Information Liquidity (Video)

What can nature's design patterns teach us about computing? Containerization, liquid currency, and the possibilities of a trillion node world all packed into 20 minutes of TED. Or some small part of my 10 year personal journey of discovery related to MAYA's research agenda, packed into about 20 minutes of time on a Sunday Afternoon at TEDxCMU. Now ready for your viewing pleasure!

A few notes for after you finish watching...

You may want to watch it more than once (after all it took me ten years to figure out what the heck was going on at MAYA and contribute in some small way. Plus it was the premiere of this presentation so I may have been a bit bumpy). Then again, it's HD so I definitely don't want to watch it more than once.

I said Proteus Biopharma and meant Proteus Biomedical. They are just entering clinical trials.

The theme of TEDxCMU was ImPossible.


In answer to a number of questions we've gotten about this presentation I've been told these are the things I can say:

  • That prototype was not a fully functional version.
  • In fact we (and our partners) would like you to believe that it was entirely fake.
  • The one I was holding when I asked everyone to say "cheese!" had less than 3 Watsons per square inch though in future versions this may change.
  • It was not made with this graphene technology...
  • Nor did we work with these guys or use their single-electron transistors research in any provable way.
  • Plasmonics in quantum dots was not demonstrated in our prototype.
  • This is not the location of MAYA's quantum-dot-matrix assembly plant. Nor is it the location of MAYA's fabled lab number 7 otherwise referred to as the Advanced Motile Uniquity Lab nor the DARPA Bio-Plasmonics Facility.
  • Cephalopod-based chromatophores where an early area of exploration for the hexacam-motile pixel infotrons, they were found to be too limited and slow moving on the film substrate.
  • A modified ink-jet printer was used to produce the film.
  • This is not the picture that I took for my wife while on stage...

What Next?

The reason we showed the prototype was to force a critical question: What possibilities will we see, what wonders, what dangers, when we live in a world when it's as easy/cheap to manufacture a computing device as it is to print a picture? When we live in a world of a trillion nodes?

We would rather you just chalk this demonstration of the MAYA film up to a way to get your attention. All that being said, it would be hard to argue that anything that was shown couldn't be done in 5 or 10 years time. Nature is the existence proof.

Further the results we've been allowed to discuss from real field proven systems built using the design patterns discussed in the presentation are most definitely real. Liquid information systems, built on Nature's design patterns (and a few of our own), deliver.
For more information about the underlying concepts about containerization, liquid currencies, the u-form or our other research, check out some of our papers!

Think the cloud as it is currently architected will save you? Think we are just describing isomorphs of database entries with hash tables?

Well, consider the road less traveled. Consider if what we are now seeing in creativity and innovation on the web or in the cloud can even compare to something like the cambrian explosion. Consider the lost opportunity and vast surface area of the trillion-node mountain compared to the last few feet at the top of the summit of client server computing and relational databases.

Old Bill said it best, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Dream a little.

This post first appeared at MAYA's The Feed.