Again in no particular order:
1. The morning keynote on virtual space with Will Wright of EA was great - one interesting tidbit I gleaned from this was the possibility that spaces such as Second Life which allow user created content could one day faciliate the design of objects which then could be transmitted to "solid printers" which could create them in real space. This led me to thinking whether this would then lead to a "solid napster" problem in which designs for objects would be shared over peer to peer networks to the chagrin of the copyright, trademark, and patent holders. Perhaps embedding a RFID in each manufactured object would be necessary to avoid this kind of problem, since presumably each RFID would have a unique identification number and illegal reproductions could be traced in the same manner as counterfeit currency. Manufacturers would have vans with RFID readers that would sweep residential streets reading the tags inside the dwellings to ferret out illicit products. The courts have ruled that infra-red detection penetrating residence walls in search of grow operations is not an invasion of privacy, so maybe they would condone such a use of RFID's. Certainly, a solid napster combined with a solid printer would potentially disrupt the economy much more than music and video file sharing networks, so the reaction from manufacturers could be expected to be even stronger than from the RIAA. I wonder what the reaction would be from the "Marxist-Lessigists"? Would Larry Lessig come out with a new book entitled "Free Chattels"? How would throwing millions out of work fit in with Marxism/Lessigism?
2. The virtual money debate was moderately interesting although these issues have been canvassed extensively on Terranova and elsewhere. What I did get from this session was that even game developers who are staunchly against out of game virtual world currency and product exchanges/markets realize that they are essentially fighting a losing battle and are essentially attempting to hold back the inevitable tide. This then points to the fact that all these virtual worlds are commodified and therefore one cannot make a distinction between commodified and non-commodified worlds for purposes of freedom of speech rights within those worlds.
3- The Natural Interface Panel with Tim Sibley of StreamSage Language Processing, Wlodek Zadrozny of IBM and Rich Skrenta of Topix.net was fascinating. It seems that the people at MIT, IBM etc. are all working independently on the problem of developing an interface that would facilitate the creation of Artificial Intelligence, and they need a concerted joint effort to move forward on this project. Google should certainly be a part of this, since they apparently have been caching every entry into the Google search engine since it was started in 1999. By this time, they must have several billion entries and many times that of pages of corresponding relevant web page material. This should enable them eventually to develop an interface for AI purposes that would allow a computer to intelligently interpret and answer any question posed to it by a human and eventually pass the Turing Test. Certainly, it would be an expert in Britney Spears which apparently is the most popular entry into the Google engine! Also, in inquiries from hypochondriacs and perverts. It reminds me of that 1955 film, "The Forbidden Planet" where a super-advanced race called the Krell succeed in downloading their consciousness into computers that are connected to machines with an almost infinite power source that can produce and project matter anywhere that the Krell consciousness desires. However, the nasty id part of the Krell consciousness takes over the machines with horrifying results. Perhaps if a world-wide AI machine is developed based on Google we will end up like the Krell?