Preserving The Freedom to Think

Our socioeconomic frameworks and the means preserve the ‘freedom to think’, or ‘freedom of thought’, is influenced by ‘artificial intelligence’ systems. 

It is influenced in ways that range from issues illustrated by ‘autocorrect’, through to the economically derived methodologies through which information is preferentially presented to us, or ‘hyper personalisation’.  It is also influenced both by what we choose to expressly provide, and what we do not provide information about.  Whether it be the nature of interpersonal love shared between two people; or the many other, deeply personal attributes, AI is both shaped by us and what it knows (or does not know) about us; to in-turn,  be employed by systems that shape us.  

It is increasingly through out ICT systems that a ‘selection’ of materials are produced; often, in relation to some set of specified purpose.

In-turn, this often subjectively produced selection of ‘data points’ are brought about, in relation to the author of those works (and/or their relations) alongside the influences of linguistics & circumstances, in which any such material was made able to be produced and the information and knowledge relied upon for its production; as is a poor description of a knowledge graph.

The use of technological tools is becoming increasingly instrumental.  There are qualitative differences between different types of tools that are made available; and, the functional properties built into them.

The ability to discern fact from fiction increasingly relates to the information sources relied upon to form an opinion; alongside the revenue model employed in relation to those sources, where some sources can in many cases be made known to be less than accurate, some subjective, alongside others that may be too complex and/or specialised.

The means through which we ‘think’, is for the most-part built upon our ‘learned’ or ‘lived experiences’.

“the distinction between reality and our knowledge of reality, between reality and information, cannot be made” Anton Zeilinger

Where we are made to consume information that is entirely unreliable, as apposed to nature; our view of the world (or of any particular subject) becomes distorted.  Our freedom to think, becomes taxed.  This is a core constituent to the operating economic models exploited online and the effects of it are not easily contained. Part of the drivers are described by  attention economy concepts; whilst thats only a small part of it.

Semantics in the real world are dynamic and both entity and temporally unique. Our information systems do not support the nuances brought about by the exchange between online socioeconomics, and our natural world.

The trend of how data influences our world is increasing as the proliferation of internet connected devices, and the use of information management systems, increasingly relates to our environments.  These systems are currently operated in a manner that is designed to most benefit the provider of ‘things’.

This can have implications on what should be said near them, even in private, and what should be expected of them; as the ‘operators’ are most-often influenced by commercial opportunity and lawful requirements put upon them; as does relate to them, as a corporate legal entity from somewhere in the world.

Before these changes, before pervasive surveillance, the means to impart knowledge as to communicate knowledge between people was freely able to be done, without significant cost in most circumstances.  A childs parents did not need to pay anyone to teach their children about plants, animals, places and knowledge relating to being human, to living in our world and being able to best make use of it.

This was most-certainly improved through books, schooling and other resources; but not quite in the same way that now impacts all of us, in our internet connected world.

The means to retain and enhance our ‘freedom to think’, requires our society to think about how it is we want to deploy ICT.  It needs ‘fit for purpose’ tooling that’s been design in such a way, that holds values to the core of its designs.

Do we want a world, where we are better able to serve the needs of our loved-ones by restricting the knowledge we impart to others as to help them, as is now the case with all too many employment contracts today. do we want those, we depend upon, to be bound to contractual agreements for gainful employment as lawyers, public service workers, medical clinicians, law-enforcement officers or otherwise; that restrict their freedom to think.

or do we need to build something else, that can preserve freedom, to think.

Do we want to build economic frameworks that places unnecessary burdens upon humans, as to be entitled to exist?  or,

Can we extend human rights, modernise the theory, and ensure its employed, deployed and made available to all those whose lives are linked online.

In 2012, Eben Moglen presented a talk about the problems as he considered them at the time.  Where Moglen speaks of a ‘giant global graph’, he is talking about the use of linked-data in relation to the means through which it was being used in 2012; which has continued to radically develop since his talk.

The applied methodology for using these technologies were never, the only option; whilst it is still the case today, that a knowledge banking industry, does not exist, the considerations made in its design put the concept of ensuring the means for ‘self determination’ is kept ‘front and centre’ as to provide a means whereby the ontological definitions of self; is produced, by self.  The devices that are connected to our environments, are controlled by us; not them, by default.  It changes the economic models to eradicate the problem that there is still currently no available alternative in the market-sphere.

The means through which an inforg may be used to personalise the interactions between a person and every other agent (via ‘AI’); provides a means to support the needs of human beings to preserve (and enhance) their right to self-determination.

Whilst our society does certainly have still, many choices, some of those choices are considered to offer better outcomes.  A conversation debating these issues was brought about in 2017 through my work; which included, in preparation, producing this (relatively short) clip.

The issues that is becoming increasingly clear, present; and in desperate need of an immediate response, have developed over sometime, its now more than 20 years old.  The introduction of ‘online data storage’ to consumers was the commencement of a set of globally applied social decisions made by the few.

Today, consequentially; It is not so much a computer-science based technical problem; any more than work on other areas is, for instance, the means for a group of people to design and build a new house; the tools and resources exist to do it, but its not done; until its been done.

A knowledge banking industry;  is considered by me, to be the best way to solve the problem.  Indeed, all things sound good in theory, yet, the means to ensure something like an knowledge fiduciary, as an extension of our role as citizens through which our representatives make laws on behalf of us, to keep us safe.  It is indeed through the application of new tooling that is brought about by a ‘knowledge banking industry’ that civilian engagement in systems of democracy can be radically enhanced.

The tooling required to ensure our ability to work cooperatively, can bring about new and improved democratic practices; that can be built into our ICT infrastructure as to make use of the same data systems, to form radically different systems than those depended upon today.

Doing, building a decentralised model as is required to address the broader issues; in-turn, provide far better means, to preserve our needs, our freedom to think.

The use of Artificial intelligence can be used in many, many ways and reality does not necessarily need to be presented, to you in any way. The hope is,

that the tools for you to make decisions about what you do with it, are not simply maintained by you; but moreover, built as instrumental parts of our future, as independent persons who live in a natural world made to be the priority over all other things.  That STEAM continues to be made most important; and that our freedom to think, freedom of thought, is not sold.