Mark Cuban on Open Social v Facebook: He’s being lazy, not smart.

Mark Cuban generally has great insight about the online landscape but I think he’s just being a lazy social networker to suggest that Google’s Open Social is too late to the social networking party – a party Mark seems to think is going to be run by Facebook regardless of what the other players do.

Don Dodge of Microsoft also seemed to be thinking along these lines when he noted that 50 million users is nothing to scoff at, and suggested the rumors of Facebook’s death have been greatly exaggerated (agree with that).    Mark also correctly points out that those 50 million are mostly “real people” with real profiles, sharing important personal information that would make most advertiser’s drool over the targeting prospects.

But as I noted over at Mark’s place:

Mark I don’t follow why you think Open Social is “too late”. Facebook only has 50 million people. Within a few years there will be billions of people with social profiles and even if Facebook opens up (as they must), a lot will choose to enter this from other social networks or websites that have “socialized” via the Open Social.I don’t see why Facebook should get all the social glory – they weren’t first to the table and they are by no means the last viable way to socially empower yourself online.

Dude…I just think you are lazy and don’t want to set up all those friends again for next year’s Dancing with the Stars.

[Mark has thousands of friends on Facebook and had asked them to vote for him during his recent performances on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars”.    He’s out now which, to me, is yet another tiny indication that social networking is still very much in its infancy.

Novamente – teaching virtual entities to “fetch”

A sign that things are starting to hop in the field of artificial intelligence is how a topic of conversation that would have been considered fanciful – or even insane – some 20 years ago would now be fair game at any Silicon Valley pub or coffee shop.    Novamente is a fascinating company doing fascinating development and research guided in part by the idea that the best path to computer general artificial intelligence (that is, intelligence much like we humans have) is through a similar-to-human-intelligence  learning path.    To this end Novamente is teaching virtual entities to fetch, recognize themselves, and other early stages in human learning.   This is taking place in part in the Second Life virtual world.  

Sounds crazy?   Just a game?  I don’t think so.  It may be optimistic to think that AI thinking can come about in this way, but it’s sure worth a try.