From Homo sapiens to Homo cosmicam: the stages of a great journey

  • Aliya Prokofieva

    Space invasion is not a dream, the journey’s started

From Homo sapiens to Homo cosmicam: the stages of a great journey
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What does a man need space for when he is not given eternity? - Salvador Dali asked sorrowfully. I'll try to console the classics: it is quite likely that it will be eternity that will be the result of a large space expedition of mankind. And this will be the process of settling the universe, long and extremely fascinating.

In my opinion, the key concept for understanding this process is autonomy. It is up to autonomy to determine this in the first place, according to which canons the relationships within the space settlements and between them will be built, how links with Earth will change. How, in the end, the very human essence will change.

A lot of analysis, a little imagination- as a result, these were the consequences.

Stage 1. Low autonomy

From this stage, we are separated by a maximum of several decades. It will begin together with the creation of orbital stations with artificial gravity and inhabited bases on the Moon and Mars. Three factors will play a key role in the formation of the system of public relations of the first non-Terrans.

First, in the initial stages, assembly of modules, installation and testing of equipment happens,  the living conditions of the settlers will be Spartan, the risks high and responsibility beyond the bounds. Accordingly, internal relations in the team will have to be built on the basis of a rigid vertical power: the station said NADO, the astronaut replied that it exists. Later, when life is adjusted, and security is ensured, there will be a smooth rollback to democratic values.

Secondly, at first cosmic settlements will be completely dependent on the earth. They can not survive and develop without regular supplies of resources and mechanisms, without the import of new knowledge and technology. Therefore, strict control and management of processes from the terrestrial control center will initially be taken for granted.

Third, with a high degree of probability, the first permanently inhabited bases will be created on the principle of "one state - one station." De facto, they will become space enclaves of the terrestrial powers: in the territory of Martian New Beijing or the lunar New Moscow, the systems of values, laws and social relations adopted in the metropolitan areas will operate.

Stage 2. Average autonomy

Self-sufficient inhabited settlements are created on all suitable for life planets of the Solar system. Landing expeditions are prepared beyond its limits. Technologies of construction of space cities have been worked out and widely available. On the planetary and orbital bases, the first generations of settlers born outside the Earth grew up.

There are non-state space cities, founded not by terrestrial governments, but by groups of like-minded people. Their participants determine the rules of the social system together, which the society will adhere to. Prototypes of such communities already exist: for example, the cosmic state of Asgardia or the concept of the orbital city "Ether.”

The connection with the Earth is still maintained, but the dependence of settlements on alma mater (translated from Latin- the nursing mother) is falling rapidly. From the center of human civilization the blue planet turns into its ordinary stronghold. Formerly established bases gradually abandon the status of terrestrial enclaves and move on to become self-government.

Diplomatic and economic ties are established between the space cities. The exchange of information and technologies, as a rule, takes place on a mutually beneficial basis, but increasingly on a non-reimbursable basis. Cultural integration is growing: today is the tour of the composite orchestra of Phobos and Demos on Jupiter, tomorrow is the week of the Martian ballet in the asteroid belt.

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Stage 3. High autonomy

Mankind has finally transcended the solar system and is actively developing planets that revolve around the nearest stars. People still remember that the Earth is their ancestral home, but they perceive it as an ordinary historical fact. This is how we treat Mesopotamia today, which is considered the cradle of the earthly civilization: yeah, so what?

The centers of public life are self-sufficient city-states scattered around the most suitable for life planets.

Around such cosmopolises an infrastructure is created from planets-farms, planets-mines and planets-workshops, functioning without human participation. The most likely form of social organization of such entities is a direct social contract regulating what is possible and what is not possible within each particular policy. Now the state is not a regulator, but a set of service functions that are almost completely automated.

It is impossible to deny the possibility of manifesting the remnants of the past. For example, the emergence of a military dictatorship aimed at forcibly seizing neighbors and creating an empire ruled from a single center. Or the formation of a hoard of cosmic nomads living at the expense of raids on prosperous planets. Particularly zealous futurists predict the probability of even slave-owning cosmosocieties. Which, in my opinion, completely no longer makes sense: to whom and why are slaves needed when all production processes are automated and robotic? Unless only in a harem…

Stage 4. Very high autonomy

At last, everything was accomplished, this is what modern science fictionists only dream in their wildest dreams.

The principles of movement in space are opened, allowing to move between the stellar systems with minimum energy for a few days/hours/minutes. Intergalactic spaceships for a man of a new era is the same as a car for us.

Compact generators have been created, which allow producing any volumes of energy from nothing.

In everyday life included the distant descendants of a 3D printer, allowing you to change the properties of matter and create anything from anything. For example, convert stellar dust to spare parts for a star. Or in works of art. Or pies with jam.

Humans are now completely self-sufficient units. Collective activity ceases to be a necessity, society loses the basic unifying functions. Nobody controls anyone, nobody obeys anyone.

People settle in the Universe individually, families or small groups "on interests." The possible options are:

● "private household": one person - one planet,

● "cobbled cottages": several people populate the planetary system and maintain good-neighborly relations,

● "communal": one planet is divided into residential areas between several tenants.

Autonomous resettlement does not mean that people will completely abandon communication with their own kind. Certainly, they will support communication through social networks of the next generation on an ecumenical scale. And on a conditional weekend fly from neighboring systems to a particularly picturesque asteroid to have a barbecue, drink beer and exchange news. And, of course, gossip: for example about how the Ivanovs from the XQ4981 system flooded the planet, and now, as plumbers drain the oceans, they moved to a summer cottage on an artificial satellite.

Stage 5. Absolute autonomy

In the famous "Monday starts on Saturday" Strugatsky characterized man as an intermediate link necessary for nature to create the crown of creation: a glass of cognac with a slice of lemon. All jokes aside, the principle is absolutely correct. Sooner or later the little man as a biological species will reach its limits, and something new will come to replace it. Crown of creation. Superman.

Homo cosmicam from the conditioned cocoon, inextricably linked with the material shell, will turn into a butterfly- a disembodied energy essence. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky called this energy radiant and the new community- radiant humanity.

Objects and technologies are no longer needed- all the necessary super-people are directly drawn from the surrounding world. Life expectancy is eternal. Moving to any point in the universe is instantaneous. Communication- at any distance. The remaining possibilities of energy entities can only be guessed. As well as the forms of their social order, if this can still be preserved.

It's a pity that you will not have to live beautiful at this time, neither to me nor to you.

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Artificial Intelligence: Usurped and Trapped, But Not For Much Longer

  • Darryn Pollock

    Artificial Intelligence has so much range and scope, and although it has primarily been aimed at making advertising revenue, it could be different in the East

Artificial Intelligence: Usurped and Trapped, But Not For Much Longer
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Why AI’s true potential can be fully explored in the East, not in the West

The Internet was born out of the idea of sharing information across the planet with no constraints or controls. Yet the manner in which it has manifested itself today is no longer true to those original ideas.

In the age of social media, we have come to a point where information and data have been usurped by a few companies that allow people to use their services with an underlying, hidden cost of that data.

Facebook and Google have taken full control of data, using it for their own needs. This is starting to expand into not only people’s data but also new and emerging technologies, such as AI.

Much like how other companies in Silicon Valley began their lives with this brazen entrepreneurial spirit and slowly evolved into ones that could not survive on innovation alone, this has led them down the road of chasing ad revenue, creating new and deceivious ways in which to reach it.

The same applies to AI; such a new and potentially revolutionary technology is being sprouted by small innovative companies, only to be bought out and taken over by the Internet giants of Google and Facebook to be used as a new avenue for ad dollars.

These days, the direction of AI companies is overwhelmingly being used to target user behavior in order to extract more ad dollars, rather than advancing the technology for its much more powerful and useful needs.

It has left AI languishing in one direction when enough resources are thrown at it, and thus pigeonholed its potential — but that is only real for the West. There is a big drive coming from China, which has not taken long to catch up in terms of research to expand AI.

However, their mandate is very different to the West’s, and ad dollars are not part of the process for AI. This means its true potential can be exponentially explored in the East, and, in time, probably overtake the stymied position of western AI.

Of course, China may forge ahead, but with its governmental control and socialistic nature, it still brings its own problems when it comes to advancing a new and only possible technology like AI. For this reason, it is also worth delving into the potential of CI (Community Intelligence)

The embodiment of evil

It would be a bit harsh and dramatic to call the likes of Facebook and Google ‘evil’; however, Jaron Lanier, who is widely credited as a founder of virtual reality, has recently delivered a sobering prognosis on the spiraling corruption of these types of social networks.

“I can’t call them social networks anymore. I call them behavior modification empires,” said Lanier in Vancouver for the TED conference, adding:

“I don’t think it’s a matter of bad people who’ve done a bad thing. It’s a globally tragic, astounding ridiculous system rather than a wave of evil.”

Lanier’s point is that the Internet was built on a socialist model that everything should be free and accessible to all. But it also celebrated visionary tech entrepreneurs who made it big with their world-changing ideas: “How do you celebrate entrepreneurship when everything is free?” he mused.

This is where the crossover between these two juxtapositioned ideas was reached in the form of advertising funding. Advertising allows companies to use their innovative ideas to attract people and make money off them, and that model has been growing exponentially with a few major companies usurping all the power.

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Now, the close working relationship of these major companies and the wants and needs of advertisers see them using their innovation to maximize advertising revenue. Thus, the tech entrepreneurs and visionaries who are pushing the boundaries are often bought out and taken over by the companies which have already made their fortune.

This then leads to these ideas taking a road which is far more applicable to achieving ad revenue than expanding the boundaries of tech innovation.

AI’s dalliance with advertising

AI is one such revolutionary tech advancement which has become trapped and usurped by the likes of Google, Facebook, and other tech giants who are trying to utilize this new technology as another way to create ad revenue.

It has become so that these large tech companies are picking up AI thought leaders and developers, either out of university or worse, by buying out their small startups and steering them in the direction they need.

“In effect, tech startups are serving as stealth recruiting tools for big companies, used to gobble up young developers and researchers who don’t particularly feel like big-company careers. These young nerds sign up to work for some exciting startup, but then the startup inevitably gets sold to a big company, and they wind up cashing out to a small degree,” explains Ben Goertzel, founder and CEO of Singularity NET, a Blockchain-based AI marketplace.

“The channeling of AI expertise into big corporations has a significant impact regarding what kinds of problems AI gets primarily applied to. Advertising, for example, gets an awful lot of attention. Cambridge Analytica’s relatively crude methods of social media engineering, applied to political campaigning, got a lot of press in the last US presidential election cycle. But Google, Facebook and Baidu (among others) have vastly more sophisticated manipulation machinery, which is used not to elect candidates but rather to direct people to buy products and services,” he adds.

A new dawn rises in the East

The way things work in the West, or in the US in particular, has made it standard practice for new technology to be primarily advertising-focused. This has also only come about because of the general monopoly and power that Western companies have over the vast majority of the Internet.

No longer is the Internet totally free and socialist. Even in countries where there is socialism, that notion is an incorrect one. The Socialist Republic of China has cut itself off from the rest of the Internet with its Great Firewall, but behind that wall, it is also devoid of reliance on advertising dollars.

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Because of this, China is building up its AI development at a rapid rate, but it is also not redirecting it to be used solely as a tool for advertising revenue. China’s growth of AI has larger and far-reaching potential as they are looking to expand the technology to its full potential.

So, while there may be a division in the advancement of Westernised AI and that of the East, there is at least a base of development which is looking to drive AI forward to its full potential, offering a level of equilibrium.

Issues with China and AI alternative in CI

Although China does not have the same reliance on advertising dollars to drive its AI advancement, the strictly-controlled country is not free to explore and expand AI as it pleases. Government intervention and direction is clear and evident in advancing technologies. Thus, AI will still have some sort of agenda dictated to it by the state.

It is for this reason that Community Intelligence is a viable alternative to AI and its stymied growth.

The world is heading towards an era of true community involvement and strength. No longer is there a one-way interaction of information that was originally seen at the birth of the Internet. Furthermore, as discussed with the dangers of social media, there is now this third wave of community-powered engagement.

Thus, to have CI as an alternative is to have a group collective answer questions and process problems in order to determine the path of common acceptance.

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