I am a professor at Brandeis University working on solving
the AI problem by understanding
the open-ended evolution of complexity in nature. This off-campus website hosts some of my commercial and public
affairs projects, as well as free games!
Visit the official DEMO
laboratory at Brandeis University for access to all my science
projects including the famous GOLEM
robot-building-robots. Another science project is www.Beeweb.org,
which exploits the power of Peer-to-Peer and a secret formula
we discovered in co-evolution, to turn peers into each other's
teacher. This educational technology could scale to provide tutoring
to every child in the world when given broadband.
I wrote a BIG proposal
for a science philantropist, who unfortunately went to jail soon
after we met. But the ideas behind the endowed center are sound,
just waiting for another billionaire science philanthropist to
Scientist.com, by the way, is a free
webmail domain. I adopted it when some media started covering
I sometimes consult to companies on long range vision as well
as on how to limit the AI in their products and services. (Overexpectation
always results in failure, while modest and predictable AI delights
customers). A lifelong inventor with many patents, I also get
involved in startups as advisor or board member, and have founded
some myself. I've also been a scientific advisor to VC's like
and Polaris Venture
Thinmail was a breakthrough
invention of mine in 1999, released by the University for me
to pursue. It was the first cloud storage, mobile file access,
software as a service, which 'thinned' email by stripping and
caching attachments in the cloud. Unfortunately it was 10 years
too early because people did not trust the cloud to hold their
important files, and renting a server with 20GB cost $500/month.
Its patents have been acquired by Intellectual Ventures, and
we retain the right to operate under them and to sell the whole
C-Corp with the operating rights intact. Thinmail is pursuing
new patents in url shortening and remailing.
I was chief Scientist at VC-funded Abuzz
and helped design a limited AI knowledge-sharing portal for
enterprises, and authored 5 patents. Abuzz was acquired by the
Thinphone® was a
spinoff of Thinmail that read text messages and wav/mp3 files
out to telephones. The incontestible trademark and the domains
are for sale in the next ICAP Ocean Tomo auction and holds real
value for any competitor of trademarked phones like Razr®
I was the first scientific advisor to VC-funded Affinnova,
which uses blind-watchmaker technology in product packaging design.
People's fears and expectations for Robots are so overblown that
we worry about science fiction like self-replication and the
singularity while much more mundane robots such as the ATM machine
sneak by like ratbots. I wrote this piece for a interview and
extended it for a talk at the Yale Bioethics before shrinking
it to one page in WIRED. PDF
California vs Massachusetts? Due to risk-taking, history, vision,
and luck, California ended up with Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and
Ebay, while Massachusetts only got Lycos and CMGI. Now, with
$3b voted for Stem Cell R&D via Prop 71, how should our state
respond? Answer? A
Billion for Robotics!
Copyright has failed in the information age, leading to feudal
lords, pirates, fascists and communists. Permanent licenses are
perfect durable goods and I show how they can be traded like
securities on a market which enables shared public ownership
and solves all the problems including software monopolies and
People care about Shakespeare's EXPRESSION and would never read
Bill Gate's knock-off of Romeo and Juliet. But software creativity
isn't about expression, its about the story itself. Once an innovation
is implemented it is easily copied. This proposal is for an alternative
to software patents called the "software
story board" which would recognise and reward software
innovation yet allow it to be copied and extended.
Universities are fighting professors and students over IP hoping
for the next cure for cancer or Google. I believe all Universities
can become IP commonwealths instead of IP Prisons. PDF
This $100B business plan for Middle East Peace was sketched out
on a napkin when the $200B price tag for the Iraq War was announced
in October 2002. Buypeace has spread as an ideavirus ever since.
Use hashtag #buypeace. PDF
Spirit of the Third Millenium
We are regressing as a species, with
superstition and ignorance driven by political psychological
operations which unfortunately outperform science and reason.
Therefore I have started a new Gaian co-religion which can fight
back, with rational people bringing their spiritual and ethical
clout to the issues facing the earth, including human population
growth, nuclear waste, deforestation, etc. Green as a spiritual
movement rather than a party or an infighting set of NGOs spreading
through evangelization instead of overbreeding. We will collect
0.25% of members income (thats $250 on $100k salary) and build
monuments wherever human greed and stupidity despoiled the earth.
The tax code is too complex and cheating is too rampant.
Income tax needs to be simplified, but not with a regressive
flat tax. How can we simplify the tax code without throwing out
progressiveness? Here is an income tax idea so simple it fits
into a single cell of a spreadsheet! The hashtag is #simtax.
Games & Learning
Prior to the Beeweb
project, one of my hobbies was
making educational video games for my children.
Bar Mitzvah Blaster
Hangemon (1.5M exe) motivates kids who know the Pokemon to try
really hard to spell their names.
Reademon (1.5M exe) motivates even the youngest Pokemon fans
to start reading.
These 7 games (1M exe) were co-designed by my son when he was
between 2 and 4. Like Teletubbies, kids get it, but adults don't!