The Global Brain folks appear to be thinking along similar lines to the
Should you choose to join their list, go to
http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/TOC.html and scroll down to the list subscription
area (and notice the enormous breadth of information coverage while you
>From: Francis Heylighen <email@example.com>
>>Perhaps the best way, initially, to ensure that the primary value of the
>>Global Brain is love for all humans is to design an architecture that
>>requires the participation of human beings in order for the Global Brain to
>>A vision of Global Brain in which humans are the information processing
>>"nodes" connected by telecommunications/intelligent network technology might
>>work. As the power of collective human intelligence increases, more and
>>more of the human nodes in the network might be replaced by computationally
>>superior AI nodes until eventually the vast majority of the intelligence
>>would be coming from the AI processing rather than from human brainpower.
>>However even if the human brains ended up being only a tiny fraction of the
>>overall intelligence of the Global Brain, perhaps they could still retain
>>the function of serving as the Global Brain's conscience.
>>There is no rational way to derive values (see the short book: Reason and
>>Human Affairs by Herbert Simon for this complete argument). That is, no
>>matter how intelligent the Global Brain becomes, it still must work from
>>fundamental premises about what is right and wrong. Even a
>>super-intelligent machine whose intellect is beyond comprehension of any
>>human mind must still assume fundamental values.
>>Could the role of human being in the future be to provide these core values
>>to super-intelligent machines?
>Actually, I am at the moment working on a paper (an elaboration of the
>argument I gave in my introductory talk at the GB workshop) that makes a
>similar reasoning. As the world is getting ever more complex and
>interconnected, and we are getting bombarded with ever more information,
>individual people are no longer capable of making the best judgments.
>Therefore they need help from the GB. But the GB is essentially an
>extension of our own capacities, supporting the filtering and processing
>of information, but not making decisions on its own.
>The reason is, as Craig points out, that computers cannot make value
>judgments that are not programmed into them by humans: there is no
>rational mechanism or algorithm to deduce a value from something that
>isn't a value already (cf. http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/SCIVAL.html). Thus,
>ultimately, it is humans who make the judgments, and the GB merely helps
>them to digest the information and point out implications of their
>Moreover, even if we could agree about a set of basic values that are
>explicit enough to be programmed into a computer, practical decisions in
>the real world would remain much too ambiguous and context-dependent to be
>left to a stand-alone, "rational" inference engine. It is only people
>interacting with and experiencing that real world with all its subtletlies
>and ramifications who at the moment are capable of making reliable
>judgments. This lack of "intuition" or "common-sense" has always been the
>major shortcoming of AI systems.
>The solution is to simply use the existing intuition of human users, but
>to augment it by better collection and processing of information and by
>adding up the intuitions of thousands of people. The latter is the basic
>support for collective intelligence, as demonstrated by Craig's
>presentation at the workshop, and as analysed in a paper of mine:
>An interesting aspect about this procedure of "adding" people's values or
>preferences is that various forms of extremism are simply averaged out.
>Add together the preferences of a Hindu fundamentalist, a Christian
>fundamentalist and a Muslim fundamentalist, and their various fanatical
>opinions will cancel each other out, leaving only the common sense values
>that everybody agrees about, such as that you should avoid killing
>innocent people. What the GB should help us with is to make such universal
>values more explicit, and to support their attainment more systematically.
>Dr. Francis Heylighen <firstname.lastname@example.org> -- Center "Leo Apostel"
>Free University of Brussels, Krijgskundestr. 33, 1160 Brussels, Belgium
>tel +32-2-6442677; fax +32-2-6440744; http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/HEYL.html
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Mon Sep 17 2001 - 10:58:42 PDT