After my initial posting last week, the most frequent question that I received was: how do I plan to proceed with this project? Is this something that we will build tomorrow? Is there some spec? Are these some wandering ideas?
Most of these questions came through email from my colleagues. This blog should be an active discussion community so please post your questions and comments to the blog – as several people have already done.
Reprise – and what is possible today
To reprise, the world should provide an infrastructure where: people can have a rich communications experience at will.
From a core technology perspective, almost all technologies required exist today in elemental form. There are numerous sensors that exist: often called by names such as microphones, cameras, displays, etc. These sensors can detect speech, movement, typing or provide images and videos. Properly configured, they provide the elements of natural human communications overcoming individual device conventions. With ample communications bandwidth we also overcome distance constraints. An infrastructure could both sense bits and interpret them – although not with perfection.
From this - in principle – one can take people’s utterances and build a management system that acts upon them. These can be primitive utterances that request basic communications. Or coded machine commands that request the performance of sophisticated compute function, rich applications, moving function to the cloud, etc.
What is not possible today
There is no infrastructure that provides secure natural communications. Not across the globe; not in a country; not in a city – not even on a campus. It would be considerably expensive to build and there is no known economic model to pay for this new infrastructure.
Goal and method
Here is my pitch. If it is possible to create such an infrastructure – and it would mimic how people naturally communicate – isn’t that compelling enough?
Hence my quest. I want to use a series of postings to express my views about the components of such an infrastructure. I need experts to add precision to this with their knowledge and views. After a while, we will develop enough clarity of viewpoint that we can prototype it on a small campus. If people like it – we will grow it from there.
Next several postings
So my first few postings will continue to discuss the high level concept of secure natural communications. I want to engage in discussion on the general idea. After that, I will elaborate in detail on the five constructs that I outlined last week. Provide a more complete description. What technologies exist? What more do we need to develop over time? And in discussion I will continue to need experts who have the domain knowledge to add precision.