Tyranny of the Statistical Algorithms

Data science has many useful applications in the area of pattern recognition but never forget that ML algorithms themselves only compile statistics, they are mindless, there is nothing like intelligence in there. Yet these algorithms are being used every day to decide who gets a loan, who gets a job, and who gets admitted to schools. There are even cases of people being falsely arrested. When ML is used to make decisions that affect people’s lives, they can only treat people as statistics. re you okay with that?

“Whether it is to be utopia or oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment…”

If you’ve seen the chilling Netflix documentary, “The Social Dilemma” you know how Big Tech is monitoring our every move and manipulating our behavior. Some think it is pushing us ever closer to oblivion side of Fuller’s outcomes. Social media, in the process of facilitating connection, always has a third party present, a statistical algorithm, designed  to manipulate the psychology and behavior of those it’s connecting. This is having disastrous, unintended consequences. Among young people there is app addiction and rising rates of depression and suicide, in the general population, a rising tide of fake news, radicalism, and partisanship.

Tech giants that never set out to be evil now are trapped in a business model that makes it impossible to do something else because there is no financial incentive to change. When interviewed, many Big Tech creators did not see a terribly hopeful way out: government regulation, maybe…?

“These algorithms have brought out the worst in us. They’ve literally rewired our brains so that we’re detached from reality and immersed in tribalism.”

But what if a new technology came along—a completely contrarian technology, based on first principles, that grew up out of sight of Big Tech—is still out of sight of Big Tech—and was small rather than big: compact, sustainable, with a low carbon footprint requiring no super computers or massive data sets. A technology with the capacity to comprehend the world and understand language as humans do.  A capability AI experts believe doesn’t exist, may never exist, but would be a huge breakthrough if it did exist; one that’s privacy-preserving rather than data-harvesting; one that is incapable of bias or going astray (as with “the singularity”) because at its core is meticulously curated human knowledge and human values – not statistics.

New Sapience began with a simple thesis: that the quickest way to create a thinking machine was to give it something to think about. They discovered a way to endow computers with a (patented) “cognitive core,” a transformer for converting data and information into knowledge.

The result is something the world has never seen – sapiens. Like humans, sapiens can learn and communicate knowledge using human language. Sapiens have common sense and can explain their reasoning. Like computers, sapiens process data and information, never forget, directly connect to each other, and do everything else computers can do.

What Big Tech cannot do

In another popular Netflix documentary, “A Life on Our Planet,” David Attenborough chronicles the frightening impact our technological civilization has had on the planet’s biodiversity and overall health during his lifetime. Ending on a hopeful note, he suggested that it is not too late.

“the trick is to raise the standard of living around the world without increasing our impact on that world.”

That New Sapience Can

In the words of founder and CEO, Bryant Cruse, “If there is a real singularity associated with the advent of Artificial General Intelligence [the “sapiens” technology], it is in infinite productivity. Productivity and the increasingly inexpensive goods and services it engenders create a rising tide of wealth that will transform our societies in ways we can hardly imagine. The necessities of life become virtually or literally free. People no longer must work at oppressive or dangerous jobs to earn a living. Therefore, each human individual will have the freedom to thrive, not simply survive.”

With a tiny staff and limited budget, New Sapience has already achieved huge technological advances that all the billions of Big Tech dollars have not touched. The question now is not whether New Sapience is smarter than SIRI (it is). The important question is, “How might New Sapience change the world if it had even a tiny fraction of the resources that went into building SIRI? And what company will ultimately be the most valuable? The one that requires a village to grow a houseplant or the one that uses the same amount of energy to grow crops to feed the world?