To the extent that the current protocols and interfaces are adequate, they would be used as they are defined today; but many need to be made more natural.

With these four components, we can give the next level of description of secure natural communications.

Since we include all players imaginable this clarifies the form of communications that is supported. Any player can communicate with any other player. Each has a set of requests supported and each has a different sense of what is “natural”. The infrastructure supports both their physical requests and semantic meeting thereof.

“Groups” recognizes that much communication wants to be multi-party. Increasingly, large projects cross organizational boundaries and collaborate on some set of tasks. Hence all types of group requests must be intelligently anticipated by the infrastructure. When a person or device is participating in multiple group interactions, they must be able to handle the challenge to participate in multiple groups. To achieve this, the infrastructure must present all of the information from multiple interactions in the most intuitive possible fashion. They must handle multiple group interactions digitally as well as any human can handle multiple physical interactions. The infrastructure needs to support an exponential number of potential groups that want to form.

“Media” requires that we digitize everything, so we are encompassing all of human experience in this infrastructure.

The Semantic layer implies that compute tasks that happen with a regular pattern each develop their own means of semantic expression which is also supported.

Of course, in describing each of these components of the player’s semantic experience, I am only scratching the surface. As we develop this, each of these will get more detail. The readers of the blog are invited to provide their viewpoints by commenting on what they think some of these details should be.

In the next posting, I will describe efforts that should take place to more fully develop a player’s semantic experience.

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