Putting the Art into Artificial Intelligence..
Why is it that AI is seen as a kind of zero sum game, whereby the gain in utility by machines is inevitably perceived as leading to a loss of utility to humans?
What if we collectively can be the machine?
But let’s back up a little.. The field of AI is divided into A.N.I. (Artificial Narrow Intelligence), being automated systems programmed for a single task, like SIRI, Google Translate or IBM’s Watson, and A.G.I. (Artificial General Intelligence), being ‘Machines that exhibit human-like intelligence’, and A.S.I. (Artificial Super Intelligence), the kind that Elon Musk is so worried about.
It’s as if Artificial Intelligence is seen as a one dimensional continuum, leading only to non human intelligence that will surpass us.
This continuum is a vector that charts a progression toward inevitable sentience by machines. The inherent idea being that the more powerful computers become, the less powerful we are. This may prove to be true, but it does amount to a meme or dogma that excludes other variations and alternate narratives.
Other vectors are also possible and need to be considered. Factors like ‘Control’ and also ‘Decentralization’ have enormous bearing on outcomes. Let’s unpack that and explain why..
Consider Google, (which uses AI extensively). Despite Google’s pervasiveness, it is still in effect a highly centralized service. This is both the reason behind its massive profitability and also its endemic privacy problems. These two factors are highly related. If Google did not centrally harvest and control our personal data the company would be far less profitable.
This is also the primary reason that the Google model has changed only incrementally in the last 20 years. But does that mean that we have arrived at an optimum search process for the web and internet? Absolutely not.
Can other forms of AI empower users, giving us a combined greater collective intelligence? Is there an alternative possible reality to the overwhelming dominance of Google?
Google is the default way that we all find stuff, but is it the only possible way? The mechanisms to aggregate and utilize ‘big data’ have typically not been applied in such a way that they are at the disposal of general users. This is because the platforms we use, (like Facebook and Google) jealously guard this data, so, although it is generated by ordinary users, it is unavailable to them. For this to change users need to be able to collectively ‘Self Process’ the data that they create. Although this is quite possible, it does require a new kind of decentralized platform to enable a solution.
‘User-Powered’ service provision meets ‘User-Generated’ content provision..
Here is our disruptive ‘sanity check’ filter. It is a way of proposing a set of logical, albeit idealistic criteria, to existing businesses to examine what might be possible if these criteria were applied.
To understand this framework, examine the green ‘opportunity’ box in the matrix diagram on the left. It is the quadrant where ‘User Generated Content’ meets ‘User-Powered Services’. There are very few if any examples of services that truly operate in this quadrant. However, it is entirely possible for next generation services to do so.
What happens when you pass Google’s model through this filter?
To do so would effectively strip Google of it’s privacy invasive system, and open up the possibility of user-centered monetization of the personal data created. In effect we would get a user-powered search system where users control their own data and the chance to define a new kind of user-centered advertising model on top.
If we move ‘Control’ of personal data away from Corporations and back to ordinary people, all these things are possible.
So, can we collectively be the machine?
This is the crucial question. i.e. Can we move toward a system where our combined intelligence is leveraged and magnified, for the benefit of all participants and the value created is harvested by users rather than Corporations? Yes, we believe that a specialized human-centered type of AI can deliver this outcome.
This quest implies a different kind of Stack, comprising a unique utilization of user-generated-tags as a dedicated granular resource that characterizes human intent, coupled with a user-powered P2P platform that allows for
complex heuristic processes to occur at the network and node level, so that the entire system continually learns from its users, progressively improving personalized search results.
(Patent documents are now ready to file, and more detailed information about the platform will be available soon)