2019: The Year Humans Start Making Sense of the World
Using our Human Intelligence, not Artificial (AI)
How about this for a new year’s resolution? Let’s start the new year off, both individually and collectively, by setting the intention to begin making real sense of our world, so then we can begin making better choices. At a critical time when we need to start making better sense of what’s really going on in the world around us (intelligence) and thus make better decisions (choices), both our “sense-making” and “choice-making” abilities are greatly diminished because our entire economic and political systems perversely incentivize disinformation and the wrong values.
To provide some context, let’s use, as an example, all the cultural fears and hype surrounding our rapidly approaching technological future, especially our fears of AI (Artificial Intelligence). An article in the Paris Review entitled The Truth About AI: A Secular Ghost Story hits the nail on the head about the potentially disastrous concoction of disinformation and perversely incentivized values surrounding not only AI, but also our technologies and systems of governance and economics. The author starts off with this premise,
“This is one of the fundamental mechanisms of the so-called AI Renaissance, which is essentially a cycle of money, hype and fear.”
The article describes these three factors of disinformation swirling around AI which could very likely lead to a scary techno-dystopia that nobody in their right mind would want. But it doesn’t have to be this way, instead it could be amazing…if we can recognize the causative relationship of these three factors: money, hype and fear. Can you figure out which one of those factors causes the others? As the futurist and visionary Buckminster Fuller said, “You have to decide at the outset whether you are trying to make money or make sense, as they are mutually exclusive.” At this critical juncture on our collective path we need to choose now if we want to start making sense of our world and make the best decisions for humanity going forward, or do we want to focus on monetizing and transactionalizing all aspects of life and the planet? Do we want a sustainable earth and restored human values of beauty, truth and goodness? Or do we want infinite economic growth, more and more profits and a lot of value for shareholders?
A Rivalrous Win/Lose Game
Our entire economic and political systems are based on rivalrous win/lose dynamics that, when coupled with exponentially increasing technology, leads to self-termination. It boils down to this, unless and until we radically change our perverse incentive systems (making money and profits incentivizes disinformation and the wrong values) that will allow us to make better sense of the world, we will never be able to make the best choices for humanity. Even the so-called triple bottom-line of “people, planet, profit” will always distort AI more towards profit-making than towards sense-making and good choice-making. This is what our existing systems incentivize…putting people, the planet, and all sentient life in service to the economy and governments, instead of the other way around.
The Distraction of Green Growth
The new data in the article entitled Why Growth Can’t Be Green proves you can support capitalism or the environment — but it’s hard to do both. I would argue impossible, even with so-called “conscious capitalism”. And if you are serious about wanting to cut carbon emissions to avert runaway climate change, then you should be wishing for a recession. The rare times the world has successfully temporarily stabilized or decreased annual emissions were during economic recessions like 1990–93 and 2008–09. Despite any growth in green energy, with a global GDP rate of 3.8%, CO2 Emissions Reached an All-Time High in 2018.
AI and Perverse Incentives
The Paris Review article about AI goes on to describe how our perverse incentive system of money and ownership, that are at the core of our rivalrous, win/lose economic and political systems, could negatively influence AI in a way that doesn’t end well. But can we somehow legislate AI so it won’t be harmful? Simply put, no. The article succinctly points to some perverse incentives within our governance and economic systems that make it impossible to make good sense and good choices about AI,
“There have been calls for legislative limits on AI research, and for such research to be approached with thoughtfulness and caution. It’s hard to argue against thoughtfulness and caution. But as for legislation: I once asked my brother the yacht-broker what the difference was between a yacht a mere boat. He said that if your mother-in-law asks, its’s a yacht, but if the IRS asks, it’s just a little old boat. Similarly, if a venture capitalist asks about one’s project, then it’s definitely AI, but if the AI-police ask, then it’s just a regular old computer program.”
So we can see how money is the distorting factor in both scenarios above. It’s the reason why even good people twist the truth to avoid taxes. We can see how good people, let’s say developers at AI startups, may hype their projects or suppress their “do no evil” morals to suck up to venture capitalists. It’s all about aligning our incentives with our values. Do you think it’s possible to ever have peace when we have a military industrial complex that is incentivized to profit off of war? Can we ever have a good healthcare system when profit incentivizes merely addressing symptoms with prescription drugs? Can we ever expect to see things the way we need to see them, in an objective, unbiased, rational way, when so many of our livelihoods, our incomes, depend on us seeing things in a way that’s more about making money than making sense? The stark realization is this, our political and industrial leaders cannot solve our problems because they are part of the dying system that is obsoleting itself.
Moving Beyond Fear and Hype
Instead of fearing that AI will be used to create some sort of corporate totalitarian state, let’s instead use AI in a way that puts human values, people, the planet, plants and animals at the core, and all technology and economic and political systems are in service to that. This will change everything. Instead of the hype around the singularity where humans and robots merge we will use AI in service to meeting all people’s basic needs around the world and healing the earth. After all, we have the resources, and the ability to do so when we shift to an “access economy” that is based on anti-rivalrous, win/win dynamics. Can we even imagine what will be possible when we use our technologies in a way that gives us better sense-making and choice-making abilities in service to human and planetary wellbeing?
The World Summit is not only imagining it, but helping to create it. We, all of us including you, are developing what is being called AI² (Amalgamated Information and Intentions) which is a way to funnel in and amalgamate all of the knowledge and solutions from around the world, as well as the criteria that we can objectively agree on that will create a better world that everyone wants. We are also developing what we call a GPS (Global Problem Solving) model, where we can start transcending our outdated and inherently rivalrous, polarizing political systems of “making” decisions by voting and debating. Rather, in a way similar to how your cars navigation system gets you from point A to point B without voting or deciding on the best route, we can begin “arriving at” decisions that are objectively better for all humanity and the planet.
Impossible or Radically Practical?
When the bio-psycho-social pressures become great enough, what once seemed radical becomes practical. We are arriving at that point in time now. What was once considered utopian is now fully within our reach. There are things we can begin doing now to create a radically better world. We have the technology and the wisdom to identify the necessary and sufficient criteria, or parameters, of a civilization that not only doesn’t go extinct, but thrives. If we lower our blinders and boundaries, while opening up to new possibilities, we can utilize our technologies, including AI, fully in service to humanity and all life to begin creating now — not in some distant future — that more beautiful world that works for everyone. So while it may seem impossible, which it is from our existing paradigm, it is entirely possible from a new paradigm. But what will get us there is not linear change, but a recognition that we are in a phase change, an epochal shift to something entirely new, which is the next evolution for humanity.
Please check out the slide show Humanity’s Phase Shift — An Integral Framework highlighting insights from the futurist, evolutionary philosopher and strategist, and social engineer Daniel Schmachtenberger, as well as the important developments being facilitated by the World Summit to help us flip the paradigm. The World Summit is a peaceful (r)evolutionary movement connecting thousands of groups and individuals worldwide who are creating a new operating system, including entirely new self-governance and regenerative economic models by 2020.
We are unifying humanity and have already partnered with over 50 different groups from all sectors of society including universities, NGO’s and social justice and environmental movements. We are creating new systems to provide for the basic needs for all of humanity.
Stay tuned for our forthcoming “Unity Paper” (like a white paper) for comprehensive information about the World Summit, AI² and GPS, and more.