Project

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/ECCO-Papers/GB-Protocol-proposal.pdf

Goal: In its first five years, the Global Brain Institute has investigated how the Internet could develop into a distributed intelligence that would coordinate human and technological activities at the planetary scale. For this, we developed a conceptual and mathematical theory of the self-organization of distributed intelligence, and compared its implications with present technological and social developments. This provided us with a long-term scenario for the emergence of a Global Brain that would be able to tackle all our major problems, but also with some concrete strategies for supporting this evolution.

Building on these results, we now propose a roadmap towards the actual development of a Global Brain. The strategy is similar to the one that led to the creation of the World-Wide Web: specify a universal, open protocol that would allow all people and machines to intelligently coordinate their actions, independently of platforms, languages, or governance structures. We have already formulated the conceptual foundations of that protocol in our mathematical models (Challenge Propagation, COT, and Offer Networks). But its concrete elaboration requires much further analysis, modelling, implementation, and testing in real-world situations.

The protocol will consist of several application layers, which each add further intelligence and functionality to the whole, and which can be developed relatively independently. Thus, the Global Brain network can be built up step-by-step according to our proposed roadmap, assimilating increasingly advanced technologies as they become available. These technologies include the Semantic Web, Internet of Things, reputation systems, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, and ecosystem modeling.

The main requirement for realizing it at the world level is that the protocol would prove its usefulness clearly enough, so that an increasing number of people start using it, until it encompasses all Internet connected systems. This is similar to how Tim Berners-Lee's HTML/URL protocol eventually integrated all computers and documents into the World-Wide Web. We propose a further integration that would allow the network to match the needs, resources and actions of human and technological agents at all scales. The resulting gains in synergy, efficiency and coordinated action could in principle solve the major economic, social, ecological and organizational problems that the world is confronted with-including inequality, poverty, unsustainable growth, waste, and poor governance.

We see our mission as guiding the emergence of the Global Brain-in contrast to merely forecasting its likely properties. As socio-political confusion and turmoil spread across the globe, our society is approaching a transition towards a fundamentally new social, economic and technological regime. We believe that the time is ripe for promoting a rational, feasible, and genuinely optimistic vision of the future of humanity, in which an increasingly intelligent Internet mediates human and machine interactions towards the common good. Our theoretical research has prepared us for the elaboration, prototyping and testing of a protocol that would practically support such intelligent mediation.

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Project log

Francis Heylighen
added 2 research items
We aproach the problem of the extended mind from a radically non-dualist perspective. The separation between mind and matter is an artefact of the outdated mechanistic worldview, which leaves no room for mental phenomena such as agency, intentionality, or feeling. We propose to replace it by an action ontology, which conceives mind and matter as aspects of the same network of processes. By adopting the intentional stance, we interpret the catalysts of elementary reactions as agents exhibiting desires, intentions, and sensations. Autopoietic networks of reactions constitute more complex super-agents, which moreover exhibit memory, deliberation and sense-making. In the specific case of social networks, individual agents coordinate their actions via the propagation of challenges. The distributed cognition that emerges from this interaction cannot be situated in any individual brain. This non-dualist, holistic view extends and operationalizes process metaphysics and Eastern philosophies. It is supported by both mindfulness experiences and mathematical models of action, self-organization, and cognition
We analyze the role of the Global Brain in the sharing economy, by synthesizing the notion of distributed intelligence with Goertzel's concept of an offer network. An offer network is an architecture for a future economic system based on the matching of offers and demands without the intermediate of money. Intelligence requires a network of condition-action rules, where conditions represent challenges that elicit action in order to solve a problem or exploit an opportunity. In society, opportunities correspond to offers of goods or services, problems to demands. Tackling challenges means finding the best sequences of condition-action rules to connect all demands to the offers that can satisfy them. This can be achieved with the help of AI algorithms working on a public database of rules, demands and offers. Such a system would provide a universal medium for voluntary collaboration and economic exchange, efficiently coordinating the activities of all people on Earth. It would replace and subsume the patchwork of commercial and community-run sharing platforms presently running on the Internet. It can in principle resolve the traditional problems of the capitalist economy: poverty, inequality, externalities, poor sustainability and resilience, booms and busts, and the neglect of non-monetizable values.
Francis Heylighen
added a project goal
In its first five years, the Global Brain Institute has investigated how the Internet could develop into a distributed intelligence that would coordinate human and technological activities at the planetary scale. For this, we developed a conceptual and mathematical theory of the self-organization of distributed intelligence, and compared its implications with present technological and social developments. This provided us with a long-term scenario for the emergence of a Global Brain that would be able to tackle all our major problems, but also with some concrete strategies for supporting this evolution.
Building on these results, we now propose a roadmap towards the actual development of a Global Brain. The strategy is similar to the one that led to the creation of the World-Wide Web: specify a universal, open protocol that would allow all people and machines to intelligently coordinate their actions, independently of platforms, languages, or governance structures. We have already formulated the conceptual foundations of that protocol in our mathematical models (Challenge Propagation, COT, and Offer Networks). But its concrete elaboration requires much further analysis, modelling, implementation, and testing in real-world situations.
The protocol will consist of several application layers, which each add further intelligence and functionality to the whole, and which can be developed relatively independently. Thus, the Global Brain network can be built up step-by-step according to our proposed roadmap, assimilating increasingly advanced technologies as they become available. These technologies include the Semantic Web, Internet of Things, reputation systems, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, and ecosystem modeling.
The main requirement for realizing it at the world level is that the protocol would prove its usefulness clearly enough, so that an increasing number of people start using it, until it encompasses all Internet connected systems. This is similar to how Tim Berners-Lee's HTML/URL protocol eventually integrated all computers and documents into the World-Wide Web. We propose a further integration that would allow the network to match the needs, resources and actions of human and technological agents at all scales. The resulting gains in synergy, efficiency and coordinated action could in principle solve the major economic, social, ecological and organizational problems that the world is confronted with-including inequality, poverty, unsustainable growth, waste, and poor governance.
We see our mission as guiding the emergence of the Global Brain-in contrast to merely forecasting its likely properties. As socio-political confusion and turmoil spread across the globe, our society is approaching a transition towards a fundamentally new social, economic and technological regime. We believe that the time is ripe for promoting a rational, feasible, and genuinely optimistic vision of the future of humanity, in which an increasingly intelligent Internet mediates human and machine interactions towards the common good. Our theoretical research has prepared us for the elaboration, prototyping and testing of a protocol that would practically support such intelligent mediation.