Review: Augmented Intelligence – Smart Systems and the Future of Work and Learning

5 Star, Economics, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public)

Daniel Araya (editor)

5 Stars Best Available Overview, Most “Experts” Still in Denial

Augmented Intelligence is the new meme that goes beyond Collective Intelligence. The editor has done the best possible job of collecting inputs from top people, a few of whom I know such as Jim Spohrer, and I recommend the book without reservation. Certainly it is my hope that the editor will be recognized as a rising star and given the freedom to do more outreach to include travel including China, toward what I hope will be a more multinational follow-on book.

My own chapter, “Augmented Intelligence with Human-Machine Integrity: Future-Oriented Hybrid Governance Integrating Holistic Analytics, True Cost Economics, and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) is free online, click linked title to read it.

The Foreword by Ann Pendleton-Julian and John Seely Brown is helpful and makes the point that the varied contributors ask some really big questions about man-machine interfaces and posssibilities. They also point out that the ideas in this book go far beyond Smart Cities and the Internet of Things and toward new forms of man-machine symbiosis to the point of bio-morphing.

Subtly but directly they point out that everyone (I would say except me) is being stove-piped and reductionist, and avoiding the obvious need for “a holistic framework for working toward a desired end, not a runaway default future full of unintended and unanticipated consequences of monumental proportion.”

I cannot help but think of 5G, the new aspestos on steroids, vastly more genocidal and ecocidal  than microwaves and Monsanto’s RoundUp.

Daniel Araya, contributing editor, pays tribute to Douglas Engelbart, whom I was honored to know, in his Introduction, which is a very valuable overview of the book’s substance.

QUOTE (2): The key insight of IA research is the recognition that human intelligence and machine intelligence are complementary rather than adversarial.”

Citing Moravec, he points out that contrary to popular perception, it is knowledge-based labor rather than hand-based labor, that is most vulnerable to computerization. I agree but only because our decision-makers are ignorant and do not understand that heuristics apply only to known patterns — there is no substitute for human artistic, creative, imaginative insight.

As I myself read the rest of the book, it occurred to me that most of the authors are on a path to self-destruction — they really believe that all knowledge can be computerized, that all data can be digitized (they are oblivious to our current state of 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of 1%). I have a note  to myself, these people need to read Nassim Nicholas Taleb, particularly Anti-Fragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, and Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life. The future, in my view, will be LOCAL.

This is not a book that addresses — apart from my own chapter — the true cost of computing run amok. Computing runs amok because our decision-makers are ignorant and corrupt and that is precisely how the Deep State wants them.

This is not a book that addresses the desperate need to restore art, music, and play to our children’s as well as our own lives — this is a book that assumes — apart from my own chapter — that all knowledge can be digitized and humans may ultimately be assimilated.

This is not a book that is strong on ethics and values that are the foundation for family, community, country, and ecological integrity.

This IS a book that the absolute best in the field and the finest possible starting point to understand where we are and where the bulk of the experts — most of them with access to far greater resources than I can access — plan  to go.

Whether you favor the military-industrial-financial-intelligence rush toward Artificial Intelligence (AI) or not, this book is essential reading and an extraordinary contribution to literature at the intersection of dumb machines and mostly dumb humans.