The Standing Committee on the Robotic Corporation
Today, excited to announce that I’ll be chairing the newly forged Web Ecology Standing Committee on the Robotic Corporation (SCRC). The concept behind the committee springs from Web Ecology Camp and various discussions that have sprung forth with the release of PawnFarm — which allows users to pump out their own Amazon Mechanical Turk driven robots to systematically crawl through Twitter and socialize with unsuspecting people.
Specifically, we’ve been struck by a tantalizing idea. Which is that, at its heart, the social nature of the web allows robots to shape, manage, and direct human behavior on a broad new scale.
So, could a script interfaced with the multitude of online labor markets out there — Elance, AMT, ODesk — to power and coordinate everything from end-to-end to spin up a fully functioning corporation? Suppose that somewhere on the internet, a script puts out a job and hires someone to come up with a business plan, then farms out that business plan to be broken into small, distributable steps, and then hires people to deploy the project? Then, after the infrastructure is humming along, hires a group to staff that project?
What if these business ideas became not just sustainable, but highly profitable? Could the robot corporation diversify into investments? Venture funding? Storefronts? What’s the technology that would undergird such an entity? What’s the simplest set of rules for a program you could launch to accomplish this? How might one construct a business or organization that is computer managed, but human driven?
This is the subject of the SCRC.
Like the Web Ecology Camps, the idea will be to meet quarterly to develop out various aspects of the idea, share projects, and eventually move to prototyping/implementing projects experimenting in this vein. At least initially, we’re keeping fellowships on the SCRC capped to keep the discussions intimate, but drop a line if you’re interested in participating!
The first plenary session of the Committee will be held on October 16th, 2010 in San Francisco, CA. Interested parties should drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.