Return to Eden?

youthfulgleekingRéseaux et Communications

17 févr. 2014 (il y a 3 années et 5 mois)

151 vue(s)

The Global Brain Institute




Return to Eden?

Promises and Perils on the Road

to a Global Superintelligence

Francis Heylighen,

Global Networks

Growth of Intelligence

Global Networks become increasingly intelligent


Incorporate ever more powerful technologies


Provide ever more knowledge


Can solve ever more problems


Boost collaboration and collective intelligence

They increasingly start to resemble a nervous system for
the planet Earth:


a “Global Brain”

Future scenario for the GB

What would be the long
-
term result of this trend?


Intelligence explosion
: self
-
amplifying growth in distributed
intelligence


Singularity
: acceleration becoming so fast that we cannot
extrapolate beyond the “singular” point


Metasystem transition
: emergence of new level of
organization

These concepts are all very abstract

→ We need a more concrete and intuitive scenario

Function of Intelligence

NOT: reasoning, thinking, computing…

BUT: producing the actions that maximize fitness in a
complex environment


Input
: monitoring and recognizing potential challenges


Processing
: selecting and planning the right actions to deal
with the challenges


Output
: performing the actions in a coordinated manner


Feedback
: correcting sensed disturbances, and learning
from mistakes

Global Intelligence

The GB is the nervous system of the global
superorganism, i.e. the system formed by:


All people on this planet


Their technological extensions


The ecosystems that they control

The GB’s intelligence should maximize the fitness of this
superorganism


by performing the right complex of actions

Improving the GB

Desired attributes of a distributed intelligence


the more
widely available
, the better


the more
knowledgeable
, the better


the more
powerful

and
effective
, the better


the more
beneficent
, the better

These attributes function as
selective pressures

for the
development of technology


The better a technology satisfies these criteria, the more
likely it will evolve

In the limit of maximum ability,

these become like the

traditional
attributes

of
God


Omniscience
:

knowing and understanding everything,


Omnipresence
:

being able to perceive and to act
everywhere at every moment,


Omnipotence
:

being able to perform any action or achieve
any goal


Omnibenevolence:

being perfectly moral and desiring to help
(and not harm) everybody

The Divine Attributes

Attributes in Practice

Scientific Limitation principles


Theorem of G
ödel


Conservation of Energy


Locality


Heisenberg Uncertainty principle …

→ perfect knowledge, omnipotence etc. cannot exist

However, they can be approached pragmatically

Let us see how the GB could develop practical attributes

Omniscience

Practical interpretation:


knowing everything needed to solve

our global and individual problems

Technological implementation


Wikipedia
: assembling all human knowledge


Semantic Web
: formalizing knowledge so as to allow
automatic inferences


Machine Learning
: inducing knowledge from ill
-
structured
data, and anticipating user desires

Educational technologies:


teaching everybody up to

the highest intellectual level

they can reach (typically PhD)

Interversity:


integrating all the previous developments into a global university



producing new knowledge



via collaborative, ICT
-
supported research, training and testing

→ Nearly immediate generation of new concepts, principles, and
models


whenever needed

Omniscience (cont.)

Omnipresence

Practical interpretation:


being available
anywhere

anytime

on Earth


Sensing what is happening


Being able to intervene

Technological implementation


Smartphones

using wireless networks


Wearable computers

and
augmented reality:

GB support always available


Internet of things
: remote communication with any object


Ambient intelligence
: embedded devices anticipate and
react to peoples desires


Mesh networks
: swarms of miniature devices provide
communication in the most difficult circumstances

Omnipresence

Omnipotence

Practical interpretation:


being able to provide
any

product or service at minimal cost

Technological implementation


3
-
D printers
: can produce any object anywhere


Blueprints

for any object available via the Internet


Hyperefficient
regulation

of traffic, industrial and agricultural
production, and robotic devices


Mobilization systems
: motivating and coordinating people
to achieve goals collaboratively

Omnibenevolence

Practical interpretation:


Striving for the greatest happiness for the greatest number

Technological implementation


Alignment of goals and values via

world
-
wide discussion
systems


Reinforcement learning

strengthening solutions that make
people more happy


Global search for synergetic, win
-
win interactions


Monitoring systems

that detects accidents, disasters and
problems at the earliest stage, and mobilizes adequate
responses

Could the GB harm humans?

The GB is not an autonomous system that could decide
to ignore human well
-
being


Because humans are essential components of it


Because a practical value system cannot be programmed
into a computer system


it must be developed from real
-
world, human developed
experience


Because the GB itself advances by having its components
advance

The overall drive of evolution is towards universal
cooperation and synergy


not towards competition between humans and machines

Effects on Society

Solution or prevention of all problems


Global (e.g. global warming, underdevelopment, war…)


Individual (e.g. illness, ignorance, stress…)

Abundance of resources


because nothing is wasted


Because things can be made very precisely to measure

Elimination of all sources of stress or unhappiness

Return to Eden?

Garden of Eden, Arcadia, Golden Age…


Different religions and mythologies refer to an idyllic state
before civilization


In which people did not have to toil, but could play and relax


In which everything was abundant

Hunter
-
gatherers indeed seem to live a relaxed,
spontaneous, abundant life


because their environment offers enough resources for their
(limited) needs

A vision of Eden

The new Eden

A utopian, but achievable vision

GB recreates abundance through more efficient technology


And restores the Earth to a more natural state

People no longer
need

to work

But are
challenged

to do constructive work


Being creative and developing their abilities


Caring for plants, animals and people


Gathering experience and wisdom


Exchanging their experience with others and the GB




Perils on the Road to Eden

Both
positive and negative effects of technology

take time
to discover and to learn how to manage

Because of
bounded rationality
and

emotions
, humans
initially often misjudge these effects

The
network of interactions

between technologies and
people is extremely
complex


non
-
linearities

can create chaotic, self
-
amplifying and
uncontrollable effects

→ The further deployment of GB technologies is
potentially very dangerous

Cascading failures

Breakdown in one system can precipitate breakdowns in
connected systems


Financial crisis
: collapse of bank makes other banks collapse


Electricity blackouts
: overload of line creates overloads in other
lines


Propagation facilitated by

frictionless network

Suggested precautions


Redundancy and diversity of systems


Identification of most vulnerable nodes


“Firewalls” to stop spreading

Criminals, spies, hackers, governments …

abuse the network for harming others

Arms races are not really new:



new weapon or tactic


→ new defense


→ evolving balance of forces

Not too worrying:


The Internet cannot directly kill or hurt people


War between nations has almost disappeared


Major nations are too interdependent to damage each other’s
economy

Cybercrime and Cyberwar

Psychological Parasites

Stimuli can be so pleasurable that people want more and
more, even though this is harmful for their health


→ addiction


E.g. drugs, tobacco, sex, junk food, …

Cyberaddiction:


Stimuli generated by ICT system (computer games, social
media, smartphones…)


Better interfaces → more attractive stimuli → stronger
addiction danger

Psychological Parasites

Addictive mechanisms


Flow
: total immersion in a feedback
-
producing activity


Supernormal stimuli
:


ever stronger sensations


E.g. junk food,

movie violence,

special effects…


Mind viruses
:

self
-
reinforcing,

parasitic memes

Loss of Human Abilities

Technology makes life easier

→ less need for mental or physical effort
.

Easier challenges → lower use of abilities → weakening
of abilities

Modern lifestyle ever farther removed from nature


Lack of exercise, sunlight, contact with nature…


Junk food, drugs, toxins, radiation…

Lower classes particularly vulnerable


Less intellectual challenges, more unhealthy lifestyle

→ degradation of health, fitness, well
-
being , intelligence

Solution
:


mobilization systems challenging people to develop
themselves

Loss of Human Abilities …

Future Shock

Too rapid change is stressful


→ may lead to disorientation, anxiety,
confusion…

Can lead to conservative backlash


resetting the clock to an earlier, simpler
period


E.g. fundamentalist uprising

Recommendation


Cushion too fast changes


Minimize less important changes


Maintain “enclaves” of the past

Conclusion

Accelerating technological development is likely to create
a global brain, with nearly “divine” abilities


Omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence,
omnibenevolence

Applying these abilities to human society should solve all
major problems


Leading to a new “Eden”

However, we need to remain very careful for the dangers
on the road to this utopia


And develop a “global immune system” to pre
-
empt the
greatest risks