Since my work in 2001 for the World Citizen Foundation, I have been convinced that the most critical need for the wellbeing of humanity is the jump-starting of highly citizen-accountable constituent process leading to the creation of open transnational or global federal governance institutions, which are adequately democratically efficient, empowered and technically-proficient.
We have evidence that it is a doable goal. We did it for city-states, and then we did it for nation states, with considerable success. It’s just a matter of going the next step up.
There was a great progress and expanding consensus for such need after the 2nd World War, with the great fear of nuclear catastrophe. That momentum is very far today, with powers-that-be seem more entrenched than ever, preventing its progress.
AI opportunity for global governance
Nonetheless, over the next few years and decades, the incredible acceleration in pervasive adoption and capabilities of Internet and computing technologies, and especially artificial intelligence, poses truly threats, and opportunities, for humanity that are of unprecedented historical magnitude, and linked entirely to humanity’s ability to steer their course and guide their control.
On one side enormously it has raised the threats humanity faces, by its inability to properly control the evolution of human-level general Artificial Intelligence, and the potential for such technologies to enable a highly effective form of global governance and constituent process.
In particular, while it has been said “It’s hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it’s equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly.” Richard Hawkins said, “Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all”.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen huge investments, substantial progress in Artificial Intelligence, and substantial raise in awareness of the threats in medium and long-term. A a winner-take-all race of the most powerful private and state actors towards human-level general AI, and consequent AI intelligence explosion, seems well underway.
Key to both achieving adequate global governance as well as maximizing the chances of positive outcome of advanced AI evolution is the realization of new revolutionary techno-organizational paradigms for the entire lifecycle and operations of end-2-end computing systems, and ecosystems, that achieve computing services and systems with revolutionary levels of user-trustworthiness and safety, while retaining high usability and low-cost.
These are in fact essential to: (a) crucially enable sufficient democratic effectiveness and efficiency of global or transnational constituent processes, as the only guarantee we have for the democratic effectiveness of its resulting institutions; (B) provide a direly needed low-level computing platform, ecosystem, certification and steering governance model for a large transnational, citizen-accountable project to beat all others in approaching scalable human-level general AI capabilities while retaining sufficiently extreme safety safeguards.