Just another, but rather longish post script to my previous post.
While there are publications galore about the technological aspects of the IoT, its economic underpinnings, and even about how IoT might evolve, there are at least two HUGE white spots in what has been published so far. First, in all these studies we, viz. humans, are not really changed by IoT. How could that be? Please name ANY technology that has not changed us. Many have actually profoundly changed what we are, even at the genetic level. Second, there is no real attempt to understanding the large-scale dynamics of the IoT (more on this in my previous post). And by this I do not only mean how IoT will evolve itself, but how us interacting with IoT will change first us and then IoT. Just an example: Steven Pinker makes the case that all the evil of the world being constantly broadcasted to everyone connected actually makes us nicer every day. According to him this news torrent is not the only mechanism behind the global decline of violence, but it is important never the less. What would happen if we literally could sense the entire planet, right here, right now? Would that change our attitudes toward the environment, toward how we destroy it on an epic scale? And, in a next step, how would that change IoT, what devices would be deployed next, what capabilities would these devices be equipped with …?
I do not know the answer to any of the above questions, but what is really important here is that questions like these are hardly addressed at all in the scientific literature or the Internet itself.
One might think that this is a perfect topic for philosophy, but besides some preliminary general overviews, most of the works published focus, as expected, on artificial intelligence, and not even the philosophy of artificial life seems to have this topic on its radar screen.
Well, I can complain all I want, but I can also try to alleviate this shortcoming myself. Well, I and some acquaintances already are. I am currently preparing an article for a peer-reviewed journal, and two more are in the pipe. But that does not mean this has to be a few-person show. Everyone is welcome to join me on this intellectual journey!