On Narrative Authentication

Since January 3rd (Friday) I’ve been getting notices about our NSPW 2013 paper on narrative authentication. This is a bit unusual since this paper was a position paper, not a full research paper. In other words, it is highly speculative. There was some real work behind it, specifically Carson Brown’s Master’s thesis (this is the source of the example in the paper). The paper, however, speculates about how systems that could truly understand and generate narratives could be used for authentication purposes.

If you are interested in these ideas please go and read the paper and, if inspired, go and build something! Neither me nor my co-authors, David Mould and Carson Brown, are currently working on this line of research so there is no chance we’ll step on your toes. Having said that, if anyone is really interested in developing narrative authentication systems, please let me know, I’d love to collaborate!

Going Beyond Social

Today Google announced their Google+ initiative, their latest attempt to address the “social” phenomenon that is currently dominated by Facebook.  To the various observations being made across the Internet, I just wanted to add a small thought.

Humans evolved to socialize in relatively small groups – 200-300 is what I’ve heard.  Social media makes it oh so easy to interact with many, many more than this.  While connecting online with every person you’ve ever met might sound like a good idea, most of us quickly realize that we really cannot handle this level of social interaction.

I am currently connected with so many people on Facebook that I’d love to talk for hours with.  I have been blessed by having known many very interesting, good people in my life.  But the fact that I can interact with so many of them now just makes me shudder.  I simply don’t have the time!  And even just trying to keep up with their status updates is too much. As our online connectivity increases, I think we all are going to experience this social information overload.

Google is giving us a better Facebook.  What we need, though, is a cure to social information overload.

Mobile access

I’ve just enabled a mobile theme for this site. Hopefully this will lead to more posts in the near future…