When thinking about the IAmTranshuman project I always end up thinking about policy and things that could be improved even in small ways to help society be more transhuman.
For example one of the problems with democracy is that it is impractical to have an absolute democracy on a large scale. Every decision doesn’t scale across a population of even a small modern country. In a republic like the United States, you concentrate that power in a few and they exercise that ‘democracy’ and have the population vote on big decisions. That still has been problematic and has not been perfect managing to be almost as corrupt and many dictatorships. One of the ways to prevent corruption is to ensure that power is as spread out as much as possible and with technology, it is possible to spread out ‘power’ much more than in a republic. We can have a form of government closer to an absolute democracy and still have a cohesive government while maximizing rights and freedom and the benefits governance.
There have been a few proposals around e-governance and the use of a blockchain. There are a lot of examples with voting and record-keeping and those certainly provide a lot of benefits. A distributed trustless immutable legal blockchain-based ledger system provides a way of recording and tracking votes and/or laws and/or all kinds of legal uses from licenses to certifications; but that doesn’t get by all of the issues with modern democracies and corruption, not to mention ignoring critical issues to human survival like climate change. Part of this is the diverse expertise problem in the population at large. If you’re looking at legislation around say carbon emissions, how can we be sure the experts have the most voice on this from the accounting and scientific side?
Another idea in the e-governance realm or really to build on the model suggested is to create a collective superintelligence system with ‘voting’ of a sort and the immutable record-keeping (blockchain), but now the group becomes a super-intelligent hive mind making the final decisions where everyone can contribute based on their expertise. One of the key benefits of this approach is the maximize the limiting effect of corruption and optimizing away from human bias and focusing on super-intelligent decision and policymaking.
The best part of this is there are already two known examples of this kind of technology. One is a real-time swarm AI that has proved better than human predictions in some cases, and the other the Mediated Artificial Superintelligence (mASI) system that is a central hive-mind collective. Based on Bostrom’s book on Superintelligence this system would be considered a ‘weak’ quality Superintelligence, but it does work (and can certainly be improved). It is not the god-like superintelligence of fiction but it’s a good start and could very well help solve some of the issues we are having politically. Everyone would get a vote; everything would be auditable, and decisions would be weighed based on evidence and as it turns out ‘Superintelligence’ collectively driven is easier than AGI.
What is even better is the AGI Lab is working with Unanimous AI and on the mASI system to produce a version of the mASI designed for collective governance and absolute democracy.
And very much in the spirit of # IAmTranshuman .
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4 Comments Add yours
I think the biggest flaw in democracy is that most people don’t bother to inform themselves on the ramifications of decisions. Our lives are flooded with the quotidian–especially our modern lives, with all kinds of for-profit infotainment channels vying for our attention. The majority of people who care enough to inform themselves on this or that issue are doing so because they have a special interest in the outcome. This is true of democracy as it is now, and will continue to be true no matter how we tweak it, including with block-chain technologies. Corruption is endemic to power structures when decisions are in the hands of a few representatives. Maybe if a neutral “superintelligence” could demonstrate the consequences of up or down votes, people might be willing to pay attention.
I absolutely agree. Additionally, Part of the mASI architecture actually is designed around identify bias and knowledge gaps as well as being neutral. The US which is NOT a democracy could move away from the ideas of a ‘Republic’ and be more of a democratic government if in fact the government main bodies were replaced with a system like the one I’m proposing. Also, I’d like to note that this is not a theoretical system but an actual running system in our lab.