Demo@50 | Doug Engelbart | The Demo | What Is Still Missing | What We Are Building | The Collaboration | Who We Are



Timour Shchoukine


cognition | collaboration


I’m a psychologist and methodologist with PhD from The Russian academy of science, and a cofouder of nakedminds project, successor to neuroweb project.


Our team is building a collective cognition engine under the name of VCA (Virtual Collaborative Assistant). We think that it is genuinely something which can be seen as a version of Doug’s DKR. The concept is built on a basis of Russian psychological theory of activity and Russian methodological school approach to knowledge work in collective cognition, that is conceptually in full sync with conceptual framework proposed in Doug’s work of 1962.


VCA is an ethernet for an augmented group and neuroweb is a network-of-networks internet analogue for augmented groups.


When complete VCA will be a hard, soft and groupware platform which would host applications for group intelligence augmentation with open API connecting modules. At the moment there are five essential elements that need to be brought together for a VCA demonstration. Later these modules can be replaced or used together with any modules provided by the community of groupware developers:


  • KnowFlow Module for visual work with concepts, based on graph interface, voice recognition input and semantic parsing of dialogues into graph forms.
    • The working name for this block is KnowFlow and early prototype is available at (this is a concept map of Engelbart conceptual framework as a test) This is being co-created with a team from BIP ldc. Later builds will support virtual reality spaces by summer of 2018.


  • Group-a-Ware Module for realtime emotional state and cognitive load aspect monitoring and analysis.
    • Can be used separately as a group feedback engine for lecturers, facilitators, moderators and other group work specialists. Working name is Group-a-Ware and prototype is complete and ready to be implemented and integrated into VCA structure, Website is not available at the moment.  Been created together with a team of Labius ldc.


  • ComPractice Module for project work and task optimisation support.
    • Works as a personal development trajectory support engine which contains a social network, chatting and project work. Can be used separately as a community work platform. When integrated can receive data on tasks and questions from KnowFlow engine and provide back information on user’s skill and project profiles, calendars and task lists, helping to shape communication around fields of user’ particular experience and interest. Together with Group-a-Ware can be used to build emotional user profile projected to a concept structure – what interests and evolves particular user the most. The working name is ComPractice (after communities of practice) and working prototype can be found on  website. Been created together with Community of Practice Developers community.


  • TimeBrowser Online data repository and API hub for authorisation, data stream managment and combined data - stream import and export.
    • Prototype under working name of TimeBrowser is used to work with data from Group-a-Ware project,it has a player for recorded collaboration sessions and available through G-a-W client interfaces at the moment.


Modules in early stages (support needed):


  • Project conceptualisation simulator and workspace
    • Will provide a formalised group dialogue multi user game-based software. Basically will have automatically supported group project canvas building with communication role based mechanics. Will be used as a training game on cases from actual startup projects and also will be used to rapid prototyping of  new startup projects.
    • When working together with compractice, know-flow and group-a-ware will provide better effect by using profiles, emotional reaction data and communication speech to text recognition and topic of discussion auto classification.
    • Early stages of prototyping together with teams of Labius and BIP ldc’s. Will be complete by spring 2019, early prototypes can be used in december 2018 50 anniversary demo.


  • Collaboration agent software
    • Will provide support, augmentation and replacement for process moderator (executive organisation of group repertoire). Will work as a multi interface dialogue system to navigate  a group through project conceptualisation communication and collaboration. Will be based on image recognition and decision support engine Aidos, created by proff. Eugeny Lutsenko on a basis of emerging information theory created by his group. Can also implement parts of open source machine learning algorithms. Will be a center of decision making for complex feedbacks on emotional physiology based, semantic - text analysis based and activity (decision and task completion based) spaces.



What aspect of the DKR do you feel should be built and how do you want to contribute, based on the list of 'What is missing' and other aspects of Doug's work?


  1. One of things we do can be seen as xFiles. a data container, a format, conventions and structure for data storage for the DKR
  2. Another one is advanced linking. As we will be implementing some link API that would include text. Semantic, biodata and audio data  and actions (tasks) we can make it hold all the information we want from other parties involved.
  3. Rich ViewSpecs  we see that in KnowFlow there will be a presentation view that will combine data from cards into PDF text like file. Some of rich viewspecs will be supported there.


This is on list available in Frode’s text. I think there are more things that are missing and that our VCA can fill in. In example - Doug did mention unconsciousness and eeg based input as possible interfaces. We do that. Also augmentation is a process for a group - and there is need for executive group augmentator engine that monitors progress of the group and moves it throug bootstrapping process along all the levels of concept work - both human intensive and HLAMt system intensive. We have ambition to contribute to this as well



What infrastructures and components do you think will be required?


We have a complete architectural system schematics in Russian. Will translate it in time to English to be able to join group’s collective effort. At the moment, components that are required and not there yet, are:


  1. Speech to text partner engine
  2. AI based facilitation agent
  3. Video and audio analisys for group-related fenomena
  4. API constructor for common CAD, PLM, LMS, etc systems


If you are already working on something you feel is naturally a part of a DKR, how do you feel it can interact with other components?


We think that a rich API protocol should be created together, as well as export import protocols for artefacts that are created in community products