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InfraNodus
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Welcome to this new episode of The Context. I want to talk to you about telepresence. Starting with an anecdote. A couple of years ago, maybe three, I was invited at a conference in Berlin and I really wanted to go, but I couldn't because I was due to speak the same day in Rome, not exactly at the same time. So I checked if logistically it was possible for me to get to the airport, fly to Berlin, then get to the conference venue. But no, it would have been impossible maybe with a personal helicopter if it could have left from the Rome venue and landed in the barely in venue, but probably not even. So I thought how I could be there. And of course many of you will have seen those tiny self moving robots that are remotely controlled and have nothing but basically a screen more or less set a human height and they are your avatar because they represent you in the remote environment.

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Then you can wheel around and you can go onstage, offstage. You can even mix up with the audience. And yes, I did use one of those actually the first time in 2008 at one of the founding meetings of Singularity University where I wasn't there physically and without even knowing, I was actually inhabiting this mechanical body. And I was very, very excited about the experience itself. And yes, I could tell a little bit more about what insights that provoked. But back to this barely and thing instead, I didn't want the mechanical experience for whatever reason, I, I didn't feel I would be happy with it. I wanted something more human. I wanted a human telepresence experience. So what did I do? I searched online and I searched for a mime because I wanted the mime's human body to represent me in the conference.

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And how would it be me when I imagined that I could have the iPad? It was the year that iPad pros just came out in some way attached to the mime's head. And then I could connect via whatever video connection, it could be facetime or Skype or whatever else, and I could even see the audience and then the mine could move and, and just stick late like I would. So it was amazing to find that not only I could find a mine and then negotiate a, the, the, the whole engagement with him. But actually these mime had a specialty of going around Berlin with a robotic head, which was more or less a cube and he would mind to be a robot. So he was very excited as well. And the only thing we needed to do is to attach the iPad in front of the robotic head, which of course made him blind, a little inconvenient.

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But the organizers were as crazy as me and they really wanted me to make this experiment and see what, what happened in the uh, the speech was actually held or rather we organized it so that it would be held at together with the another speaker. And so basically she and I had a dialogue. The topic of the conference was digital health. And the future of health. And the name of the conference was frontiers of health. So at frontiers of Health Berlin, I delivered a talk remotely inhabiting in a certain way, another human body. And my face was visible to the utters. It went spectacularly. I had a lot of fun. The organizers cross, their fingers were very courageous and we pulled it off. The audience enjoyed it. The best part for me was that I saw a friend in the audience, I so through the camera eyes of my telepresence human had body. I saw him sitting there. And so at the end of my talk as people were applauding, I said "Hi Michael, I see you are sitting in the audience. Why don't you

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come and give me a hug?" And he was very quick, very sharp. He came on stage and uh, we hugged the was sharp as well. He understood what was happening and even without seeing it, Michael, he was able to hug him.

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So this was a very, very strange experience and very different from many others. We are accustomed in interacting with people at a distance, whether we are shouting, whether we are sending smoke signals, whatever. We are using the Internet, interacting at a distance in lodges and empowers our social circle. It enables us to interact with people otherwise we couldn't interact with, to understand their point of view, to share a message with them, to come to agreements hopefully to that deescalate conflict. But in any way forming social interactions. And this has been accumulating through the ages to the point where today the quantity of options that we have available really is starting to move in my opinion, into a qualitatively different experience. And the reason is as often in my analysis, due to technology, we have the availability of these tools that overcome the skepticism of our mature senses.

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The kind of suspension of disbelief that children have as they play with dolls is not something that comes naturally to adults. We have to train ourselves to feel that we can create a relationship even in those cases where the full spectrum of sensorial input and output is, is not available. But we are doing that constantly. And we are getting accustomed to that also because the fidelity of these experiences inter mediated by technology is becoming extremely high. Now the next stages of course is not only going to be to output your sound, your voice to enable others to see you visually to maybe manipulate something remotely like very importantly in one of the probably most important applications of telepresence already can be done for robotically assisted surgery.

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And Andy, it is amazing how the enhancement that the surgeon receives through the robotic assistant is fundamentally improving the surgeon's ability to execute this extremely delicate operation, which is the surgery itself I need to, can be done in conditions that otherwise wouldn't be possible. Laparoscopic surgery, for example, enables the traditional huge cuts in the body to be avoided and uh, and the manipulators enter the body through very, very small holes, natural or artificial. And uh, the um, ability of the body to heal after these laparoscopic surgeries is vastly better than not the alternatives. Certainly this is a, an incredibly important application already today in the field of a certain kind of telepresence. But what is also going to happen is that we need to be able to perceive the world at an increasingly believable and heightened sensorial input, not only output. And this is where of course virtual reality and augmented reality play a role, whether it is a dangerous

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environment that we need to explore, whether it is our need to collaborate with others that are, um, in the remote office or remote planned and we are able to be shown and to show how to handle a given object or product or production process, whether maybe when we are operating in space.

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A beautiful, a series of short stories written by Ray Bradbury is called Martian Chronicles. It is a very melancholy and sweet and sour series of stories of Martian colonization. And some of the stories very interestingly, represent how terrestrial humans are potentially going to be locked on Earth and the Martian colonization is going to happen in very different ways than not what we imagined. And that could be the case. However, one insurmountable obstacle for earth based humans to be on Mars through a telepresence robot is due to the relatively slow speed of light as measured on interplanetary distances. Light already takes one second to go to the moon and another second to come back. And if you ever played a game where you combat against a human or a nonhuman players in an online server environment, you know how important the performance of your Internet connection is.

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And in particular what is called the ping time of your Internet connection, which should be in the low millisecond range if it is not. If you pinging a is higher, a higher number, which represents the um, the lay in, in milliseconds from the server. And it is not in the low millisecond numbers, but tens or even hundreds of milliseconds, you will be fragged, you will be killed. Well, the telepresence human on the moon or even worse on Mars, hopefully won't be killed or fragged, The robot representing the human in telepresence won't be killed, but it will be tremendously hindered by this ping time. That is huge. And, and there is no way around it. We dream of hyperspace jumps. But in one of the next episodes of The Context, I will tell you why we want to live in a universe that doesn't even allow hyperspace jumps. Why we want the speed of life to be the maximum speed achievable in, in our universe.

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So colonization of other planets by humans will be done either in person or by robots that are going be autonomous, not remotely controlled by humans. Maybe initially some of them from orbit. And that is possible even likely, especially with more extreme environments because then from orbit for example the common orbits today with the International Space Station are 400 kilometers away from the surface. So the the ping time to telepresence a robot is absolutely manageable from that distance

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Telepresence is augmenting and then powering our social structures. We are already inhabiting immersive virtual worlds. Whether for gaming like a Fortnite, that just in these past few days had a world championship with a very large $3 million first prize, with professional Fortnite, players from all over the world fighting for that prize and hundreds of thousands or millions of viewers following the games, or any immersive worlds that allow a different kind of creativity already from 10 years ago, Second Life, or High Fidelity, or why not Minecraft that was acquired by Microsoft for billions of dollars. It is extremely attractive for millions of players in a simplified world represented by the cubes that you create and you destroy. There are amazingly complex worlds that players in Minecraft have achieved to put together.

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Now, I often talk about the Internet of things and I do believe that these immersive online worlds, which I tend not to call virtual because their importance is not diminished with respect to what other people call the real world. I prefer calling them online and physical rather than virtual and real. But I do believe that connecting these online worlds to the physical world is going to be extremely important and of course that is going to be done through the sensors and the actuators of an evermore comprehensive Internet of things that is going to be deployed and it is being deployed as we speak. A huge application area of a fifth third generation mobile networks is going to be in this direction.

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Now, telepresence as it empowers social interactions through ever more complete and high fidelity inputs and outputs of sensory experiences when complemented with artificial intelligence is going to lead to what we could call experiences of parallel lives. If you think about it, we are already trying to carefully manage the bandwidth and the attention that we dedicate to various moments in time of our lives and these experiences are often both local and synchronous, but sometimes they are remote and asynchronous. The simplest example is receiving a letter, maybe a paper letter in an envelope, do they still exist? And then reading what somebody else in an other place in another time wrote and responding to them. We act on their thoughts at least. But if we ask them to do something, we act also on their actions in that other place in that other time. How complete their perception of us is and how complete our feedback as we receive it is just a question of technological levels. And when

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these levels go beyond the given threshold, who is there to say that we are not truly living parallel lives? It will be a question of just good enough levels. They don't have to be perfect. When you are a child and you play with a little toy car or we had a plush toy, you don't need that to be perfect in order have wonderful and very important formative experiences. We won't need these telepresence avatars to be perfect in order for those experiences to represent something that we will call as true as those lived by our traditional physical bodies.

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So are you excited about telepresence? Are you ready to try whether in the traditional wheelie robots with the screen hats or whether finding a mime that becomes your body or in other ways in online worlds or in the experiences that we will integrate and call a parallel life, one or more of those parallel lives. Let's explore it together.

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I want to thank my supporters that are becoming more and more numerous and week after week as I produce The Context and new episodes are put online. These supporters are very precious. They are local and remote. They are close friends or people that I don't know that well, but they belong to a group of people who are enthusiastic about creating the future together. So if you are one of those people and want to be a supporter of The Context, please join the others on Patreon for as little as $5 a week. I am going to start very soon to produce interactive opportunities for all of the supporters to participate in the process. And I hope that you will participate in it with me in creating the future together. Thank you and see you next week.

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Network Structure Insights
 
mind-viral immunity:
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stucture:
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The higher is the network's structure diversity and the higher is the alpha in the influence propagation score, the higher is its mind-viral immunity — that is, such network will be more resilient and adaptive than a less diverse one.

In case of a discourse network, high mind-viral immunity means that the text proposes multiple points of view and propagates its influence using both highly influential concepts and smaller, secondary topics.
The higher is the diversity, the more distinct communities (topics) there are in this network, the more likely it will be pluralist.
The network structure indicates the level of its diversity. It is based on the modularity measure (>0.4 for medium, >0.65 for high modularity, measured with Louvain (Blondel et al 2008) community detection algorithm) in combination with the measure of influence distribution (the entropy of the top nodes' distribution among the top clusters), as well as the the percentage of nodes in the top community.

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Nodes Av Degree Density Weighed Betweenness
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Narrative Influence Propagation:
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The chart above shows how influence propagates through the network. X-axis: lemma to lemma step (narrative chronology). Y-axis: change of influence.

The more even and rhythmical this propagation is, the stronger is the central idea or agenda (see alpha exponent below ~ 0.5 or less).

The more variability can be seen in the propagation profile, the less is the reliance on the main concepts (agenda), the stronger is the role of secondary topical clusters in the narrative.
propagation dynamics: | alpha exponent: (based on Detrended Fluctuation Analysis of influence) ?   show the chart
We plot the narrative as a time series of influence (using the words' betweenness score). We then apply detrended fluctuation analysis to identify fractality of this time series, plotting the log2 scales (x) to the log2 of accumulated fluctuations (y). If the resulting loglog relation can be approximated on a linear polyfit, there may be a power-law relation in how the influence propagates in this narrative over time (e.g. most of the time non-influential words, occasionally words with a high influence).

Using the alpha exponent of the fit (which is closely related to Hurst exponent)), we can better understand the nature of this relation: uniform (pulsating | alpha <= 0.65), variable (stationary, has long-term correlations | 0.65 < alpha <= 0.85), fractal (adaptive | 0.85 < alpha < 1.15), and complex (non-stationary | alpha >= 1.15).

For maximal diversity, adaptivity, and plurality, the narrative should be close to "fractal" (near-critical state). For fiction, essays, and some forms of poetry — "uniform". Informative texts will often have "variable + stationary" score. The "complex" state is an indicator that the text is always shifting its state.

Degree Distribution:
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(based on kolmogorov-smirnov test) ?   switch to linear
Using this information, you can identify whether the network has scale-free / small-world (long-tail power law distribution) or random (normal, bell-shaped distribution) network properties.

This may be important for understanding the level of resilience and the dynamics of propagation in this network. E.g. scale-free networks with long degree tails are more resilient against random attacks and will propagate information across the whole structure better.
If a power-law is identified, the nodes have preferential attachment (e.g. 20% of nodes tend to get 80% of connections), and the network may be scale-free, which may indicate that it's more resilient and adaptive. Absence of power law may indicate a more equalized distribution of influence.

Kolmogorov-Smirnov test compares the distribution above to the "ideal" power-law ones (^1, ^1.5, ^2) and looks for the best fit. If the value d is below the critical value cr it is a sign that the both distributions are similar.
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Main Topical Groups:

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The topics are the nodes (words) that tend to co-occur together in the same context (next to each other).

We use a combination of clustering and graph community detection algorithm (Blondel et al based on Louvain) to identify the groups of nodes are more densely connected together than with the rest of the network. They are aligned closer to each other on the graph using the Force Atlas algorithm (Jacomy et al) and are given a distinct color.
Most Influential Elements:
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We use the Jenks elbow cutoff algorithm to select the top prominent nodes that have significantly higher influence than the rest.

Click the Reveal Non-obvious button to remove the most influential words (or the ones you select) from the graph, to see what terms are hiding behind them.

The most influential nodes are either the ones with the highest betweenness centrality — appearing most often on the shortest path between any two randomly chosen nodes (i.e. linking the different distinct communities) — or the ones with the highest degree.
Network Structure:
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The network structure indicates the level of its diversity. It is based on the modularity measure (>0.4 for medium, >0.65 for high modularity, measured with Louvain (Blondel et al 2008) community detection algorithm) in combination with the measure of influence distribution (the entropy of the top nodes' distribution among the top clusters), as well as the the percentage of nodes in the top community.


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Action Advice:
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Structural Gap
(ask a research question that would link these two topics):
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A structural gap shows the two distinct communities (clusters of words) in this graph that are important, but not yet connected. That's where the new potential and innovative ideas may reside.

This measure is based on a combination of the graph's connectivity and community structure, selecting the groups of nodes that would either make the graph more connected if it's too dispersed or that would help maintain diversity if it's too connected.

Latent Topical Brokers
(less visible terms that link important topics):
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These are the latent brokers between the topics: the nodes that have an unusually high rate of influence (betweenness centrality) to their freqency — meaning they may appear not as often as the most influential nodes but they are important narrative shifting points.

These are usually brokers between different clusters / communities of nodes, playing not easily noticed and yet important role in this network, like the "grey cardinals" of sorts.

Emerging Keywords
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Evolution of Topics
(number of occurrences per text segment) ?
The chart shows how the main topics and the most influential keywords evolved over time. X-axis: time period (split into 10% blocks). Y-axis: cumulative number of occurrences.

Drag the slider to see how the narrative evolved over time. Select the checkbox to recalculate the metrics at every step (slower, but more precise).

 
Main Topics
(according to Latent Dirichlet Allocation):
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LDA stands for Latent Dirichlet Allocation — it is a topic modelling algorithm based on calculating the maximum probability of the terms' co-occurrence in a particular text or a corpus.

We provide this data for you to be able to estimate the precision of the default InfraNodus topic modeling method based on text network analysis.
Most Influential Words
(main topics and words according to LDA):
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We provide LDA stats for comparison purposes only. It works with English-language texts at the moment. More languages are coming soon, subscribe @noduslabs to be informed.

Sentiment Analysis


positive: | negative: | neutral:
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We analyze the sentiment of each statement to see whether it's positive, negative, or neutral. You can filter the statements by sentiment (clicking above) and see what kind of topics correlate with every mood.

The approach is based on AFINN and Emoji Sentiment Ranking

 
Use the Bert AI model for English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish and Italian to get more precise results (slower). Standard model is faster, works for English only, is less precise, and is based on a fixed AFINN dictionary.

Keyword Relations Analysis:

please, select the node(s) on the graph see their connections...
+   ⤓ download CSV   ?

Use this feature to compare contextual word co-occurrences for a group of selected nodes in your discourse. Expand the list by clicking the + button to see all the nodes your selected nodes are connected to. The total influence score is based on betweenness centrality measure. The higher is the number, the more important are the connections in the context of the discourse.
Top Relations / Bigrams
(both directions):

⤓ Download   ⤓ Directed Bigrams CSV   ?

The most prominent relations between the nodes that exist in this graph are shown above. We treat the graph as undirected by default as it allows us to better detect general patterns.

As an option, you can also downloaded directed bigrams above, in case the direction of the relations is important (for any application other than language).

Text Statistics:
Word Count Unique Lemmas Characters Lemmas Density
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Text Network Statistics:
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