Artificial intelligence needs “diversity.” Homogeneity won’t catalyze ecstatic “emergence.” But the diversity must be managed, that darn progressive “social efficiency” again. For that we need diversity dashboards, ostensibly for administering equity standards, but in reality used to to tag, track, and guide agents on the game board and direct the state of play. When I was looking into Dave Robertson, professor of applied logic at the University of Edinburgh and chief scientific advisor in the UK to Huawei, I came across a group of papers published as part of a 2016 conference on “diversity-aware” artificial intelligence. The image below shows the agenda for the International Workshop on Diversity-Aware Artificial Intelligence held at The Hague that year.
The paper “Managing human diversity in diverse multi-agent collaborative intelligence systems,” detailed the care and management of a crowdsourced “citizen science” platform where volunteers annotate scientific images.
Co-authors on the paper were:
Mark Hartswood – University of Edinburgh, Social Informatician, Computer-Mediated Social Sense-Making
Kevin Page – University of Oxford, Semantic Web, Sensor-Based Environmental Decision Support
Avi Segal – Ben Gurion University, Environmental Sensing, Personalized Individual and Group Learning
Kobi Gal – University of Edinburgh, Artificial Intelligence, Agent Belief and Decision-Making, Teaming, EEGs and Cognitive Load, Games, Participatory Budgeting, Citizen Science, Social Preference
Marina Jirotka – University of Oxford, Ethical AI, Social Robotics, Quantum Computing, Autonomous Driving, Smart Society Governance, Social Media
Ronald Chenu-Abuente – University of Trento, Semantic Social Networks, Device Based Reporting, Smart City Data Analytics, Traffic, Big Data Analytics, Social Charter for Smart Platforms
The focus of their paper was how to identify a variety of sub-populations identified as “personas” within the overall community and identify targeted strategies to keep them engaged in the work. These included techniques like personalized reminders and special access opportunities for dedicated volunteers and working to find the right mix of people at various levels of expertise to keep the project vibrant.
It was also about controlling access to information, because equal access to all information, equal agency for all people, would create chaotic conditions within the planned circular economy. We are expected to hand our agency over to AI systems, so the platform can manage individual needs against those of the “collective” (or perhaps the profit margins of the investors in the platform).
“To date we have studied sharing economy platforms such as Uber, viewing these as distributed forms of collaborative intelligence. In the case of Uber, human agents (drivers) and computer agents (algorithms that measure and predict demand) ‘collaborate’ to solve a global resource allocation problem. There are powerful economic drivers in this type of system that motivate the participation of drivers and passengers, but also drive actions of Uber (the platform owner), and in particular, how Uber configures the interplay of the intelligences within the system. For example, when requesting a lift, passengers are shown the locations of nearby drivers on a map, but this information is withheld from drivers themselves, as it is not reproduced on the separate app used by drivers. This prevents the drivers using their own intelligence to collectively manage how supply within the system is organized, which they could do by adjusting their own local position on the basis of information about how supply is distributed globally.” Source, Page 45, Case Studies
“Participation in collaborative intelligence systems needs to be sufficiently diverse to provide the right mix of capabilities to sustain the operation of collaborative intelligence platforms.” Source, Page 46, Diversity in Motivation and Commitment
“Thus attracting and maintaining the contributions of diverse participating groups is a fundamental operational consideration for collaborative intelligence platforms. Considerations of how to do this need to go beyond simple notions of individual motivations, but instead they need to consider the dynamics of the interactions between diverse sub-communities and how these are managed by platform operators.” Source, Page 48
This idea of personas and prescribed nudges aligns with outside pressures to reimagine our complex inner lives in broad strokes as archetypes. Archetypes provide structure in game environments – whether they are happening on a tabletop or with cards, in video games, or live action role play (LARP) with social wearable tech.
It’s still elusive, but I’ve continued to wonder about Paul and Mary Conover Mellon’s securing the rights to republish English translations of Jung’s work through the Bollingen Foundation in the late 1940s. Maybe it was simply a long and winding road to get from formalizing archetypes of the collective unconscious to algorithmic simulation modeling of agents in the collective toward a massive program of computation and perhaps ultimately, Teilhard de Chardin’s Christogenesis.
In fact just this morning I received an email from a friend with a link to an extensive interview with Jung in English that I hope to listen to over the next few days. She know’s I’ve been mulling this over – the Mellon’s being a powerful banking family based in Pittsburgh – and she offered this suggestion, which resonates with my findings thus far:
“I would like to point out that after intense reading of Jung again and, luckily, finding an interview with him in English, this might be the much deeper reason for the Mellon family’s interest in his teachings: if they can create archetypal situations for the public (this would go way beyond creating avatars), they can affect the people on such a deep level that they will respond accordingly and the public will stay unaware of why they respond. This is because the great majority of the people has no idea about the unconscious at all. Have you heard about Mattias Desmet’s book “The Psychology of Totalitarianism?”
“Simply put, he elaborates on why “it takes two to Tango” also with regards to establishing a totalitarian regime as no such thing can take place if people are connected with themselves on levels such as Jung describes. Jung stated in the interview cited above that the most dangerous thing on earth is the psyche – because if a deranged psyche sits at the trigger of the atomic bomb then this would mean the end for our planet. No bomb has been invented without the psyche of a man creating the idea beforehand.”
I’ve mentioned in my talks John Fowles’ novel, “The Magus,” whose plot revolves around a young man engaging in a mythic LARP, or masque, on a Greek island where the lines between reality and fantasy blur to alarming effect. The LARP theme is also seen toward the end of Neal Stephenson’s novel, “The Diamond Age,” where John Percival Hackworth and his daughter Fiona are drawn in to a surreal theater production where members of the audience unexpectedly end up center stage in dynamically-adjusting, intelligent super-organism. In excerpt below, John Hackworth attempts to get his bearings in the house bar run by Dramatis Personae.
I don’t have time to delve into this here, but if you want to go a bit further down the rabbit hole there are two maps, here and here, I created last year (see three screen shots below). The first features the Macy Conferences, Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, Jacob Moreno’s sociograms, Eric Trist’s social ecology, Kurt Lewin’s psychological field theory and T-Group encounters, Fritz Perls’ Gestalt, and Esalen’s human potential movement. The second map shows Sandy Pentland and John Clippinger efforts at MIT Media Lab to refine sensor-based identity and social physics around Open Mustard Seed, ID3, sociocratic consensus, and the tokenized commons that must have been informed by these earlier developments in social psychology and cybernetics.
Reading the “Managing Diversity” paper, also brought to mind Cambridge Analytica and the power of narrative to present facts even as it obscures more complex truths. It is my view that the emotionally-charged rhetoric of social media has been used as a sandbox for generating and mapping the psychographic profiles of participants for over a decade. All the clamor in the feeds, one polarizing nugget after another, drip, drip, drip so the algorithms know which buttons to push to rile you up, to affirm you, and to deepen your belonging to a given tribe. THAT my friends is about creating digital Holons, modules for the machine, a palette of emotion and intellect and problem-solving frames that in the future can be plucked on demand for a global pool of watchful, hopeful task rabbit laborers.
The focus of the Cambridge Analytica scandal was kept pretty tightly to electoral politics. The psychographic data scraped from Facebook for personalized political advertising targeting swing voters was the topic in the spotlight. Robert Mercer, the man who introduced the technology to conservative politics, is a Long Island billionaire and poker player who spent much of his career at IBM developing an expertise in linguistic pattern recognition and then leveraged that skill to boost the profits of Renaissance Technologies’ Medallion Fund. Mercer’s research at IBM laid the groundwork for Google translate and Siri.
According to economist Richard Baldwin, automatic language translation is a necessary step in order to scale global platform labor. Baldwin imagines a future where Polish accountants “port-in” to New York for the day, working a billable-rate that’s considerably less than their Manhattan counterparts. According to Baldwin it is this arbitrage that will drive the next phase of globalization.
This is cognitive capitalism sitting atop a structure of collective token engineering, a newly encoded social contract. I’ve come to view this emergent social structure as the armature of a supercomputing world brain. This mechanistic organism, one whose voice is tinged with plaintive biomimicry, wants to reimagine natural life as a vast network of parallel processors – Balaji Srinivasan’s networked “state” . The algorithms Robert Mercer cooked up for IBM and later Renaissance Technologies aided not only efficiencies in translation, but enabled machines to begin to predict human activity parsing the structure of language. It is this predictive capacity that gave him an edge when he began applying these tools to hedge fund bets.
Another computational linguist I discovered researching this series is Moshe Koppel, a professor emeritus of computer science at Bar-Ilan University who specializes in textual analysis and attribution and social choice theory, which is used in economic modeling. A description of the research conducted in his lab includes automated game playing as well as speech recognition and image processing. A Zionist who successfully lobbied for Israel’s nation-state law, Koppel also heads a conservative think tank, Koholet Forum (h/t to Sebs Solomon for that information) funded largely by Jeffrey Yass and Arthur Dantchik of Susquehanna International Group. Starting in 2003, Koppel became involved in the process of developing a constitution for Israel, consulting on two drafts. The more I research the more I realize how linguistics, language, is code.
I’m thinking back to the first entry in this series that talks about John Holland’s approach to communication: classifier systems, routing tags, containment urns, semi-permeable boundaries, genetic algorithms optimized towards established success metrics, so mathematical logic prevails. It feels like the people working in complex adaptive systems are looking to create a grammar of what it means to be human, a grammar of emotion, a grammar of spirit, so our behavior can be analyzed, interactions parsed out, contorted, labeled like the sentence diagramming I learned to do in tenth grade. They can use the ordered fragments to chart out the next sentence, choreographed social interactions, economic interactions, biological interactions. Once the interface becomes subtle enough, or we become sufficiently entranced by the AI, will we realize we’ve become actors in our own lives?
With Israel being a member of the first cohort of digital nations in 2014, I can’t help but imagine that electronic governance, possibly with distributed ledger technology and smart contracts, will be incorporated into whatever version finally gains approval. “Democracy under threat” and “tyranny of the majority” are narrative tropes that will be used to make a case for this transition to decentralization.
Before I move on, I want to briefly bring Annie Duke back into the conversation. She’s the one who leveraged her notoriety as a high-profile female poker player into a business consultancy pitching decision science around betting strategies. Well, before her gambling career, she was an NSF fellowship-supported PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. In tweet last September she said she was going back to complete her degree stating, “This one is for Leila Gleitman, my advisor back in the 90s, and like a mother to me.”
When reading the excerpt below I invite you to consider how the linguistic analysis Mercer developed at IBM (also seen in Martin Seligman’s World Well Being Project at UPenn and Koppel’s language and social choice theory work) might be applied to speculation on human capital through the development of “learning” and “behavioral” archetypes refined in real time by children’s interactions (and those of adult “lifelong learners) with educational and therapeutic technologies, screen-based and wearables.
The following is from a 2018 article in Institutional Investor, “Renaissance, Cambridge Analytica Connection Should Be Questioned, Experts Say:”
“Cambridge Analytica is largely bankrolled by Robert Mercer, a backer of Breitbart News and other ventures, who stepped down on January 1 as co-CEO of Renaissance following public criticism of his political activism. Mercer continues as a top researcher and part owner of Renaissance.
The specific hot-button issue for Renaissance investors: Cambridge Analytica’s focus on psychographic modeling – using machine-based learning to sort through myriad data points as a way of determining how a person is likely to vote. The techniques are strikingly similar to those Renaissance researchers have harnessed for years, according to quantitative scientists and other experts.
‘The math used in machine learning for the purpose of affecting the election is the same math used in the world of quantitative investing,’ says Peter Carr, chair of the Finance and Risk Engineering Department at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. ‘I believe Renaissance has a fairly deep knowledge of human behavior. Whether [Mercer] passed that on I wouldn’t know.” source
Dallas ISD launched a new hybrid school model during lockdowns, STEM-uli, which founder and CEO Taylor Shead calls “a school in a video game.” In this gaming experience, the avatars of children are followed through their digital day in “school” by a floating satellite eyeball.
This Bentham-esque satellite-eye view evokes to me the “god mode” that was at the center of the Ultimate Bet poker scandal. When hedge fund AI bet on life outcomes, each portfolio manager is going to want to have as much information as possible to guide its strategy, more than the other players in the game. I’m sure that’s something Google had in mind when they went after all the school district’s email accounts. In such a future, there’s a twisted logic in children being separated from human teachers. The data economy can’t run without their digital life blood. The data flow is much more robust when everything is seamlessly sucked into the digital vortex, which is exactly what happens in gaming environments.
Simulation companies know this. Gaming firms have made an art out of holding the attention of participants when they are flagging and ready to give up and turn in for the night. It’s about creating in-game experiences that trick the body into releasing endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and cortisol. B.F. Skinner’s conditioning tactics around behaviors that obtain rewards have been encoded into virtual environments as compulsion loops where game designers orchestrate complex sets of rules determining the timing and rate of rewards as well as expectations around extinction (when rewards are withheld).
That is the future of “education” when we become flow state modules in the master computer. With each click we move ourselves closer to becoming digital commodities as algorithmic systems, systems that most of us can’t comprehend, parse the unconscious intent or emotion lurking beneath our keystrokes, our eye movements, our word choices? Makes you look at Grammarly in a whole new way, doesn’t it?
Robert Mercer was a key figure putting Trump into office. His daughter Rebekah, a Stanford graduate with a master’s in operations research and engineered economic systems, was on Trump’s transition team. She’s served on the board of the Heritage Foundation since 2004. Heritage is a strong voice in the school choice space and has been promoting financial innovation in education (digital wallet vouchers) since 2017. It’s the wallets that put you in the hedge fund futures game. Another daughter Heather Sue graduated from Duke with an economics degree and became a professional poker player. During the holiday season the family hosts heroes and villains parties, one of which was attended by Trump. The house provides chips for an evening of black jack and poker and the guests get to redeem them for luxury items at the end of the night.
Until his break with Trump and calls for a revolt against Mitch McConnell, Steve Bannon counted Robert Mercer among his closest allies. Mercer bankrolled Bannon’s Breitbart News juggernaut. I pulled the quotes below from Jane Mayer’s 2017 New Yorker feature, “The Reclusive Billionaire Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer Exploited America’s Populist Insurgency.” Reading between the lines, and with additional context around cybernetics and psychographics, one could speculate that Breitbart and other purpose-built media outlets (Twitter) are functioning as sandboxes for experimentation in the use of language, imagery, and ideology to activate and steer multi-agent systems.
“Another former high-level Renaissance employee said, ‘Bob thinks the less government the better. He’s happy if people don’t trust the government. And if the President’s a bozo? He’s fine with that. He wants it to all fall down.’”
“Mercer’s colleagues say that he views the government as arrogant and inefficient, and believes that individuals need to be self-sufficient, and should not receive aid from the state. Yet, when I.B.M. failed to offer adequate support for Mercer and Brown’s translation project, they secured additional funding from DARPA, the secretive Pentagon program. Despite Mercer’s disdain for “big government,” this funding was essential to his early success.”
After the candidate he initially supported, Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, dropped out of the race, Mercer sought a disruptive figure who could upend both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Patterson told me that Mercer seems to have applied “a very Renaissance Technologies way of thinking” to politics: “He probably estimated the probability of Trump winning, and when it wasn’t very high he said to himself, ‘O.K., what has to happen in order for this twenty-per-cent thing to occur?’ It’s like playing a card game when you haven’t got a very good hand.”
Mercer, as it happens, is a superb poker player, and his political gamble appears to have paid off. Institutional Investor has called it “Robert Mercer’s Trade of the Century.”
“He (Mercer) put ten million dollars into Breitbart News, which was conceived as a conservative counterweight to the Huffington Post… The site played a key role in undermining Hillary Clinton; by tracking which negative stories about her got the most clicks and “likes,” the editors helped identify which story lines and phrases were the most potent weapons against her. Breitbart News has been a remarkable success: according to ComScore, a company that measures online traffic, the site attracted 19.2 million unique visitors in October.”
“Mercer also invested some five million dollars in Cambridge Analytica, a firm that mines online data to reach and influence potential voters. The company has said that it uses secret psychological methods to pinpoint which messages are the most persuasive to individual online viewers…Alexander Nix, the C.E.O. of the firm, says that it has created “profiles”—consisting of several thousand data points—for two hundred and twenty million Americans. In promotional materials, S.C.L. has claimed to know how to use such data to wage both psychological and political warfare. “Persuading somebody to vote a certain way,” Nix has said publicly, “is really very similar to persuading 14- to 25-year-old boys in Indonesia to not join Al Qaeda.”
“In 1993, when Nick Patterson mailed Robert Mercer a job offer from Renaissance, Mercer threw it in the trash: he’d never heard of the hedge fund. At the time, Mercer was part of a team pioneering the use of computers to translate languages. I.B.M. considered the project a bit of a luxury, and didn’t see its potential, though the work laid the foundation for Google Translate and Apple’s Siri. But Mercer and his main partner, Peter Brown, found the project exciting, and had the satisfaction of showing up experts in the field, who had dismissed their statistical approach to translating languages as impractical. Instead of trying to teach a computer linguistic rules, Mercer and Brown downloaded enormous quantities of dual-language documents — including Canadian parliamentary records — and created code that analyzed the data and detected patterns, enabling predictions of probable translations. According to a former IBM colleague, Mercer was obsessive, and at one point took six months off to type into a computer every entry in a Spanish-English dictionary. Sebastian Mallaby, in his 2010 book on the hedge-fund industry, “More Money Than God,” reports that Mercer’s boss at I.B.M. once jokingly called him an “automaton.”
Could it be that libertarian billionaires helped put Trump in office not because they believed he was a competent candidate, but because their ultimate goal was to start dismantling electoral governance as we understand it in favor of a “free market” economic and cybernetic control model grounded in token engineering and digital twin simulations?
The Trump universe, one built in part on gambling, was just the thing to sow profound distrust in the system on all sides and prepare the ground for what is to come – a “democracy” reboot where we’re all tagged as agents in the game to perform our values for the machine and assist its efforts at human social sense-making.
This is part of a series:
Part One – Mathematical Theories of Life
Part Two – Governance Tokens and Training Kids to Bet Big
Part Three – Civic Tech, the Wisdom of Crowds, and Offshore Sandboxes
Part Four – The Language of Heartless Charity
Part Five – Prediction Markets in Public Policy
Part Six – Every Man Thus Lives By Exchanging
Link to Feature Image: Designing Future Social Wearables With Live Action Role Play Designers
6 thoughts on “God’s Eye View Part 7 – Tagged Archetypes Feed AI”
I’m wondering if you have read A G Riddle’s Pandemic and Genome (a two-part story)? There is so much in there that is applicable to how digital twins could be created and a person’s existence uploaded, not to mention the minds behind such a project. The aim of the world’s greatest scientific minds (the Citium) is to find a way to protect the human race (not only from it’s own wars, but pandemics, meteor strikes, and all extinction threats). Tall order… and one that has been worked on for hundreds of years. A book even more relevant, I’d say, than Enders game. I particularly liked the part where main character Desmond Hughes learns about how human evolution and civilisation came into being.
These technocrats are really obsessed with gaming and gambling, two of the things I HATE the most about their world. I want nothing to do with any of this time and life wasting crap! I want real life, real loving relationships with real people and real pets and to make creative and imaginative art and performance in real venues for real audiences. I want nothing to do with machines other than as a simple extension of paper books, to get information. To be inside the machine and vice versa is the most gross disgusting thing! Think, ‘The Matrix’ predictive programming.
Perhaps pay attention to your nightly dreams which is the basis of Jungian Depth Psychology. It isn’t difficult and a lot of fun too. It should be normal,everyday subject matter, what did you dream last night? It is probably more real then our separate realities.
I find that I have to get up and do at least a few chores when I read these pieces… best to walk away, gather my thoughts, breathe, then finish the piece.
I read Trump’s ‘Art of the Deal’ very early in his presidency and it keys in on how much of a gambler he really was in his business approach. Ante up, and play every hand. Bet when you think you can bluff or win with the cards you were dealt.
The funny thing is that the gambling mentality is also prone to cheating, and when these people are building this system under the guise of ‘free market poker’ they are also doing everything they can behind the scenes to ‘stack the deck’. The money they put on the table is what we might think of as ‘vested interest’ and making sure you win is a strategy not guided by moral imperatives.
So in one sense, the house, and all the players, who think this system is going to not catch them cheating, is quite naïve. To me this embodies the truest definition of ‘dramatic irony’ from Greek theater, whereby everyone at the table knows that the game is rigged and everyone is going to die in some dramatic shoot out at the very end when the first big cheater is caught. Except instead of poker chips on the table, its human souls they are wagering.
The other thought that came to mind regarding Jung’s archetypes “…drip, drip, drip so the algorithms know which buttons to push to rile you up, to affirm you, and to deepen your belonging to a given tribe.”
Preprogramming films like the Divergent Series, and the many personality tests like Myers-Briggs, and the DISC Assessment come to mind. I’m considering the notion of ‘interdisciplinary education’ and my B.A. in ‘interdisciplinary studies’ differently in light of this Part of the God’s Eye series. How all the ‘sales trainings’ that seek to find our ‘archetype’ or ‘bird’ or ‘power animal’ are really just glossier versions of the Yung approach to quantifying people. I am coming to see all of these tests and ‘archetyping’ in general as nothing more than thinly veiled replications of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).
Similarly, when I visited Cuba in the spring and summer of 2001 (legally I might add) I learned of a form of typecasting that the Cuban Government used to find what its citizens were good at — hence you have smart people working as doctors and, shall we say, ‘aggressive’ people as police officers… 1950’s communism: what might be considered the ‘analog ant computer’
I’m left pondering the differences between ‘Dictating’ to people through language in syntax versus ‘teaching’ through language and syntax. And perhaps, this is one of the ways we should consider oral history and the stories of First World peoples differently than other forms of written history, (electronic or otherwise).
When we speak to the young and impressionable mind of child and teach through the ways of the ancients, we offer their virgin, untainted perspective on the world to be built slowly and with imagine. The screen, on the other hand, not unlike the book, has four edges from which the imagination is curtailed, herded into pasture.
The problem with Mattias Desmet’s approach is that he misuses Complexity Theory as a kind of absolution for the machinations of TPTB as the root cause of what he terms “mass formation psychosis”, when the truth is that humanity has been subjected to the manipulations of societal outcomes through the use of scientific methods to harness Complex Adaptive Systems with the definite aim of triggering the Global Brain Singularity.
«Members of the Global Brain Institute (GBI) team have developed a scientific method for stakeholder management and public policy design, in particular for initiating and facilitating the bottom-up organization of large projects involving high uncertainty, ill-defined problems and many diverse interests. GBI sees such projects as complex adaptive systems. Therefore, they cannot be precisely planned, designed or hierarchically controlled; they rather evolve in a self-organizing and often unpredictable manner. Our proposed policy design methods make it possible to guide or steer the self-organizing dynamics of such project/programme/policy while staying as close as possible to the interests and goals of the principal stakeholders of the initiative.»
Comments are closed.