Maximizing our collective potential — the ultimate goal of futurism

Maciej Wolski
Aug 15, 2021 · 6 min read

With all these things keeping us busy in our daily lives — almost no one thinks about the future. I don’t mean the next year of life, but the next 50 years or more for the whole planet.

It is nothing objectively wrong — with all the problems, bills to pay and duties to perform — it is not easy to find time to think about our contribution to a better future.

But if so, is the world governed in the right way?

At the most basic level, if we strive for the best possible life for us, our children and the rest of the world — we should find the ways how to maximize our collective potential. So the real value will be provided by all or at least majority of Earth’s inhabitants. And they should be happy and energetic, not tired and helpless.

And yet all we do is compete. At the scale of nations, businesses and individuals. We want to prove that we are right, the best and the most capable. Even if we compete with neighbors, colleagues or family members.

Cooperative competition would be something good — because it makes lives of all participants better, no matter who finds the solution. However the one we see in the world today is not. It is based on the lowest instincts of securing territory and resources at the expense of others.

This is truly wrong.

And as a futurist I feel obligated to imagine what is in my opinion the most optimal scenario.

The sign of changes — Artificial Intelligence

We are at the edge of significant changes, caused by technology. A completely new world will emerge with the advent of powerful Artificial Intelligence. But will it be a better world?

AI already is a powerful invention and it will increase its influence beyond most people’s imagination.

Should we use it to increase corporate profits? Decrease costs? Make more people new billionaires? Or to empower everyone?

However powerful the AI of the future will become — discarding more than 7 billions beings equipped with natural general intelligence from the long-term vision is not only a waste of opportunity, but it is also immoral.

We tend to associate the word ‘genius’ with rare individuals. However deep inside of each of us — there is a hidden talent or even many of them. When expressed, they will do such things — bring joy, remove frustration of the particular person and provide value to the world.

Whatever the scale and influence of such talent is — local or global — this is a recipe for a better world, filled with happiness and with decreased amount of frustration, violence and conflict.

In the next decade AI will change the world dramatically. Will it mean further wealth concentration among the small group of people? Or this technology will be used for the common good?

I can imagine AI used to produce food hyper locally — even such that is associated with a different climate zone. To reduce the price, the carbon footprint and for better nourishment of the body. Without the need of long transportation. Food that is grown for taste and nutrition. Not reduced losses and maximized profits.

I can imagine AI used to provide much better, fully personalized education. Better economic system. Better governance.

End of mundane jobs.

But the first step is always questioning the status quo: are we going in the right direction?

Is current AI designed to empower people or corporations?

Who owns the data (value) contributed by the whole population?

Does current approach to AI even make any sense?

The answer to all three questions above is not optimistic. We need AI that is based on an equivalent of a brain. And that requires combining neuroscience with technology. And a lot of effort.

We need constant unrestricted access to private data — what means that most of it should remain private and not be collected in the cloud environment.

There is a difference between learning from data and storing all available data.

I believe that after making some corrections we will be able to use Artificial Intelligence to create an inclusive environment for all people to live in a better world and feel their contribution to it.

With AI being so powerful, that it will be able to support us in many new areas of life: including food production, education, economy and governance.

The best future lies where we are maximizing human potential with AI. Not only maximizing profits.

And this is the path I entered a few years ago — to contribute to the AI revolution for a common good, the best possible future and maximization of our collective potential.

The way to make the world a better place — optimization of natural intelligence

Powerful Artificial Intelligence will bring many new possibilities to the world. But may also change the way we live. Many things will be automated — leaving people without the associated jobs. It is our collective responsibility to allow these people to contribute to the society.

But I am confident that we will have the right solutions. When the world will change so dramatically, we will have an opportunity to transform our lives collectively.

Where people had to work just to maintain their lives — they will be allowed to contribute their data to make AI work instead of them — for economical benefits. They will be allowed to grow themselves and decrease frustrations.

Personalized education, supported by powerful AI will allow anyone, anywhere to develop new skills and gain knowledge.

If people will more often do thing they love to do — they will become better humans. AI when implemented in the right way, will not create a dystopian reality. It may empower everyone and create a world we would not be even able to dream about.

Happy, energetic and joyful people are the foundation of a positive society. It does not matter if someone has a talent for art, manual work, science or any other thing — if there is joy, there is a good outcome and benefit for everyone around.

New economic solutions will allow such transformation, because the way we handle data right now is not yet successful, fair or optimal. The AI will need lots of data to serve us better. But it does not need to know all our private details, nor its creators. It just needs a general knowledge about how things are done on this planet.

Contributing your private data to a mechanism that learns from it, leaving your secrets yours — will provide substantial benefits to the developers of AI and in return they should pay back to the people who generate and share such data.

It is not realistic to believe that we will have powerful AI with restriction to data access. AI needs data, needs the ability to decide what is valuable, what to learn and what to skip. This is how it will experience the hypergrowth beyond our imagination.

The solution is to allow AI to do repetitive jobs, but reward those that will make it happen. The software solutions are already in the making, hidden from plain sight.

I have heard people who tried to convince others that their individual data is worthless. It is not. It is said like that just to benefit from free contributions.

When you earn money or are rewarded in any other way for what you bring to the future of technology, you can become better version of yourself. You can strive for any goal and live a happier life.

AI will change the world. But it will also change us, our perspectives and will provide many opportunities.

The summary

We will never have absolutely the best possible world if we will not include everyone on this planet. Who cares about money if we could have 10x better things now for the same price, if more educated people would bring their talents to the pool.

Just imagine the inventions that are not here, because of that.

The future is not about charity of the wealthiest people on Earth. It is about providing everyone with a chance to become the best version of themselves.

With joy and motivation to do what you love — your body and brain start to function optimally. You are no longer frustrated, seeking for ways to express your negative emotions. You feel better, you treat yourself and others better. There is no need for conflict.

And this is the future we should aim for. Together.

Gamma Waves

A state of the highest human potential

Gamma Waves

Gamma waves are the fastest brain waves — they occur when you’re highly alert and conscious. Especially, while you experience joy and satisfaction coming from doing the work you absolutely love and which leads to realization of your full potential.

Maciej Wolski

Written by

Founder & CEO of AGICortex. Futurist. Independent AGI researcher. Neuroscience enthusiast. Extreme learning machine. A book author. Python/Julia developer.

Gamma Waves

Gamma waves are the fastest brain waves — they occur when you’re highly alert and conscious. Especially, while you experience joy and satisfaction coming from doing the work you absolutely love and which leads to realization of your full potential.