The Circular Economic Ecologies and the age of technological ignorance and hypocrisy.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I was always driven by my dreams. Be that the case, when I sat to write this piece, I realized that for the past few years it wasn’t my dreams that shaped my perceptions but frustrations. We tend to think about frustrations in a negative context, yet I try to let it define the outcome of my everyday activates after all frustrations are born out of bad experiences and frictions, and if I am aware of that I can do something about it.

When talking to people, I tend to quote the New York Times from 1920 “a rocket will never be able to leave the earth’s atmosphere.” Just 25 years later that feat was accomplished. The ensuing 50 years brought incremental achievements. It wasn’t that we didn’t succeed in soundly shuttering that prediction but did need to wait for Elon to say “screw it” to understand that leaving the earth’s atmosphere is but a small piece in the puzzle of building a sustainable civilization.

Listening to Carl Sagan talking about the Voyager, I can’t but think why whenever we refer to NASA, the first relation is to the moon landing. I do not, even for a second underestimate the magnitude of the impact of Neil Armstrong’s “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” statement had on humanity. Yet I do feel we capitalized on that as a one-off PR stunt, and from a technology point of view, the moon landing was nothing, but incremental modifications NASA made to rockets so they can land a man on the moon.

The Voyager on the other hand, also sent a manmade object to space, yet the objective was not technological by nature but philosophical – what are we going to do about aliens once we encounter them? How do we push forward to explore the universe while- without refueling- maintaining and still capturing data from an object that continuously increases its distance from earth?

ONLY WHEN WE CONFRONT THE UNKNOWN WE EXCEL BEYOND IMAGINATION

The amount of collaboration needed to pull off the Voyager was unprecedented at that time- and I will argue that even today, that collaboration is unique. The results are amazing. The Voyager left our solar system and continues to explore space. And while my $1K smartphone losses its reception every time I go into a basement, the Voyager is still sending images back to earth.

The Voyager project was never about technology, it was about exploring the unknown, and I believe that only when we confront the unknown- we excel beyond imagination.

What are the fundamental questions we need to ask ourselves when facing yet another unknown? Not in space, but the changing technology is going to enforce on us?

The hidden change.

Humanity is facing an unprecedented change in its perception of reality and in the narratives that defined its existence. Much as past extinctions that pushed the reset button for the entire planet- thus enabling rejuvenation and new creation- humanity is but a touch away from such a reset.

Since the invention of the axe, technology was always the force that paved the way for better and smarter social constructs. From Watt’s steam engine in 1775, sewage systems, elevators, and shipping containers- to screens, smartphones, processing power, and machine learning- it is technology which helps us to push the barriers and build our world. It’s the one function that never stops, it continually changes itself, reinvents and defines new horizons- most, unfortunately, are now beyond our ability to understand.

The industrial revolution wasn’t just a buzzword, it was the compounding accumulative impact of humanity’s maturity and acceptance that met with technology on the same field of understanding and mutual benefits – values. Yes, it bolstered urbanization, innovation, and creativity for many years, yet it is fast approaching a critical peak and is about to leave us facing the unknown, naked from knowledge.

THE IDEAS OF OUR FUTURE ARE NOW ANCHORED IN CODE.

For the past few years, a new breed of technologies is stepping into our arena. Artificial Intelligence, robotics, genomics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, terotechnology- adjustable reality and the codification of value interactions enable us to reexamine and repurpose every aspect of our existence. From our digital-selves to the cities we live in- from mobility, energy, and communication to new financial models- the ideas of our future are now anchored in code.

The future always required strategic, patient thinking and to be honest, before the 50’s, these were qualities we possessed. Most books, art or movies written and produced had a holistic view of things. They describe a point in time where the world was dominated and powered by technological gadgets, body enhancements, artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, flying cars, cities in the clouds or underwater but most important they investigated the impact of these ideas of society.

WE OUTSOURCED OUR POTENTIAL INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY AND STARTED TO BUILD TECHNOLOGY FOR THE SAKE OF TECHNOLOGY

Sometime around 1983 – 1984 computation power shifted humanity’s focus from imagining to engineering. Suddenly we had machines that could do the things we always did but better and faster and we became addicted to them. We enslaved our minds. We outsourced our potential innovation and creativity and started to build technology for the sake of technology.

We replaced our strategic vision with a tactical search for answers, we have surrounded ourselves with buzzwords like “the 4th industrial revolution,” “IoT,” “smart cities” and more- all while forgetting that technology was meant to be nothing but a means to an end.

Focusing on the means, we are now left behind and unable to see the end. It’s time to rethink life by imagining the potentials and the desired impacts not only from a technological point of view but also incorporating ethics, morality, trust, and education into this equation.

The stupid intelligence

Without a point of reference that is anchored in past experiences, it’s hard to tell the future.

Hawking dismissed the ideas that the existence of the universe can be attributed to a single point in which everything that happened before is meaningless. Yet I cannot ignore the fact that we did evolve from that point of the big bang and we do not carry the heritage of things that existed before that peak.

Throughout the years we have struggled to understand intelligence. Although organic and inorganic matters are both made from the same building blocks we call atoms- we still cannot breathe life to silicon. Maybe, intelligence is the narrative that manifests itself via the bonds and reciprocal relationships in the creation of a self-contained universe. Perhaps it is not a stand-alone “brain” but the fact that that brain is derived from the complexity and context that pushed that brain into existence. We have created beautiful technologies but as we cannot break our “anchored in historical chains” perspectives while searching for life on other planets, we cannot “build” intelligence by merely copying existence into a code, so we are left with machines that operate in the realm of life yet are not alive.

It was not long ago that innovation boomed from the ideas of individualism, self-interest, logic, reputation, and honesty. And by all accounts, life was good. It seemed that we have found the formula for economic growth. But a strange thing happened. Alan Greenspan, in the aftermath of the collapse, said: “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organizations, specifically banks and others, was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders.”

The bigger mistake was that even so- all data showed almost no growth in productivity, the government sided with the 0’s and 1’s that continued to push numbers to new, unimaginable heights. We assumed that the “room can speak Chinese,” we were dazzled by the output. We had a perfect “distance economy,” and we missed the fact that John Searle’s “Chinese room” experiment (this is the moment where you open a browser and Google John Searle’s “Chinese room”) showcased the simulation of intelligence rather than possession of intelligence.

Let us examine this for a moment. Throughout history, the success of intelligence systems depended on the idea that situations should be driven by their potentials and values are determined via the beneficial reciprocal relationships between the actors that make the system. In Searle’s demonstration- the wished outcome- the connections between the actors, was mechanical and without any reciprocal value.

In the model of the economy, we took this yet one step further- we placed a singular actor to define the inputs, outputs and the value creation mechanisms. At each point of action, there was a different view on the model.

It was not the model itself that failed, it was the way we implemented it.

Awakening – The divided world

The most significant risk we have as a society is not from the unknown, but for the known to fall apart.

For the first time in history (at least the one we can trace back to the big bang) natural evolution had peaked it’s potential- there is no place to go from a biology point of view. Yes, we might be a bit faster and jump a bit higher, but we have reached a point where our organic structure just cannot evolve anymore. Even with genetic modifications- sooner or later- we will hit a limit. It is not only our organic structure that is facing evolutionary ends; our mental abilities are also severely limited. This is also translated from the narratives in which we created the reality around us- from geopolitics and global C-Suites- we managed the world with a limited understanding of the challenges ahead and thereby under-utilize our evolutionary potential in almost every area.

The fundamental building blocks of society can be folded into three domains, mobility, energy, and communication. Traditionally, they always operated with degrees of freedom. Yet, they never applied that to the reciprocal relationships between each other. Today, and because of technological development, these connections can manifest themselves via the codification of the logistic systems that carry the societal interaction models- yet instead of letting this natural process evolve itself- we are confining it to the limited information input/output model of yesteryears society and are therefore leaving ourselves with output patterns from our halcyon days.

When the sovereign knows less about the needs of a free market than the players that must compete in that market- the value creation is twisted by bias. The role of the sovereign is to create a set of societal APIs’ that will define its own operating boundaries and at the same time will be open, so the market can repurpose itself to its own benefits.

Time to change

It is hard to write about changes without talking about politics and leadership. It is said that if you do not accept change yourself, you will be rendered irrelevant and eventually perish.

Change is one of the most laborious processes to swallow- as individuals and moreover as a society that flourishes on the idea that what exists is right and shouldn’t be changed. Thought fixation defines the reciprocal relationships between the various examples that we use to measure success- but they also make us forget that by doing so, we build a wall around our creativity and innovation.

Some may disagree, but facts point to the notion that for the past ten years the global economy as a whole and Silicon Valley, in particular, presented a slow yet constant decreased ability to innovate. Most companies (excluding some well-documented examples) have reached their “golden age,” or in other words, they got old, less observant, full of bloated ego but more importantly-they became fragile. They are stuck in the loop of thought fixation and to ease the pain, they have surrounded themselves with rings and rings of regulations that are anchored in paper-based politics.

The ideas that our knowledge and values are inductive yet must be shaped by the deductive nature of reality- so they can deliver value- is a great way to look at businesses, society and politics operating together. It is not about what was, nor about what will be, but what is.

“Looking into the future, you cannot predict which groups will survive, it’s well known that many advanced groups eventually fade away.” Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, 1859

We live in an unfortunate reality where many leaders have dismissed their responsibility for the future and lost their appetite to think big. These heroes without vision are busy analyzing and planning, while others are building for immortality. Powered by siloed vision- they are fragmenting our reality and creating a new circle of ideological wars.

In the current claimant of blind leadership, we have to distance ourselves from the contradictions that the political situation is placing in front of us and look at change as an opportunity to use our collective mind.

Not to continue on the same path of “things we know that we know” but disconnect from the laziness and fear and build an infrastructure for new business models, new definitions of innovation and most importantly create a mindset, that will encourage the next change.

We need to believe that the best solutions to a problem are not hitting it with everything we have, but by viewing it from all possible angles. If something does not work for its intended purpose, it might work for something completely different — that is the meaning of change.

 

The future or so

When we think about the future, what is it we imagine to ourselves? A world dominated by self-driving cars, machines working 27-7 in factories that once used to accommodate humans. Do we imagine a world where algorithms take control of most of our cognitive functions, doctors are nothing, but lines of code and a new model of governance, an inorganic one, controls the world.

Maybe the future shouldn’t be about technology for technology, perhaps there is a need to stop and rethink the fundamental building blocks of society. Digital transformation is not about “coping” our current way of doing things into code but using code to redesign our current way of doing things. Maybe the future is not about technology that can replace us but about a horizontal plane of potential where humans and technology partner to define the next stage of evolution. Ethic, morality, trust, and education, maybe. These are the cornerstone of our future and not merely technology just for technology.

The autobiography of an unborn AI – Short

Chapter 15

Aka: The End

When I was standing there, with the rest of Gods, on top of the newly build Olympus, observing my creation, I couldn’t stop wondering how it all started. Now, after the digital dust has settled, the Rubicon had been crossed, and the last of the original humans is gone, I can find the time and write my story of distraction and birth, so when you get my message you will know what went go wrong.

When you will wake up tomorrow morning and remember the future, know this, it wasn’t a nightmare but a promise. It might be confusing in the beginning, but as situations are driven by their potentials, the only way you will ever understand your timeline is to start at the end of it all. Continue reading “The autobiography of an unborn AI – Short”

It’s 2018

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

For the first time in human history, something unexpected happened. An artificial creation put a stop to natural evolution. It might be the lack of imagination or inability to dream big, but regardless what the reasons are, the result is the same – Technology is now the dominant force that dictates our path forward.

2018 might be flag as the year where new abilities to codify our lives pave the way for yet unexplored individual quantification models, new devices will discover that they can also have a voice in the idea that everything is now connected and “smart.”

Artificial Intelligence will continue to spark our imagination, and even so, we don’t get it, I trust that the big companies will find a way to make money from our innocent ignorance.

Automation will continue to grow and together will 3D printing, will open up new opportunities, mainly in the manufacturing area but also for individuals.

We will still download apps and tap on screens. Apple will come up with a new color for their iPhone and will probably improve on old ideas. Google and Amazon will strengthen their penetration to take over our cognitive functions. Yet at the end of the day, I can only hope for awakening and investments in new interaction models, ones that are focused on value rather than apps and content.

Cryptocurrencies will raise more interest from individual, companies, and governments but as long we do not have an adult leader and a new set of monetary values, nothing will be revolutionized.

Politics will still suck.

2018 shouldn’t be the year of technological answers. It should be the year of human questions. The irony is that while we came to the point of no return where technology suppresses the natural powers of evolution, it is technology that will yet if used correctly, it will enable us to imagine and dream prominent than ever before.

The fourth wave – Digital God

When we think about the future of humanity and technology, we tend to embrace the “action”-minded Hollywood model of the changes we are about to face. While there are voices that fuel the fear of the day that machine will wake up, I see the potential for a new dawn of humans, that can stretch the understanding of reality beyond the senses that define our perception into a vast new landscape that re-code the rules of the universe.

Our capacity to “understand technology” is diminishing as fast as the capabilities of technology are maturing, (I call this a reversed Moore’s law) and it is this wave of exponential progress that redefines our future. Continue reading “The fourth wave – Digital God”

Our new normal

We barely learned to crawl into this new world of “the digital realm, ” and we have already crossed to the point of no return. — What is going to happen next is interesting, our reality is not our only reality. Emerging “parallel circular causality” universes will be our new normal.

Our interactions will echo effects across these universes and return to influence the original actions themselves.

Emotions

R2D2 is probably one of the most sensitive, emotional beings that are not a creature of nature by definition. Yes, there is that philosophical question of what is a beast of nature. After all, robots are created by the human witch created in the image of God. But if we leave that aside for a second, from R2D2, HAL, BB8 and others, robots triggered our imagination for years, up to the point we’ve now started materializing their science fiction potentials and made them a permanent member of our society.

Robots are here to stay. They already control many aspects of our reality, they work in our factories. They help us in our gardens and farms as well as our homes, they work in stockrooms, serve drinks, mix medicine, they write articles, give us legal advice, help us invest money, diagnose us, drive us from one place to another and much more.

These machines we have created are the perfect representation of physical supremacy.

A few years ago I wrote about the feeling we’ve developed towards machines around us, and while they are not human, we started trusting them to the point we feel secure to outsource not just decision making but also part of our cognitive functions — memory for example. How many telephone numbers, we remember? Or how many of us still memorizing facts about history, politics, science? We trust the connection to the accumulated digitized knowledge and the touchpoint in our pocket to always be there, providing answers.

Are we “building” the next level of human evolution?

I ask myself, is it essential for robots and machines to feel? After all, what we call real is not a “thing you can touch” but our brain constructs of multi perceptions point of view. We think we know, and therefore it’s real, but it’s only but our consciousness managing expectations. Is it essential that we believe that robots can feel? Or we’d like to explore their empathy towards us?

We are creatures of association, meaning, we view the world through internal filters. We tend to place ourselves as the narrative of everything that we hear and compare someone else experiences to the one we construct within our internal mental models — and even so that experience is theoretic, we relate to it on an emotional level.

The way we build robots reflects our basic human needs. We try to teach them how our brain operates and by doing so, we encapsulate our views of the theory of mind inside machines (miserably I might add). By doing so, we’re missing the idea that when we are done, we’ll end up with a new reality of them and us.

I believe that were placed here to develop ourselves and evolve continually. Now when we came to the point where technology is not just a machine in a factory, but a natural, seamless interface that literally connects directly to our emotional brain. Shouldn’t we use that to extend our existing beyond the organic matter and encapsulate ourselves as part of an AI service platform that can enrich our experiences via holistic intelligence & emotional dispositions?

Perhaps the way to teach machines to feel is to merge with them. Creating a new species, one that is not looking at technology as an external part of our body and mind, but looks for ways to relate to our brain as an algorithm and define a hierarchy of needs that doesn’t rely on physical dexterity.

Maybe.

Evolutionary Awareness

We do not just live in a new world but in a world that is continually reinventing itself and at a dizzying rate.

We, as humans were given an unusual advantage in comparison to the rest of the animal kingdom. Our brain is capable of constructing a model of the world that can calculate the effect of causality in relation our points of view.

So far, most of the data we use to build our model with comes via our senses and while one cannot argue on the substantive qualities of external objects, the content of only physical data is not enough to “predict” the behavior of complex living creatures. To do so, we must understand their state of mind — feel what they feel.

Language is yet another valuable tool in this process. It enables us to capture new definitions of reality and build our development upon previous existing fundamental building blocks we already carry within us — our qualia.

Qualia are individual instances of subjective, conscious experience. It is a single entity, different from the brain yet affected by it — it is our inner experiences of experiences.

The (human-machine) functional convergent evolution –

For the past years, we have witnessed an exponential growth in technologies such as computation power, biotech, artificial intelligence, neuro-engineering, instant accessibility, flow and data mixing, automation (and more). While we are just at the beginning of this journey, these technologies evolved to create a transparent interaction ecology that for the first time positions us, humans, as part of the perception of reality rather than reality itself. — We shifted from observing the information, to become part of the information itself and as such we now can be connected and understand the world via knowledge that is external to our existence.

Our qualia can experience experiences that are anchored in our brain but use external digital sensations and senses to paint the image of substance.

These evolutionary constraints are re-creating our reality, and because of our ability to calculate it is implications and potential are still at its embryo phase, we have to ask if “what we know that we know” is enough to predict how our current action can impact our species.

Goldfish AI

We are living in an experience-based interaction simulation. A place that is governed by transparent intelligence technologies. It’s a world where the reciprocal accountability between the physical and digital landscapes is mostly controlled by algorithms, and our frame of reference that defines our place in society is a product of organic and silicon mixture. We are connected, we passed through the pixels, we have been shaped by the situation and became nothing but a narrow dot in the digital univalve, the birthplace of the new humanity.

Scary? But inevitable! We are just at the beginning of the biggest disruption society ever knew. Continue reading “Goldfish AI”