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How to build a Collective Mind that speaks for humanity in real-time.

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the concept of "Collective Superintelligence" - the idea of connecting large groups of humans together into real-time deliberative systems using Generative AI technologies, in order to solve complex problems by harnessing the combined knowledge, wisdom, and insight of the group. It explores how this approach, inspired by the "swarm intelligence" observed in nature, could potentially produce superintelligent systems that maintain human values and interests.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The Notion of Collective Superintelligence

1. What is the historical background of the idea of connecting human brains into a "hive mind"?

  • The notion of humanity connecting our brains into a global "hive mind" dates back to the 1930 novel "Last and First Men" by Olaf Stapledon, which recounts a fictional future history of humanity evolving to have telepathic abilities.
  • In the real world, this pursuit is called Collective Superintelligence, and it will use Generative AI technologies to connect large human groups into real-time deliberative systems.

2. How does the author view the potential of Collective Superintelligence?

  • The author believes Collective Superintelligence has the potential to produce superintelligent systems that maintain human values, morals, and interests at the core of every decision.
  • The author sees this as preferable to allowing a purely digital superintelligence to make decisions for humanity, as they don't believe digital AI systems will maintain human interests and sensibilities over time.

[02] Inspiration from Nature: Swarm Intelligence

1. What is Swarm Intelligence, and how does it relate to the author's research?

  • Swarm Intelligence refers to the ability of social species like schools of fish, swarms of bees, and flocks of birds to make rapid real-time decisions in large groups that exceed the brainpower of individual members.
  • The author's academic research over the last decade has been inspired by the remarkable form of Swarm Intelligence observed in fish schools, which can make complex decisions with no individual in charge.

2. How do fish schools make collective decisions despite limited individual information?

  • Fish have a lateral line organ that allows them to track the speed and direction of neighboring fish, enabling local deliberation and bidirectional communication within the school.
  • Information quickly propagates across the full school through the "overlapping conversations" of individual fish deliberating with different groups of nearby neighbors.

[03] Applying Swarm Intelligence to Human Groups

1. What are the challenges of enabling large human groups to deliberate effectively?

  • Conversational deliberations have been shown to be most productive in small groups of 4-7 people, and quickly degrade as groups grow larger due to reduced "airtime per person" and increased wait-time to respond.
  • By 12-15 people, the conversation changes from thoughtful debate to a series of disjointed monologues, and by 20 people, the dialog ceases to be a conversation at all.

2. How does the technology of Conversational Swarm Intelligence (CSI) address these challenges?

  • CSI divides the population into small subgroups sized for thoughtful dialog, and inserts LLM-powered "Conversational Surrogate Agents" into each subgroup.
  • These AI agents distill the real-time human insights within their group and share them with Surrogate Agents in other groups, enabling information to freely propagate across the full population.

3. What are the potential benefits of CSI?

  • Studies have shown that CSI-enabled groups can hold more coherent conversations that quickly converge on solutions, with each individual contributing 50% more content on average compared to traditional methods.
  • Groups using CSI have also demonstrated the ability to achieve significantly amplified intelligence, with a 35-person group scoring an effective IQ of 128 (97th percentile) despite averaging an individual IQ of 100.

4. What are the potential applications and scalability of CSI?

  • CSI can be deployed for text, voice, or video meetings, enabling groups of potentially any size to hold coherent real-time conversations for problem-solving and intelligence amplification.
  • The technology is scalable, able to extend to thousands or even millions of individuals in real-time, with potential applications in enterprise collaboration, market research, civic engagement, and deliberative democracy.
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