The Communicator Enhancing Group Communication Efficiency and Creativity

The Communicator is envisioned as a multifaceted system relying on the development of convergent technologies to enhance group communication in a wide variety of situations, including formal business or government meetings, informal social interaction, on the battlefield, and in the classroom. This system will rely on expected advances in nanotechnology fabrication and emerging information technologies, tightly coupled with knowledge obtained from the biological and cognitive domains. The convergence of these technologies will enhance individual attributes and remove barriers to group communication such as incompatible communication technologies, users' physical disabilities, language differences, geographic distance, and disparity in knowledge possessed by group members.

At the heart of The Communicator will be nano/info technologies that let individuals carry with them information about themselves and their work that can be easily shared in group situations. Thus, each individual participant will have the option to add information to the common pool of knowledge, across all domains of human experience — from practical facts about a joint task, to personal feelings about the issues faced by the group, to the goals that motivate the individual's participation.

The Communicator will also be a facilitator for group communication, an educator or trainer, and/or a translator, with the ability to tailor its personal appearance, presentation style, and activities to group and individual needs. It will be able to operate in a variety of modes, including instructor-to-group and peer-to-peer interaction, with adaptive avatars that are able to change their affective behavior to fit not only individuals and groups, but also varying situations. It will operate in multiple modalities, such as sight and sound, statistics and text, real and virtual circumstances, which can be selected and combined as needed in different ways by different participants. Improving group interactions via brain-to-brain and brain-machine-brain interactions will also be explored.

In total, a Communicator system with these attributes will be able to help overcome inequality between people, isolation of the individual from the environment, injustice and deprivation, personal and cultural biases, misunderstanding, and unnecessary conflict. In the broadest sense, it will be a powerful enhancer of communication and creativity, potentially of great economic and social benefit.

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