As My older boy Ore reaches his 5th birthday I find our discussions to be more and more profound. As I rediscover the world through his newly articulate mind, I reflect on my role in these talks. It strikes me that what is important to me is not knowledge transfer but rather to bestow wisdom upon him.
Wisdom is something one acquires over SEVERAL lifetimes. This recognition started me thinking about the problem and opportunity that is wisdom in the digital age.
I have been very fortunate to participate in the exploding world of search technologies. Over the last decade I have explored the domain of real-time search and my main driver for what was a very challenging journey was a strong conviction that the technology had profound implications. A recent post by Erick Schonfeld on Techcrunch titled The Real Time Search Dilemma: Consciousness Versus Memory gives a good sense of my sentiments (I also wrote a really long comment on the post).
When I think of the profound implications for Ore as he grows up in a world with Google, I feel that we are witnessing an almost evolutionary change. I truly believe that there are far reaching cognitive implications for this "Google Inside" generation. It will impact their notion of memory and information retrieval profoundly. It will make them weak in certain areas and very strong in others that have yet to be charted. The entire notion of memory is changing in a world where any information is a second away. The notion of consciousness is changing in a world that is connected in real-time.
Yet we are just at the beginning of the search revolution. One that will impact the way we think in profound ways. Once you acknowledge that the marvel of Google as we see it before us is merely the first baby step, you start thinking of whats next. What are the next, much harder questions to ask. What are the next mountain peaks for us to ascend to. That line of thought brought me to my next peak to climb. the problem of Wisdom in the digital age.
As products of our modern age we spend so little time reflecting on past wisdom. If we are not religious very few of us take any time to reflect on past wisdom following our exit from college. We spend our lives in the treadmill of the modern world conditioned to face forward. Focus on the future and manipulating its outcome. But in this mad dash we loose out on tools that could make that momentous task much more pleasant with a higher probability of success. As a species we have been blessed with some amazing minds that have graced us with their presence. They have left behind them vast stores of wisdom. The wisdom is there but alas, it is locked away behind the thick fog of the lack of proper technology to access it. Imagine a world where the wisdom of all those brilliant people was accessible in context to your activities. A "WisdomSense" technology that will retrieve the relevant wisdom at the right time. Effortlessly augmenting your life experience with the insight of thousands of brilliant minds.
iWise.com in its current state is only the first syllable of where iWise the Wisdom Engine is heading. We are set to apply the state of the art in search technologies in the field of NLP and statistical search and innovate on top of it. It is sure to be my most challenging search related climb yet, but if I manage to get up there, I am sure I will be giving my kids a great gift.
We look forward to sharing more with you in the days and months to come as we launch iWise and start the never ending process of iterating on a truly great problem.