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互联网进化论--刘锋

 
 
 

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中国科学院研究生院虚拟经济与数据科学研究中心客座研究员,威客理论和互联网进化论创始人,intevl.com负责人

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西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑  

2011-12-06 14:25:00|  分类: 互联网进化论研究 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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      这是一篇投稿到国际会议的互联网进化论文,论文用英文的形式介绍了生命如何从起源最终进化到整个宇宙(智慧宇宙或宇宙大脑),第一位评审专家的意见是相对质疑的,但第二位评审专家的意见是录取,很有趣,还在等待他们的最终决定。第一位专家的评语是:

“这项研究应用了达尔文的进化论,并将互联网大脑看做人类未来的扩展。这篇论文的观点是新鲜且惊人的,但还没有真正的研究实验进行验证,因此基本逻辑有缺陷。具体来说,图形序列的8图到9图中有一个神秘和突然的跳跃序,互联网突然与人类的进化接驳。鸿沟太大,而且互联网的“结构”与人类大脑的高度相似,在结论的描述上还过于简单。

这个研究在哲学上是非常有趣的,但理论上依然需要强大的实证支持。这项研究应被大会接纳为圆桌话题”

(评语英文原文:”This study proposes to apply Darwin's theory of evolution to the future of the Internet as the extension of the human species. While the idea is both fresh and amazing, there is no real research component in the paper, and its fundamental logic of proposition is flawed. Specifically, there is a mysterious jump from Sequence 8 to 9, when the digital Internet all of a sudden takes over the biological evolution of the human race. This gap is too big to be simply explained by showing the "structural" resemblance of the Internet and the human brain. 

The topic is philosophically interesting, but the theory needs robust support. This work should be accepted as a table topic“

我的看法:客观的说,第一位评审专家的看法是科学和严谨的,一方面,因为篇幅的问题,我们关于互联网与神经学的交叉对比研究无法详细写到本篇论文中。譬如2011年3月,我们在科学院研究生院做的“人脑中的类搜索引擎实验”,我们即将开展的“互联网中的类神经反射弧实验”等。因此结论会显得单薄,另一方面,互联网进化的核心观点还需要等待更多实验的验证,还需要时间被主流科学界接纳,只有那时,这篇文章的逻辑问题才会得到解决。

从评审专家的意见至少能看出,在西方科学界,互联网的进化问题,互联网和神经学的交叉对比问题依然是没有被充分重视的领域。


论文简版全文:

Feng Liu,ResearchCenterfor Virtual Economy and Digital Sciences,ChinaAcademyofSciences,Beijing100190,China

                           Yue “Jeff” Zhang, California State University, Northridge, USA

Abstract

The Theory of Evolution by Darwin revealed the law of evolution of lives, from primitive to advanced, from simple to complex. Similar evolution can also be seen on the Internet: the four decades of the Internet show that the Internet’s development is not orderless. Instead, through the analogy and contrast between the Internet and human brain structure, evidences show that the evolution of the Internet is highly resembling that of human brains. Enlightened by neurology, we plotted the “virtual brain structure” for the Internet. We found that the Internet has the tendency of infinite expansion and growth, and have come to the conclusion that the Internet will eventually extend to the whole universe. According to the research, we have formed a roadmap of evolution from the origin of life to the Intelligent Universe

Introduction

 

From the review and examination of the history of the Internet, we have found that the structure of the Internet has strong resemblance to that of human brain. We proposed a structure of the Internet Virtual Brain, and plotted six illustrations of evolution of the Internet, from a primitive one evolved to a mature one.

On the special dimension, on the other hand, we noted that the Internet has the tendency of infinite expansion and growth, from the laboratory prototype to national internetwork, intercontinental network, and, through moon explorer and Mars explorer, expanding to outer space. We thus speculate that as time passes, the Internet will expand from the Earth to the whole Solar System, further to the Milky Way galaxy, eventually to the whole universe. This universe that is connected and covered by the Internet is what we call the “intelligent universe” or “the universe as a brain.” We created five figures to illustrate the expansion of the Internet from the Earth to the whole universe.

The Darwinian has proved the process of evolution from the single-cell microbody to human. However, the evolution after human life is still unknown. We attempted to combine the evolution of lives and the evolution of the Internet, to form a roadmap of evolution from the origin of life to the Intelligent Universe. This roadmap will be illustrated in Section 4.

1. The Origin of Life, and the Theory of Evolution

In 1859, C.R. Darwin published his revolutionary book The Origin of Lives, in which he argued that all lives on the Earth evolved from a common ancestor; lives have biological relations.Darwin proposed selection of the nature to explain the cause of evolution, thus established a scientific theory of evolution, revealing the law of the development of lives [1].

The commonly held scientific belief is that the lives on the Earth evolved following such roadmap: from the most primitive non-cell organism, evolved to prokaryotes with cell structure, from prokaryotes with cell structure to Single-celled eukaryotes, and then follow different directions of evolution, there appeared fungi, vegetable kingdom, and animal kingdom. In the animal kingdom, the evolution manifested from the primitive flagellate to multi-cell animal, to chordate, and further to vertebrates. The fishes in the vertebrates evolved to amphibian, then to reptiles, which branched to mammals and birds. A branch of mammals further evolved to one that has high level of intelligence, which is human[2].

We will borrow the scientific illustration of the evolution from the primitive non-cell structure to human, to be the first part of our evolution roadmap from the origin of life to the intelligent universe

2.The Birth of the Internet, to the Formation of the Internet Brain

The Internet was born in 1969 as APARNET, a computer internetwork by the Advanced Research Project Agency (APAR) of the of the U.S. Department of Defense. The applications on the Internet developed from simple forms in the early days such as ftp, electronic mail, electronic BBS, developed to the rich forms of today, such as  electronic commerce, blogs, wikis, social networks, search engines, instant messaging, and video streaming. Although the original purpose of the Internet (APARNET) was to facilitate the connections and the communications among computers, the great significance of the Internet proved to be way beyond such original intention[3].

Looking back to the evolution history of human, it is a history of the extension of human sensing and motion organs. Stick extended arms, stone extended fist, car and train extended legs, telescope and microscope extended eyes, drums, trumpets, and telephone lines extendedear and mouth in signal transmission. The highway networks, railway networks, airlines networks, and ocean liner networks eventually realized the networking of human limbs.

At the same time, the extension of human brain never stood still either. Knot-tying, counting rod, abacus are all examples of early day computing tools that extend the human brain. In1753, almost at the beginning of the industrial revolution, an author known as “C.M” described on The Scottish the structure of his “electric communication machine.” In 1837, Cook, an English, made the first major step in telecommunications with his telegraph. Bell’s telephone in 1876 basically laid the ground for today’s internetworking. Then the electronic computer born in the US in 1946 substantially extended human brain. And then in the 1950s there came the communications among computers – the digital communications[3]

It took the mankind two hundred years to make preparations for internetworking. In 1969, ARPANET connected four computers for the first time, and then the Internet took off from the original military-oriented ARPANET to today’s Internet with millions of servers and countless applications and services. The forty years since the ARPANET, there emerged desktop computers, laptop computers, and smart phones, everyone of which increased the time human brain connected to the Internet. The information and knowledge inside human brain constantly interacts with those on the Internet. The history of the Internet indicates that the Internet is not only the internetworking of computers, but rather for the connection of human brains through internetworking of computers .

If the fundamental function of the Internet is to connect human brains rather than only computers, the this connection itself should have a structure relevant and similar to that of what it connects – the human brain. Observing the Internet’s development since 1969, we noticed this similarity with more and more evidence[4].

 

From the 1990s, video cameras connected with the Internet had started to be used in homes, factories, and public places such as intersections and squares. In 2007, Google launched the street view service, through which Internet users in Asia or Europe can view city views of Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, or New York. This new system is to the Internet as vision and hearing systems are to the human nerve system[5]

Also in the 1990s, sensors placed in soil, air, bridges, building began to be connected to the Internet, sending data to monitors through the Internet. In 2006, the water resources management of China began to place sensors in soil, rivers, and air, transmitted data of temperature, humidity, wind speed to data processing center through the Internet, for analysis to support decisions regarding flood/drought prevention and response. Since 2009, the Internet of Things featuring networks of sensors began to take off world wide. These networks are similar to the Somatosensory  nerve systems in human brain[6].

Since 1980s, the control of a remote printer or copier through LAN or MAN (metropolitan area network) emerged. In the first ten years of the 21st century, it is not uncommon to see cases in which doctors perform surgery through networks from distance. These applications of controlling machines or equipments from a distance are similar to the motion nerve system in human brain [7].

In October 2007, Google and IBM began to extend their cloud computing programs in university campuses, including Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and University of Maryland. In cloud computing, the software traditionally installed on PCs – such as office, gaming, security, and financial software – are residing in and running from giant servers on the Internet. Numerous users obtain the services provided by these gigantic servers through simpler clients (as compared to full-fledged stations). At the same time the data captured by the “vision,” “hearing,” “body sensing,” and “motion”“nerve systems” are all transmitted  to cloud servers, where they are processed and searched/queried. The cloud computing is very similar to the central verve system in human brain[8]

It is enlightened by these evidences, we developed the following illustration for the “virtual brain of the Internet”[9](Figure 1):

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The above figure was later further developed into a new one that emphasized the triple-layer structure of the central nerve system of the Internet ”[10](Figure 2):

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

The evolution of the Internet from the original four connected computers to the eventually complete “virtual brain of the Internet” is not achieved in one strike. Instead it is a gradual and evolutional process. Based on the development of the Internet, we plotted six figures as the second part of the evolution roadmap from the origin of life to the intelligent universe.

3.The Internet’s Spatial Growth from Laboratory to Intelligent Universe

October 29, 1969, the computers at Stanford and UCLA connected for the first time, which was the prototype of the Internet. Since that point, in 42 years, the Internet expanded from theU.S.to covering theAmericas, Europe, andAsia. All continents are now completely covered by the Internet.

The Internet’s expansion is not limited to the Earth: every step of mankind’s exploration into the outer space marks the expansion of the boundary of the Internet: the moon explorer, the Mars explorer, or the deep space explorers Voyager I and II, all pushed forward the boundary of the Internet to the “Interplanet.”  We can reasonably speculate that as the evolution of mankind, the Internet will certainly expand to the further dep space. Given time, the development of mankind will expand the Internet to cover the Milky Way galaxy, and in an infinite time, eventually expand to the whole universe. We discussed in Second 2 that the structure and functions of the Internet will be similar to those of the human brain; therefore, a Solar system, a Milky Way galaxy, and a universe that is connected by the Internet can be referred to as intelligent Solar system, intelligentMilkyt Waygalaxy, and intelligent universe (“Universe Brain”).

We will use five figure to depict the expansion of the Internet from intercontinental to intelligent universe, as the third part of the roadmap from the origin of life to the intelligent universe.

4 The roadmap from the origin of life to the intelligent universe

Sequence number

Figure

Remarks

1

 

  

  西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋


  

 

 

The origin of life (figure fromthe Internet)

2

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The age of bacteria and blue algae(figure from the Internet)

3

 

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

 

The age of trilobite; explosion of lives (figure from the Internet)

 

4

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The age of fishes(figure from the Internet)

5

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The age of amphibians (figure from the Internet)

6

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The age of dinosaurs and reptiles (figure from the Internet)

7

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The age of mammals (figure from the Internet)

8

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

 

The age of evolution of man (figure from the Internet)

9

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

1969, Internet was born; mankind entered the Internet Age

10

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

 

1969-1983: The Internet had only a few functions

11

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

Since BBS’birth in 1978,its functions span off and there emerged many new services such as news, e-commerce, blogs, wikis.

12

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The spin-offs of BBS combined with other early applications of the Internet

13

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

Internet applications further merged and synthesized, forming the “quasi-neuron” structure based on personal (Internet) space

14

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

As the emerge of the Internet of Things and with cloud computing, the virtual brain structure of the Internet is taking form

15

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The virtual brain of the Internet that covers all continents (figure from the Internet)

16

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The virtual brain of the Internet that covers the whole Earth (figure from the Internet)

17

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

 

 

The virtual brain of the Internet that covers the whole Solar system; it can be referred to as “intelligent Solar System” or the “Solar System Brain” (figure from the Internet)

18

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

 

The virtual brain of the Internet that covers the whole Milky Way galaxy; it can be referred to as “intelligent Milky Way” or the “Milky Way Brain” (figure from the Internet)

19

 

 

西方科学家依然对互联网的进化表示质疑 - 刘锋 - 互联网进化论--刘锋

 

The virtual brain of the Internet that covers the whole Universe; it can be referred to as “intelligent Universe” or the “Universe Brain” (figure from the Internet)

 

 

5.Conclusion

Through the examination and organization of the development history of the Internet, this study developed and described the roadmap of evolution from the origin of life to the Intelligent Universe. It has the following significance:

1. Filled in the blank of the Darwinian after the evolution reached the human.

 2. Established a model for the future of the Internet, and provided a foundation for future scientific research and commercial applications/extensions.

3. Through the proposed model of the Intelligent Universe, pointed out the direction of the evolution of lives.

Although this study pointed out the ultimate result of the evolution of the Internet is the Intelligent Universe, or the Universe Brain, there are still three issues that need to be explored and addressed:

1. How will the Intelligent Universe overcome the constraints of time and space in its operation?

2. What would be the direction of the next stage of evolution for the Intelligent Universe?

3. What could be the factors pushing forward the lived toward the direction of the Intelligent Universe?

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