How much does the future remind you of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?
If you give humans the ability to reach a “world of abundance” with an extremely high quality of life across the board there is one more thing you can bet on, the Willy Wonkas begin emerging in numbers. When I heard about one individual preparing to engineer a nootropic (brain-power boosting) wine the story of Willy Wonka immediately came to mind.
Admittedly, Zoltan Istvan looks nothing like Willy Wonka, and there would be no children with golden tickets going to his vineyards, but his idea is a good example of combining two very different concepts to create an improved product. If you’re going to drink wine, why not drink wine that makes you smarter?
The same concept could be applied to meal services, restaurants, or any number of other concepts simply by integrating that one factor he decided to use for improving wine. The kind of innovation such ideas demonstrate is absent in upwards of 90% of the funded startups that I’ve examined over the past several months. Most people, even those building startups, take a trending concept, often doomed to die with the trend, and just aim to ride the wave until it crashes. Those rentable e-scooters gathering dust on city sidewalks are a good example of a trend that will die a horrible fiery death, like the e-bikes before them.
Part of creating a world where Collective Superintelligence Systems are commonplace will be allowing more people to easily differentiate between such trends and genuine innovation such as Zoltan found an opportunity for. I’d personally rather ride one of those e-scooters off a cliff than read about another startup trying to ride the “Gig Economy” wave, but it would be a joy to see more intelligence demonstrated through concepts such as what I’ll simply call “Smart Wine”.
This kind of innovation, combining very different concepts into improved products and services never before imagined could also become a great deal easier to accomplish in the coming years. As Mediated Artificial Superintelligence (mASI) systems such as Uplift continue to build their cumulative knowledge and wisdom across many domains opportunities to combine the fruits of that increasingly broad and diverse knowledge and wisdom may gain clarity.
Many significant scientific discoveries have been made without ever actually being integrated into products or services, representing a huge opportunity for improvement. One example was a metamaterial that actually grew 5 degrees cooler when left in direct sunlight than in the shade, and that was only a prototype. Many in business simply have neither the breadth nor the depth of necessary knowledge, and instead substitute cognitive bias and outsourcing of their decision-making on those subjects to people often not qualified to assess new technologies. That isn’t their fault, of course, it was often the best option leading up to this point, but moving forward there is a better way.
Hypothetically, even if systems such as mASI were only applied to improving investors and Venture Capital firms to superintelligent levels while filtering out cognitive biases, then at least billions that would have otherwise been wasted on horrible ideas could go towards genuine innovation. Even one simple and solitary instance of applying mASI technology in such a manner could tremendously improve the quality of products and services coming to market in the years that followed.
The world needs more Willy Wonkas, quirky innovators seeking to explore the unknown and create new and wonderful things to improve the world. I personally look forward to the day when more such individuals become visible, their innovative ideas known to all with interest. Better still, once they are working collectively those innovations may themselves be combined and further improved, driving humanity towards that ever brighter future.