In this brief we’ll highlight negative tendencies in context of which artificial intelligence, as a field of application follows a process of involution –opposite to expectations.
Ironically the involution process is unavoidable, it is a logical impossibility for this field to follow a different path of evolution.
We are going to systematically focus on the context and avoid any kind of content based deviations, since when we are addressing the context, starting from the content always results in deviations. Intelligence is naturally context and by no means can be considered as content; to put it differently: intelligence is essential, and it is by no means substantial.
The expression artificial intelligence contains a contradiction and is itself the (by far not the end) result of an involutive process. The expressions we use today reflect nothing from their original meaning, the reason of which is the proliferation of rationalism. Rationalism is a particular way of thinking that lacks true context and which results of uncontrolled and non-integrated specialization. Rationalism, cut off from the context is forced to consider content-elements as context, unavoidably resulting in smaller and smaller content elements. Specialization is only one aspect of this process. It is clear that when it comes to organization, rationalism is unable to provide any kind of integration: it can only create specialization, and quite often, disintegration.
If the word artificial applies only to what’s human (which our contemporaries tend to identify with that, which is rational, assuming that a human factor may only be rational, and denying –with rationalism of course- that the human domain goes beyond rationalism), then we can interpret the word artificial as human rationalism, which is then is in analogy with such silly expressions as canine-barking.
To better highlight our thinking it is necessary to define the basic terms and their dynamic relationships and to some degree consider general systems theory.
Intelligence and evolution
Intelligence and consciousness are inseparable terms. The fact that common views today define the areas of consciousness only in the sub/un conscious and in the wakeful consciousness, is also the result of a general involution process, which is the result of the lack of context, or awareness thereof. The context itself is of course supra-rational consciousness, from which modern man (especially specialists) is already separated, thus he focuses his “attention” only on the domain below, on the sub-conscious level, while proudly limiting his wakeful consciousness exclusively to primitive problem solving scenarios.
There are hierarchical correspondences between the three domains, whereby the inferior depends on the superior, i.e. the existence of the inferior depends on the existence of the superior. The bottom-up hierarchical order is: subconscious, wakeful consciousness and supra-rational consciousness. It is easy to see that “proving” supra rational consciousness for mechanical “intelligence”, or the brain, whose specialization has often reached sub-rational levels, is senseless (irrational), thus we are not going to digress into this direction at this time.
Since the direction of evolution must be upward (vertical), it is obvious that if we consider artificial intelligence as an application, it must be oriented towards the supra-rational domain; if it isn’t, we can not talk about any kind of evolution.
Most of the current applications are focused on problem solving, which provides context for the unfolding (not evolution) of the application. Problem solving however can only be considered as a content element and not as context, since in the causal relation, even in the best case scenario, it only proves the cause, trying to deduce the cause from the effect, which is a typical example of the gaffe of practical rationalism. To use a simple example, this approach is like trying to figure out the intention of an aggressor from the quality of his punch and its after affects on somebody’s face.
The rational problem solving approach is “breaking down” (analysis) and not integration. All complex problem solving methods follow the these main steps: define the problem, break it down to components, find the key drivers, choose a critical element, define a solution for the critical element, and prove how the “improved” critical element will solve the whole complex problem. In this context analysis enjoys a great role, while synthesis enjoys almost no role at all. When people still talk about synthesis, we typically see syncretism only, which is also just a data-dependent experiment, unable to go beyond the limits created by data.
Since the focus is not on integration, we can not talk about evolution even if we consider the generally accepted definition of evolution as increased specialization (differentiation) accompanied by increased integration towards higher levels of complexity. If we add to this –and almost nobody does-, that this is not a process that happens from the parts towards the whole, but it is the unfolding of the concept, which is considered to be the whole, through recognized and actualized potentialities and virtualities, we have reached the gates of the supra-rational domain.
At this point we must ask a fundamental question; a question, to which the points outlined above provide an answer, in order to be able to better perceive the truth, which breaks down to a question and an answer: how come that in the artificial intelligence area nobody deals with the question of supra-rational intuition, i.e. with the domain of consciousness that goes beyond just describing things and beyond seeking the “WHY” behind problems and situations (once more: only in the most exceptional cases, since the majority of applications don’t even get to this point; they are satisfied with the automatization of problem solving mechanisms). As far as we know this question hasn’t even come up, which is rather logical, if we consider the strategic environment. If we google “supra rational intuition” we receive less than 30 results. If we use “suprarational intelligence”, we get only 7 results If we add artificial intelligence, we receive only one hit. Not one of these hits has business connotations in general or software connections in particular.
Thus the situation is that the developers and the developed applications are part of the same system. If the developer wants to be able to exercise real control over any kind of a system, it is necessary that he/she is in a position above the system. In lack of this position any kind of attempt for control is in vain from the start.
Considering the points above, current attempts are following patterns of involution, which have no values whatsoever. If the accepted view still holds that there is value in these attempts, it only becomes obvious, if the application is extremely primitive, yet (or, considering the rapid decline of the environment, because of this) they are considered to be a success within the low complexity applications it deals with, and within which it is pushing for some solution; another case is that the environment is declining to such a degree, that the low complexity pseudo solution transcends the ever smaller area of specialization of specialist users, creating an illusion of achievement.
Where does the content end and the context begin?
Let’s consider engineering, or physics, chemistry, mathematics, even biology, anthropology, etc. components of the Content.
One of the mistakes we frequently make today is confusing some of the contents with context.
Paradigm shifts between components, or fragments of the “Content” is just a difference of flavor; e.g. shifting views of organizations from mechanical to organical, etc. It is a pattern of flawed thinking: mistaking the symbol with what it symbolizes.
It seems like we continue picking one (content) or the other, assuming they are contexts, all the while we further fragment the content, focusing our attention on smaller and smaller and more and more pieces, creating seemingly more content to consider. Actually specialization increases, but integration is not keeping up. With the increasing fragmentation we are broadening the context in a direction of increased negative complexity (increasing decay), cutting up bricks to smaller and smaller pieces, confusing involution with evolution, essentially attempting to build sandcastles.
Today’s best practices within a flawed and deteriorating context is the mirror image of the context itself. Fragmentation of the context is what essentially caused the fragmentation of the content. Patterns of deterioration of the context can be observed in scientific revolutions.
In such a flawed and deteriorating context, analyzing the content in order to discover the truth (the hierarchical integration between context and content, some would say essence and substance), will instead lead to further fragmentation, quantification and weakening integration, awareness, thinking, etc, taking us farther away from it.
Attempts to bring integration back into the equation (e.g. with General Systems Theory) will not lead us back to the true context (the purpose of science), since you can’t stop involution as involution as a system contains patterns that create a self-reinforcing cycle.
In plain words sand castled can’t be strengthened. Building real ones have become impossible since the current “builders” have long lost the blue prints and they are mesmerized by the decay, which is reflected in their way of thinking and shrinking attention span.
At this time we feel the need for a major shift, perhaps a new scientific revolution, yet -when speculating about which piece of content it will come from- we are thinking along the very patterns that sustain involution.
We need to go back directly to the state before involution kicked in to find the “new”, or true context. Anything else is just “patchwork” producing temporary results and ill defined “benefits”.
This is an enormous task, but so is the crisis…
This is a list of general best practices, applicable to all 4 players of an organization.
There is no priority order, so they are not numbered.
- Create context. At the very least make sure everybody is clear about why you are communicating.
- Be aware of who you are talking to: a specialist, an integrating specialist, a specialized integrator or a main integrator. Also: be aware of who you are and talk accordingly.
- If possible don’t take part in situations where people are rewarded in any way based on how much they talk
- No matter how strong the urge, don’t repeat the same thing in the course of one conversation; if you feel you must, make a point of it and state why you feel you must repeat a particular point
- No matter what business you are in, if you tend to talk fast, be aware of it, and talk slow. This works of course only if you understand why this is important.
- Never interrupt; even if somebody doesn’t make sense, repeats what was just said, makes statements about things everybody knows or makes other mistakes: never interrupt. These mistakes make sense in that they communicate a message if you listen in context. Also, it’s not worthy of a gentleman to interrupt.
- Even if (and especially when) everybody is fast-firing different points, and you also have a lot to add to each and every point, remain calm, and think in structure, i.e. listen in context: what question are these points answering? OR: how are these points answering the question we are dealing with?
- A conversation, even a discussion, but especially a dialogue: is not a competition. Think and listen in context
- Not everything that comes to mind by way of association to something you have just heard must be said out loud. In fact when it comes to associative thought, it is always uncontrolled, thus better left unsaid.
- Don’t worry about missing an opportunity to make a point. If you think in context, you’ll never forget the point; …you’ll always have a chance to make a point when it’s obvious that it’s important. If you control your impulses, people will in fact ask you to make THE point: as the only one who is entitled to do so.
- never make statements about things that are well known to your audience!