Recently on One Click Society I had a down-to-earth conversation with Nova Spivack who has been to the edge of space. He talked a lot about the Semantic Web and the future of search and social media. Very cool stuff!
“I worked at Thinking Machines which made, at the time, the most powerful parallel supercomputer in the world. One of the things they were doing there was a lot of different simulations, artificial intelligence type simulations of the brain, as well as all kinds of simulations of physics and emergent computation. A lot of the stuff that I did there and just the exposure I got to all these different projects that were working on artificial life and emergence really helped me think about the early days of the Web. And I ended up building there, before the Web started, I built basically their own web. It was a multimedia hypertext database of all the different projects on all their Thinking Machines installations around the world that you could browse. It was very much like the Web.
And then when the Web came out, in the early days it was actually Gopher before the Web. In those early days, I realized hey, this is a platform where you can do this kind of thing. So I think that kind of thinking launched me into that. I had also done a lot of work on neural maps and other kinds of systems at other companies. I worked on information filtering at a company called Individual. So I was pretty familiar with a lot of these concepts, which then came into play as the Web began.”