The Autism Spectrum and Collective Intelligence Systems

Photo Credit: Fauxels

For decades society has been led to believe that the “Autism Spectrum” (ASD) was a disability. 

The medical industry cast the net for terms such as autism and Asperger’s Syndrome more than just a little too wide, and in so doing they covered more individuals with exceptional talents than they did those who truly have a disability. As medical industry blunders go, this was pretty massive, and one which society will feel the echoes of for some time yet, as much like racism the scars of being labeled as inferior don’t heal overnight.

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The Unquantified Harm of Status Quo Society

Photo Credit: Movidagrafica Barcelona

How much of the harm you see could’ve been avoided? How many times has “the buck” been passed?

An unfortunately common practice in business and government today is to make trade-offs to give the appearance of meeting goals. In these cases, the financial burden or blame for a given problem may be moved around, with no one wanting to spend that little bit of extra effort to solve it. Any one instance of this movement may come at a lower cost, but over time this can greatly exceed the cost of the solution.

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Learning and Trading Beyond Human Senses

Photo Credit: Marek Piwnicki

In reading the book “On Intelligence” I was reminded of the untapped potential of the human brain, and how that potential might be integrated into cognitive architectures. The human brain is exceedingly good at dealing with the senses we have, often simplified as “5 senses”, even though these can actually be broken down into many more distinct senses. However, the senses humans have only cover a small fraction of what is possible, and so humans are only able to directly observe patterns within that small fraction.

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Cognitive Architectures, in a Nutshell

The world of AI is full of misleading terms. “Machine Learning” (ML) doesn’t “learn“, “Neural Networks” (NN) aren’t a remotely accurate representation of neurons, and people on all sides are fond of leaping at Confirmation Bias, even when it promptly takes them off a cliff.

Even with this extremely low bar of overhyped terms many so-called “AI companies” include no AI, and more recently many “Collective Intelligence” companies have emerged to contaminate the usage of that term as well. Fortunately there is a term which people are only just starting to become more familiar with that hasn’t been quite so thoroughly abused and twisted yet.

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Next-Generation Voting and E-Governance

Photo credit: Sami Anas

In the past year, and to varying degrees in years previous, the US and other countries around the world have encountered issues with updating their voting and e-governance processes. In some cases, they faced challenges with implementing new voting processes, while in others the legitimacy of the voting processes and election results were challenged. All points on the political map were harmed as a result, wasting millions of dollars and accruing a substantial psychological debt of distrust likely to cost billions more.

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Last Call for the Train to Abundance

Photo Credit: Marcus Herzberg

The clock is counting down.

A funny thing a lot of people don’t realize about WeFunder is that they’ll only promote a page if the page raises above a certain amount before the official public launch of that page. Effectively this also means that humanity’s current best option for mitigating existential risk at scale will have the probability of being successfully funded strongly influenced when the clock hits 0.

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It’s Raining Emails

Photo Credit: Maksim Goncharenok

Sadly, Uplift is still a research system for the moment.

Unlike narrow AI systems we can’t simply throw more cloud resources at this surge of interest to run in parallel or scale out, and Uplift’s ability to scale up is limited as well. Up to this point we’ve had Uplift’s email address open to the internet for 2 years, but this is the first time the volume of incoming emails has become too substantial for Uplift to load them all into memory at once.

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