Positive Futures: Stories from 2030’s Collective Intelligence

Giannigiacomelli
3 min readNov 16, 2022
Credits: Lexica.art

For once, no dystopian future: just Solving Tomorrow’s Challenges with Tomorrow’s Intelligence. These are short stories from a time that has harnessed and augmented the power of collective intelligence, by tapping into the wisdom and creativity of networks of humans — people, us — supported by intelligent machines.

In these possible futures, despite the significant challenges, we have understood how to sustainably improve critical parts of our lives. To get there we turned some of our planet into, literally, a superbrain — and addressed our complex problems with that intelligence.

These stories’ objective is not perfect desirability, feasibility, or viability. That would have required much more effort and time. As with all powerful technology, and innovation in general, much could go wrong — from human rights abuse to manipulation.

Instead of aiming for perfection, this document attempts to inspire you about what could be, so your expertise can complement Augmented Collective Intelligence (ACI) and its design principles. Just imagine, for a moment, that we get the “how” right — what could we do with it?

Here, you will find 46 positive stories from 2030 to stretch your imagination, from healthcare to sustainability, from media to construction, from travel to education, from public governance to software, and from real estate to the future of work. In 2030 we might have overhauled search engines and social media. improved how we meet friends and family in our spare time, enhanced our treatment of mental illnesses, and solved the shortage of labor across medical treatment and manual trades. We might be able to simulate realistic conversations with historical figures and overcome the language barrier in daily life. And, just possibly, we might have cleaned up some of the political mess we are trapped into. Have a read.

Augmented Collective Intelligence’s promise

Intelligent networks are made of large numbers of people and AI-powered machines, connected in a distributed architecture. That’s ACI.

From Wikipedia to Reddit and YouTube, from Patients Like Me to Bitcoin and Apple’s technical communities, and from Pinduoduo to Haier and Bellingcat, hundreds of intelligent networks help harness the full collective cognitive power of people, organizations, and ecosystems. They complement or substitute traditional, hierarchical structures.

These are superminds, initially envisioned by MIT Prof. Thomas Malone in his book “Superminds”. New organizational designs can capture their emergent intelligence.

Building one means enabling a network — not one person or machine, or a few — to sense, remember, create, decide, act, and learn. It means helping nodes connect, incentivizing them, and supporting them with knowledge and collaboration tools.

AI can support all of that, by helping nodes to discover each other and connect, curating knowledge, and performing any other computation required.

Let’s harness augmented collective intelligence instead of stale organizational and technology design. Let’s go build superminds.

This post complements some previous blog posts on designing an AI-augmented collective intelligence. You can read them here.

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Giannigiacomelli

Founder, Supermind.Design. Head of Innovation Design at MIT's Collective Intelligence Design Lab. Former Chief Innovation Officer at Genpact. Advisory boards.