To Fix Tech, Democracy Needs To Grow Up

The Future Of Digital Spaces And Their Role In Democracy Pew Research Center

These days we cannot agree. But two clear statements that could find wide support are "We need to fix technology" and "We need to fix democracy."

The rapid growth of technology brings with it social risks: government and private surveillance, widespread job automation, high levels of monopolistic and oligopolistic power, sluggish productivity growth, algorithm bias, and catastrophic risks associated with advances such as AI and biotechnology. . What is not often discussed, but no less important, in my opinion, is the loss of short-term or non-tradable uptrends. This includes the development of vaccines to prevent new diseases and open source platforms for fundamental digital processes such as identification and communication.

As democracies face complex global challenges, citizens (and increasingly elected leaders) around the world are losing faith in democratic processes and opting for automated alternatives. Nation-state democracies suffer to varying degrees from chaos and violent participation, low responsiveness to the public interest, incompetence, weak organizational capacity, government, inability to adopt new technologies, and corporate ownership. While small democratic experiments proliferate at home and abroad, they remain too fragmented to accommodate large-scale governance decisions.

This puts us in a dilemma. It is clear that we can better channel technological progress towards collective human progress—perhaps one of the biggest challenges of our time. If today's democracy is so flawed, it doesn't seem to be up to the task. Here's what's going on with so many calls for "democratization of technology": given the amount of complaints, why choose one system over another that seems to fail?

As we do everything from observation to spaceflight, we also desperately need ways to overcome complex complications with global implications and share their benefits. It certainly looks like a job for democracy, although much better. So, how can we fundamentally modernize democracy in order to successfully achieve positive long-term collective outcomes?

A question of the collective mind

To answer these questions, we must recognize that our current forms of democracy are early and very imperfect manifestations of collective intelligence—systems of coordination that enable and facilitate decentralized, agent-based, and meaningful decision-making between individuals and communities. Joint solutions.

Artificial intelligence or CI is not just for humans. Mycelium-based networks of trees can exhibit intelligent behavior, distribute nutrients, and send stress signals during times of drought or insect infestation. Bees and ants display great intelligence through complex choice, deliberation, and mutual communication using body movements and a pheromone dictionary. People don't just vote. Wild dogs sneeze when they decide to move to let them know a quorum has been reached, the target point is context dependent - for example, low status people need at least 10 sneezes to reach this, while high status people only need to sneeze. takes three. Apes and great apes make quorum decisions on flexible "rules" based on behavior and negotiation.

But unlike meerkats or ants, humans don't have to rely on our biologically coded pathways for CI within us, or wait for the slow, invisible hand of evolution to change our processes. Knowing that growth and participation must not be compromised, we can purposefully improve. (This is the thesis on which my organization, the Collective Intelligence Project, is founded.)

Our progressive innovations in CI systems, such as representative democracy of nation-states, capitalist and non-capitalist markets, and bureaucratic technocracy, have already shaped the modern world. And yet we can do much better. These existing collective intelligence profiles are abstract versions of structures that we can rely on to make better collective decisions about shared resources.

Biden, along with Michael Knowles and Chris Stirwalt, attacked half the country and previous media failures.


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