The ethical Journey through our Data-Driven Future
In our exclusive conversation with Dr Tsvasman, the visionary author of ‘The Age of Sapiocracy’, we explore the dimensions of radical ethics in the era of data sovereignty. Dr Tsvasman sketches a picture of the future in which humans and AI act in synergetic dialectics. He sheds light on the transformative power of ethics and its role in an increasingly complex world. His insights not only offer solutions to the challenges of our time, but also point to the subtle opportunities that lie in presenting complex ideas in a discursive format. With each answer, Dr Tsvasman creates a piece of the puzzle that could be our future, a future in which humans and machines not only coexist, but work together to create a world that is smarter, fairer and more sustainable.
Exploring Radical Ethics: Dr Tsvasman, in “The Age of Sapiocracy” you explore the concept of radical ethics in the context of a data-driven civilisation. Could you elaborate on what led you to develop this particular perspective on ethics, and how you think it can shape the way we face the challenges of the future?
In this publication, I explore radical ethics in the context of our evolving, potentially more scalable, data-driven civilization, a phase I term the “infosomatic shift,” integral to the overarching concept of Sapiopoiesis. This era signals the transformation of intelligence into an immensely powerful, almost “magical” tool. It unfolds against a backdrop of global power crises that will ultimately determine its fundamental orientation – whether it will be ethically viable or lead to self-destruction.
The transformative approach I adopt in ethics is aimed at challenging the redundant rigidity and moral misalignments prevalent in analog power structures. Breaking away from standard academic discourse, I concentrate on deconstructing survival-centric tactical distortions in our collective value systems. I tend to the development of an economy driven by the strategic potential for radical innovation, where ethically valid meaningful orientation is paramount. This vision is anchored in the inherent ability for self-regulation within sociotechnological enabling infrastructures, permeated by the balanced interplay of AI-enabled efficiency and strategic human intelligence.
At the core of my thesis is the dynamic interplay between our complexity-reduced redundant actuality and the vast potentialities that shape our future. This viewpoint promotes deep reflection and engagement with the emerging, aiming to leverage human potential for the creation of intersubjective meanings, facilitated by the self-regulating enabling potential of artificial intelligence.
My ethical perspective is cybernetically teleological, striving to move beyond a survival-centric actuality-construction and efficiency-focused tactical pragmatism. It centers on unlocking human diversity, aspiring towards a world where viable potentials are realized. This perspective acknowledges the symbiotic evolution of shared meanings within a global biosociotechnological infrastructure.
Ethics, in my discussion, aligns with the cybernetic imperative of expanding choices, echoing Heinz von Foerster’s insights. This stands in stark contrast to the restrictive nature of collective morality. I perceive ethics as an intrinsic element of individual intelligence, crucial for the emancipation of the subject within the framework of structural coupling – a unifying element for humanity, anchored in our evolutionary intelligence.
My work emphasizes the importance of posing questions for a society advancing beyond its redundantly medialized current state. These inquiries aim to uncover concealed truths in a world frequently obscured by linear media narratives, highlighting the significance of systemic thinking. My exploration of radical ethics challenges traditional power hierarchies, advocating for an ethical pragmatism that prioritizes individual choice and systemic thought. This approach aims to shape our future into an emancipating, human-centric, and data-dominated era.
My initial intrigue in this field was sparked by a childhood fascination with viable understanding the world. Beginning with an aesthetic appreciation of intelligence, my intellectual engagement with thinkers like Hegel and Kant led me to its inherent ethical dimension. I view intelligence as strategic intersubjective effectiveness, where the subjective observer’s perspective is crucial. In the realm of collective action, often governed externally in the mode of “swarm intelligence,” ethics paves the way for an emancipated subjectivity within the dynamics of structural coupling.
Human-AI collaboration: The book emphasises the importance of combining human creativity with artificial intelligence to tackle global complexity problems. Can you share some specific examples or scenarios where you see the most potential for this collaboration, and how it could revolutionise our approach to problem solving in the age of data-driven civilisation?
In today’s era, marked by complex economic and technological challenges burdened with redundancy, much of our focus is on controlling technology, from managing intricate machinery to participating in media-driven decision-making. These essential activities often fail to align with tools that foster our broader emancipatory potential. The integration of AI into our sociotechnological landscapes offers a transformative and existential shift. By assuming control-oriented tasks, AI frees our cognitive resources for more meaningful endeavors, resonating with our inherent pursuit of meaning. This liberation from technical minutiae allows us to evolve into meaning-oriented beings, where AI is not merely an efficiency tool but a catalyst for our intellectual and existential emancipation. This transition redefines our interaction with technology, placing us on a path towards deeper understanding and purpose-driven engagement with the world around us.
In the emerging age of data-driven civilization, as explored in my work, the collaboration between human cognitive creativity and artificial intelligence represents a pivotal shift in addressing global complexity problems such as climate change or power distortions. This amalgamation of human ingenuity and AI’s tactical efficiency unlocks new horizons in problem-solving, paving the way for innovative solutions previously beyond our reach.
A prime area for human-AI collaboration is environmental sustainability. AI’s capacity to process extensive data with remarkable efficiency and in real-time, when integrated with the human drive for ethical orientation, can lead to scalable, preventative solutions for climate change mitigation and biosociotechnological adaptation. For example, AI algorithms could pinpoint the most effective carbon capture strategies, while human ingenuity ensures these strategies are sustainable and culturally resonant.
In healthcare, the synergy between AI’s vast data analysis capabilities and human medical expertise can revolutionize diagnostics and radically personalized medicine. AI can detect patterns in patient data that might elude human observation, enabling culturally sensitive prevention set-up, early disease detection, tailored treatment plans, and predictive healthcare.
Addressing social challenges like poverty and inequality, human-AI collaboration can be transformative. AI’s analysis of socioeconomic data can reveal the roots of entrenched inequality, while human experts in sociology and economics can devise targeted, systemically informed interventions. This approach could fundamentally reshape social policies, making them more data-informed and ethically grounded.
In education, AI can tailor comprehensively monitored lifelong learning experiences based on individual learning data, while human mentors provide empathy, meaningful orientation, and context. This combination promises more engaging, effective, and inclusive educational systems, adaptable to diverse learning preferences and styles.
For governance and public policy, human-AI collaboration could lead to more scalable, human-centric, and informed decision-making. AI’s ability to process vast data sets offers insights into societal trends and needs, while human input ensures decisions are ethically sound and reflect the complexities of human society.
I term the synergy between human cognitive creativity and AI the “infosomatic shift,” a concept teeming with transformative potential across multiple sectors, fostering an intelligent, scalable, and adaptable enabling infrastructure. This fusion of the depth and nuance of human meaningful orientation with the expansive data processing capabilities of AI empowers us to revolutionize our approach to both current and emerging global challenges. This highly scalable, preventive civilization set-up paves the way towards a future that is not only sustainable and equitable but also ethically resilient, culturally rich, and intellectually stimulating.
Conversational format: The conversational format of your book sets it apart and makes it accessible to a wide range of readers. How do you think this format enhances the communication of complex ideas, particularly in the fields of epistemology, anthropology and cybernetics? In addition, what challenges or benefits have you encountered in presenting your ideas in a conversational style rather than in a traditional academic format?
The conversational approach of the book, particularly in its presentation of complex systemic concepts, is deeply rooted in a constructivist-inspired understanding of knowledge construction. This style transcends mere narrative choice, representing a methodological decision underpinned by cybernetics. As the science of systems, communication, and control, cybernetics provides unique insights into the construction and comprehension of knowledge. By mirroring cybernetic principles like feedback loops and interactive dynamics in its narrative, the book invites readers to intuitively and tangibly grasp the intricacies of systemic relationships.
This approach aims not just to inform readers about systemic thinking and related theories, but to actively engage them in the process of knowledge development. Dialogues and interactive elements within the text encourage readers to think independently and critically, enhancing engagement with the concepts presented. This strategy fosters not only a deeper understanding of systemic concepts but also encourages a more profound and personal reflection by the reader, which is crucial for effectively explaining and comprehending complex systemic connections.
However, adopting this conversational approach has its challenges. It requires a delicate balance between maintaining accuracy and depth and ensuring readability and engagement. There’s a risk of oversimplifying complex ideas, potentially leading to misunderstandings. Academic audiences, especially those accustomed to traditional formats, might initially perceive this style as less authoritative.
Despite these challenges, the intention is to foster genuine thought connections, emphasizing creative strategic effectiveness over technical efficiency. This approach, akin to “slow reading,” aims to provoke a shift in mindset. It underscores the value of problem-solving agility and critical thinking, moving beyond traditional norms of loyalty and conformity.
The conversational format offers significant benefits. It democratizes access to knowledge, breaking down the barriers often encountered in academic discourse. It encourages active, thoughtful engagement with complex material, aligning with my belief that knowledge should be a communal, accessible resource. This style fosters a more inclusive, multidimensional, and authentically engaging discourse.
Through this approach, the book aims to foster a more inclusive, multidimensional discourse. It resonates with the ethos of grounded envisioning and participatory observation, inviting readers into a communal dialogue that is both informative and engaging, transcending the confines of academic elitism. The book integrates hidden conceptual gems, imaginative narratives, strategic questions, and sobering discrepancies to add depth. Interactive Q&A sequences, graphic markers, and a dimensionally weighted lexicon encourage active participation, making the exploration of these complex fields not just an intellectual exercise, but a shared journey of discovery and understanding.