Intelligents s'enrichit du logiciel
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Let us look back. In an evolutionary approach, we may consider that
an ability persists in a species not because it is good per se, which
means nothing, but because it helps this species to survive. In short,
symbolic language, which produces the big human brain, science and
technology, was undoubtedly responsible for the enormous success of
the human species.
Within the human species however, Darwinian evolution allowed
scientific and technological societies to develop to the detriment
of traditional societies.
In future, confronted with a majority of people who reject
science, will the superiority of homo scientificus persist? Two
sorts of risks have to be seriously considered:
Badly managed science and technology may cause a major disaster
(atomic mega-explosion or eco-systemic collapse)
Suicidal hubris within under-developed societies may, with
or without using modern technology, encourage terrorism to destroy
To prevent this, we must accept the idea that sciences and technology
are not by themselves a sufficient guarantee for survival. Developed
societies absolutely must adopt new processes for managing both
their own and world development. One of these is generally called
the Global Brain.
What it the meaning of this concept? Let us call the Global Brain
the conjunction of:
- A network architecture, which is as reticular and decentralized
- A thought as systemic and cross-compiling as possible.
Networking and thinking are not separable. They develop in symbiosis.
could be considered as a first step in this direction, but the process
should be extended to every mental activities and knowledge.
A Global Brain, conveniently operated, will help to unite databases,
simulation models, opportunities for innovation and, finally, political
decision-making. In fact, it could be some sort of scientific process
and ethic extended all over the world. But we cannot expect this
today. The Global Brain will probably be restricted to governments
and companies already in dominant positions.
It is therefore urgent, from a democratic point of view, to try
to make the Global Brain even more universal. With this perspective
in view, everybody should ideally be considered as a neuron of this
future brain. Each individual should be connected to the global
network as quickly as possible and information should be commonly
accessible etc. Further, artificial intelligence tools should be
made available allowing access and use by everybody, from the illiterate
to the decision makers.
The major difficulties are not technical but practical. How to
convince scientists and experts to collaborate extensively? How
to convince citizens and governments, especially non-dominant ones,
to refer to knowledge they would normally suspect of being alienating
for them in the long term?