Saturday, August 17, 2013

Interspecies Internet

Networking is a difficult area of research. Having built a distributed, open network, what is the next big research challenge for the community (assume we can transcend the trend of papers on data-observing the current network at very detailed levels)? Interplanetary networking seemed to present some challenges with unpredictable delay times and their impact on TCP, and this research is simmering without what I would call seething.

I like the new effort on Interspecies Internet. Indulge me. The Internet is a communication medium, can we connect up the different animals, and see what and how they communicate? This has different aspects: Peter Gabriel focuses on communication by music; Scientists focus on "tasks" by Dolphins, Apes or  Elephants. But what I find exciting are:
  • scale. What if we connected snails and sharks of one part of the world to the newts and tapirs of another, if they can see and hear others in one habitat that defines geography? 
  • personalization: Can we observe animals interacting with each other in a personalized way? For ex, when one male lion approaches the other, do they react like our books say, a male challenged by the other, or as Tim to Tom, and say, "I remember you tripped, as a baby, when we played seek"? 
  • trees too. they may be quiet, but they push,  break the ground, or choke others, how will they react to new sound, rain and snow in parched parcels of land. 
Socrates should have said, "Man is a social networking animal, like other species."


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