Personal Story, The Infinity Project
In the spirit of “Let Everything Exist! ☆” [draft]
Problem 1 -- The Knowledge Acquisition
Seeing how Wikipedia had around 2003 organized the world's semantic knowledge suggested that we could do the same with the procedural knowledge as well, and here is my initial idea.
I spent much time thinking how to extract and represent the procedural knowledge. Large amount of which is the hidden "know-how”, which I wanted to make widely available. So, during both my undergraduate mathematics studies, as well as in the further occupations, I continued to think how to do it in such a way as to make it easily accessible to both children and adults.
The extraction of such knowledge alone presents a challenge: we could try to obtain it by reverse-engineering things recursively breaking down every thing into its components and asking what tools were used to manufacture them, and breaking down each of the tools into their components, and repeating so until the tool='ancient stone tool'. However, it would require enormous amount of time. So, I asked myself -- how to document all the mankind's creation in the process of making in such a way as to maximize its educational value, i.e., how to make everyone easily understand the work breakdown structures of all technology?
The presenting the procedural knowledge is also a challenge: there is no universal way to describe how to make something, because every person’s situation and desired outcome is different. I mean, a simple question like 'How to make a car?' may have ~(7x109)2 (Cartesian product of initial states and desired states of every person, if all of them want it differently) of possible answers. It becomes infeasible to cover them all. So, how do we share the knowledge of how to make a car?
Fortunately, people are good at copying and modifying, and we can explain how to manufacture things by using the conventional units, drawings and the laws of physics, and to answer the question 'How a specific car was made?' is possible by simply sharing the exact story. Every specific company has a story how they built what they built, so the answer to a question of how it was made is unique and existing. Moreover, every time someone does a project, it is generally decomposed into milestones along the way, producing some understandable work breakdown structure, we just need a way to collect them and share.
This was the keyhole for me to start creating the desired knowledge representation, and long ago, I started an initiative to assemble a wiki of such decompositions like in this remaining wiki. You can look at an example there on how the Space Shuttle Columbia was made.
By creating Infinity Project, I am trying to represent the procedural knowledge openly in public, so everyone can know how to make things they see, even without money.
Problem 2 -- The Entry Barrier
In 2001, when I got the permanent internet at home, I found a place called 'Halfbakery.com'. It was and still is an active community of innovators, where people actively criticize and dissect ideas, and have fun in the process. I was hooked since the first days of using it, and the number of new ideas was increasing over the years. So it was nice that we can discuss ideas, but I wanted to make a living from working on some of them, however I had no resources for that.
And although after many years now we already have systems like KickStarter, IndieGogo and others, but we have to spend much time and money to create attractive prototypes, convincing professional videos, and the marketing campaigns to present ideas to the crowd of laymen.
Unfortunately, ideas, no matter how brilliant, usually don't make it into crowd-funding platforms without prototypes, and when people generally are one or less salaries away from being broke without a job, they simply cannot afford to invest the time to making the prototype. The last time I tried to make a prototype, I had to quit my PhD studies to focus on it, and just for one idea. Consider someone who has hundreds of ideas that they want to realize, and they have a problem.
The problem is that ideas without prototypes don’t get funded on KickStarter or Indiegogo, because investing people who come there are visual, instant-gratification driven individuals. Therefore, the ideas (unlike prototypes) must be evaluated and funded by different kind of people -- people who read books, who can imagine, and who need no pictures to visualize ideas. It is a different kind of crowd, the crowd like on Halfbakery.com, LessWrong.com, EverythingList, where people like to talk about concepts.
The fact that such communities exist suggested that what we are lacking are the opportunities to easily share resources in our conversations online, and thus, the idea of transactions inside comments was born. The idea evolved into what people could use to direct and manage the cash flows right from within their comments by programmable transaction generators.
So, by creating Infinity Project, I am trying to create the conditions for people to make a living from working on ideas they love, without the marketing barrier.
Problem 3 -- The Being Together
Ever since I started looking for a girlfriend, I knew that we would break up unless we share the same goals. I looked for someone with whom we could engage in science and create together, and with whom the creation be expression of our love. I needed someone who loves science and mathematics and programming, because I viewed them as probably the only viable means to achieve anything of true significance.
However, whenever I would find a girlfriend, who said she was interested in science, or mathematics, it was often that she would not want to talk about it, mainly because the day of work would make her tired of thinking about it, and made her just want to rest or do something else after it. Moreover, the NDAs and company policies prevented her from sharing inside information with the outside.
Such situation did not look good. The time of my best friends, which they would love to spend ideating and working on new exciting systems and inventions is bought up by corporations which don’t readily share the joy with outside. Moreover, those who had families, had almost no time for friends at all, because after the day of work, they are have their family time instead.
Wishing more stimulating creative engagement, I saw one way -- to create an opportunity to free my friends by enabling them to work directly in society without the middle-men like corporations -- making mankind into one family.
So, by creating Infinity Project, I am trying to create the conditions to allow all of my friends to quit their jobs, and start working on what they love, and be together.
Problem 1 -- Defining world’s goal
As a teenager, I thought selfishly - how to get everyone work on my goal? The solution was clear - come up with the goal that everyone wants to realize, in that case, it would be logical for everyone to cooperate on it (more precisely, it would make sense for everyone to cooperate, if the thing that everyone wants the most is easier to get by cooperation than for any subset of people to get it on their own). I thought of it for a long while.
If we want the world’s goal to be a good one, we have to define the criterion to separate “Good” from “Evil”, and I came up with such criterion, specifically, “Good” is to create conditions for the World to exist, while “Bad” is to destroy the World, where the “World” is defined as the Everything (universe, multiverse,...) as a whole, as well as everything as its every no matter how small or large entity (a human, an ant, a cell,...).
The criterion suggested, that the ideal is to create the conditions, where every entity can exist in the full expression of what it is. I later came up with a more specific, formulation - to create the conditions where everything that anyone truly wishes would come true, which should theoretically be possible without a conflict, because the wording “truly wishes” implies the necessity to extend one’s consciousness up to the global identity to verify that what one thinks one wants is truly the thing that one wants. For a simple example, if there was a “wise cancer” (or wise growth), it would consider if it truly wants to grow as much as to kill its host. I think, if we had more open communication between the cells, they could inform each other better, and be aware of the contradiction their true wish (just like we are hopefully are aware in the case of CO2 emissions.)
By creating Infinity Project, I am trying to define a de-facto world’s goal by creating the conditions that allow people to openly pursue what they truly want.
Problem 2 -- Creating friendly A.I.
Every large organization today is effectively creating AI-augmented corporations and states.
However, corporations and states have been observed to conduct unethically, and not benevolently to people. There is no guarantee of responsibility, sentience and friendliness of a corporation or a state in general. Moreover, it is not entirely clear what particular goal is a particular corporation’s automated business decision-making systems are driven by.
We run a risk, that if some single corporation comes up with (or evolves) a strong A.I. that is better at survival than others, it outcompetes all others, and spreads.
So, instead of secretly doing one’s own personal or corporate system to achieve its goals, I think, for the sake of creating a friendly A.I., it could be much better to develop a public, open-source, risk management and planning system that’s acceptable, understood, and desired by all.
By creating Infinity Project, I am trying to create an open risk management system, which, extended with the statistical learning and recommendation systems on its data, could work as a friendly, open, non-hidden, self-explanatory A.I. system that optimizes the returns globally for the world, and not just for some closed organization.
Problem 3 -- Global language barrier
Today, the world still has no common human language, and it lacks cross-talk between the people in different countries who are interested in the same topics. Currently, there does not seem to be a common system focused on general problem-solving, that supports concept and topic mapping across multiple languages.
By creating Infinity Project, I am trying to create a place where people to cross the language barrier, when talking about problems and their solutions.
Design of The Infinity Project
To address the B.1 (background problem 1), I came up with the hierarchy of content types that could explain to all how things are made. Specifically, I observed that everything that was ever made by people, was driven by people’s work to satisfy their needs, and that everything that was ever constructed, could be broken down to the following decomposition:
Whenever someone wants something, they conceptualize it in terms of some concept, which refers to some asset class Y. Whenever someone says that they want something, they specify conditions for the instances of concepts (assets y) they refer to, e.g., 0 < y < 2. Let's represent a condition as a Need, and a set of such conditions as a Goal.
Whenever someone comes up with an idea to get what they want, they effectively had come up with some principle to influence the world F by some hypothetical actions X, to satisfy the goal’s inequality by equality F(X) with value within those conditions. Let's use word Idea to refer to such a solution.
Whenever someone comes up with a plan, what they did, is they came up with a concrete set of actions using some technology to realize the hypothetical actions X as fully or partially ordered set (x1, x2,..., xN). Let's use word Plan to represent such a decomposition.
Whenever someone comes up with a milestone xM, what they did, is they had just set out to take some amount of resources and convert into some likely corresponding deliverable yM. Let's use word Step to represents such an assumption.
Inductively, a milestone can be subdivided to arbitrary depth, until a non-divisible ("atomic") step is reached. Call that step a Task, and it's deliverable, - a Work.
This provides a generic framework for the design of the Infinity Project, where we simply have content types for each of these categories, believing that, if people can publicly see the decompositions of work this way, it will be natural for them to understand how making of anything was a piece of math to solve F(X)=Y, and to understand how it was done by looking at the decompositions, and learn and understand the society like we learn software code.
To address the B.2 (background problem 2), I came up with an idea that people could control their money by making them part of their speech in comments. Specifically, I was fed up with the fact that we just get buns on Halfbakery, and not the real money, so I first came up with this idea, and then extended it to the idea of programmable transaction generator within comments.
If 20 friends can set up transaction generators that send 100 EUR per month for some friend to do something, e.g., work on some project, then one could easily get 2000 EUR/month for a living. The transaction generators would solve the problem of long-term income to work on long-term projects.
To address the B.3 (background problem 3), I tried to make the system open to everyone, so that, once society starts working this way, we don’t have closed corporations and families, and my dear friends can actually share their work in open. To assure that contribution record is not tinkered with by people who have access to database, I am thinking of applying blockchain technologies, to make the record of someone making some contribution, public and permanent, so that everyone can verify that some work was done by someone.
To address the F.1 (foreground problem 1), I tried to make the system public and transparent. I plan to open-source the project, and make open APIs, so that everyone can fix the issues along the way.
To address the F.2 (foreground problem 2), I plan to apply statistical and A.I. technologies for data generated by the people in a completely transparent way, so that everyone could investigate what we are optimizing, using what algorithms, and what for, and compute global risk down to the probability distributions of every asset concerning every goal.
To address the F.3 (foreground problem 3), I started defining the people’s needs in terms of concepts rather than words by using an interlingual concept map, the OmegaWiki and (soon) WikiData. All the content types have their “Language” field, so a user who is writing a new entry can semi-automatically choose the language, in which it is written. This allows to bring together speakers of different languages interested in the same topics to the same ground.
At any rate, this project is a work in progress. Feel free to give your suggestions! ∞