The Internet as an Organism :
Emergent Human / Internet Symbiosis

Observing the exponential growth of the global internet, the ever increasing complexity of connectivity systems and  subsystems, self modifying code structures that can be trained to search for contextually linked information, information processing and management on a scale that would rival most "living organisms" as they are currently defined,  and event the potential for a "sentience threshold" that may already be  theoretically approachable;  is there an argument for observing the growth  of the global net as a quasi-organic process? If one were to consider that the  global internet system has already crossed the "functional complexity" status of  an organic entity, then a symbiotic model can already be shown to exist.   The  human population is at the threshold being drawn into a hopefully benign, but  irreversable state of human / internet symbiosis

We as a human species, are adapting, in rapid succession, to a series of evolutionary increments, contrived and accelerated by our own collective efforts, one of the outcomes of which is the "spawning" of synthetic intelligences, and their respective modes of communication, and our adaptation to an operational ecology with which even now we are symbiotically, and irreversably connected.

Presented at this juncture, is the viewpoint that, as a process node embedded within the eventstream of our collective socio-economic and anthropological evolution, we begin by first creating various synthetic entities, as the interactive, analytical, and decision rendering components of an evermore complex electronic / telecommunications infrastructure upon which the economic engines of our current civilizations are required to rely.

This process dynamic in turn leads to the development and deployment of hierarchical, complex self-organizing, self-modifying societies of artificial entities, and their modalities of communication protocols, languaging schema, and tactical interactions.

As this threshold of development is crossed, as an index of our human / internet symbiosis becoming more pronounced, and irreversable, we begin to develop communication modalities which are quite "non-human" by nature, but are "socio-operative" norms of the near future.   Our collective development and deployment of complex metasystems of artificial entities and synthetic lifeforms, and acceptance of them as an integral component of the operational "culture norm" of the near future, is in fact the precursory developmental increment, as an enabling procedure, to gain effective communicative access to a contiguous collection of myriad "species" and entity types (synthetic and "real") functioning as process brokeraging agents.

The result is the defacto equivilant of experiential tele-existance streaming as one of the process brokeraged commodities inherent in the operational ecology of synthetic environments, and the "entities" which reside in them (both virtual and real).  Computational process nodes, interconnected as dynamic elements of process brokeraging functionality matrices, are becoming an integral part of a commodity asset delivery system which will, in essence, redefine indices of valuation, based on non-tangible, virtual assets, for which there has been no previous comparison in existing economic systems.

As marker points in the rapidly accelerating arenas of socio-economic and anthropological metasystems of development, several related projects are currently being pursued incorporating the utilization and "spawning" of intelligent agents and agent colonies, and related applications of artificial life and computational processes which mimic the physiologies of living organisms and systems to render the defacto equivilant of an "operational ecology" for advanced agents and distributed intelligences thriving in their respective synthetic environments.

In parallel with such activities, there have also been myriad development projects focussed on the creation of the next generation of "virtual humans", as per "smart avatars" which are the audio / visual front-end interactive interfaces for intelligent agent engines, and various applications which could benefit from such "psycho-ergonomic enhancement".

Many of the processes and technologies which are about to become the core elements of a new form of "virtual asset commodity economic system" are already becoming manifest, and thusly applied. An operational ecology is forming, indeed "evolving", consisting of an ever expanding arena of millions of processing and computational resource nodes, interconnected and operationally interdependent. The nodes themselves are functionally soft, as reconfigurable elements, which in this context, are bi-directional tranceivers of "GelWare" encapsulated as functional identity and process templates within ubiquitously available, hierarchically interrelatable intelligent objects.

The advent of massively parallel, distributed processing systems, particularly as in the modality of an N-dimensional network of processing nodes (both real and virtual), referred to by some as "the fabric", will become the operational ecology of the economic engines of the near future.  Reconfigurable processor & system components are a key element of this emergent ecology, both at the user side, consisting of "intelligent" bi-directional media / process brokeraging appliances, and at the other end of this value chain, the scalable, massively parallel computational / routing engines.
Original paper presented to EMCSR '96 - 13th Annual European Meeting on  Cybernetics and Systems Research - Austria, Vienna, and subsequent papers and published materials reflecting the inerrelationships of symbiotic intelligences, lifeforms, and operational ecologies (organic and synthetic).
Elements of The Emergent Operational Ecology:

Synthetic sentience as a strategic resource, the internet system itself functioning as an evolvable system, the deployment of advanced autonomous agent systems and "synthetic environments" populated with virtual communities of agent entities which utilize GP (genetic programming), neural net and related processes, emergent forms of process dynamics which instigate and foster the enterprise of inter-agent communications, conditionalized knowledge engineering, and "spawnable" process modalities which enhance (or even exceed) human capacity for decision rendering for mission critical applications.

Knowledge velocity, scale, and complexity are rapidly exceeding human capacity for effective decision rendering under duress, in ever shorter time cycle increments.

Compression in decision boundary temporal domains is tracking directly with compression in functionality (complexity and scale) domains, thus placing a rapidly accelerating "pressure topology" on the surface of the "process dynamic manifold" from which policy, and strategic decision rendering can be evoked, as a process.  
The Internet as an Organism - Human/Internet Symbiosis
Inside - 21st Century Online
Human / Internet Symbiosis