Natural Artificial Intelligence


#ChaunceySays: If CULTURE has a mind of its own, humans must be its neurons. Is “culture” the first Natural Artificial Intelligence? Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis thinks so. Do you agree? Natural vs Artificial; Is that the question?

Civilization Lifting Off

The two-minute video above feels like spaceship earth’s engines are rumbling to full strength, straining to break away from its moorings as it gathers speed to carry humanity to its next great awakening before it leaves earth for good.

Rigid Box World is being re-purposed to build an on-demand and shapeless virtual world of desire from the rusted dust left behind of old paradigms. It may take us generations to reach our new reality, but many have tickets and some are already on board.

Cultural earthquakes abound, large and small, as cherished beliefs, truths, and values are crushed together in small hyper-connected spaces that challenge what it means to be human as individuals and tribes. Maybe our first Naturally Artificial Intelligence (NAI), our “Wired World Culture,”  is a trial run to prepare us for no more boxes!



Key Box Words: Natural, Artificial, Intelligence

We have to know what is in the box before we can think out of the box.  The Oxford Box Factory has designated the following definitions of these three key words at the heart of all the disruptive change taking place now and in the future, so I want to be clear about their fuzzy boundaries before they melt away.  According to the Oxford Dictionary:

  • Intelligence is a noun: “Ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.”
  • Natural is an adjective: “Made by nature.”
  • Artificial is an adjective:Made by humans.”

Each of the four  “verb boxes” highlighted above is an infinite regression of boxes within boxes leading ultimately to the confusion of nowhere or anywhere; however, that’s the limitation of the human language precision we have invented. Nevertheless, I offer the considered view that “WE,”  civilization, seem to be moving along four tracks to our next great awakening:

Natural Intelligence is nature’s ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills to make natural and artificial things. [This was a 4 billion year process during which humans (and its ancestors) get credit for making artificial things, most of which came in the last 2400 years.]

Artificial Intelligence is human ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills to make artificial things that are machines, which have the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills to make other artificial things and intelligent machines that are artificially intelligent (but NOT self-aware). [Humans accomplished this primarily during the last 100 years.]

Natural Artificial Intelligence is the ability of AI intelligent machines to acquire and apply knowledge to make superpower hybrid humans by integrating AI technology into the human race toward creating a new species with the ability to acquire and apply knowledge to become a new long-lived transition species either collectively or individually, or both, in competition with each other. [This is the major dilemma that humanity will be facing during the next 100 years:  (1) humans wired to be super human or (2) super machines wired to mimic humans?] I am betting on (1).

Artificial Natural Intelligence is the ability of hybrid humans to acquire and apply knowledge to complete their transition from Homo Sapiens to “Homo Tekumiens,” the virtual existence of an immortal species. .[This is a possibility during the next 2500 years.]

Historical records over the last ten thousand years suggests that civilizations tend to rise and fall and reinvent themselves during brief (300-yearish)  periods between longer intervals of relative stability [Note: This is the middle part of the S-shaped natural growth curve between early adopters and laggard adopters].

Author Yuval Noah Harari identified four major shifting points in time of humanity’s societal growth going back to its beginning  in his best selling-book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, published in English in 2014:

  1. The Cognitive Evolution (c. 70,000 BCE, when Sapiens evolved imagination).
  2. The Agricultural Revolution (c. 12,000 BCE, the development of farming).
  3. The Unification of Humankind (the gradual consolidation of human political organisations towards  one global empire).
  4. The Scientific Revolution (c. 1500 CE, the emergence of objective science).

In the few cases where we have written records from the last 5000 years, we see evidence of a trend whereby good ideas that were lost in the past were rediscovered and brought back to life and improved.

One important example is three-dimensional drawing on a two-dimensional surface, which the ancient Romans and Greeks had invented 2500 hears ago; however, this skill fell into disfavor for cultural  reasons (favoring mystical focus on many Gods that only emperors can talk to) and gradually disappeared.  3-D drawing  was re-discovered in the 1400s in Italy by Filippo Brunelleschi  and helped usher in the Renaissance of the middle ages through realistic depictions of people and life.

It currently feels to me like humanity may  be at a “1400 moment” again having invented many new ways of thinking and living during the last 500 years. increasingly out of the box (or maybe, the “box” is getting so large its sides are disappearing!).

Perhaps we are about to take off again; We are inventing new ideas at a dizzy pace, and perfecting old ideas, like communications, in entirely new forms. It is an exciting and challenging time to be alive.


Twitter Thread March 2, 2018:

Will we know that a machine is intelligent when it can intentionally lie? Humans are intelligent and we know humans can intentionally lie. Humans are self-aware. Do you have to be self-aware , to lie? We know animals lie, like this bird . Do cultures lie? These are all points on a spectrum.




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