This Is The Most Important Thing We Can Build With AI
The world needs a human-powered, AI-supercharged network that levels up our ability to make collective decisions, connect aligned actors, and bring about positive change.
Our world is brimming with creativity, intelligence, and goodwill, yet many pressing issues remain unsolved.
Is the issue that we don’t have enough capital?
No. There are trillions of dollars waiting to be allocated by people who know there are countless problems at every scale of human civilization that need to be solved.
Is the issue that there isn’t enough smart people who can work on solutions?
No. If you only knew the kinds of superheroes I am meeting EVERY DAY.
Is the issue a lack of desire to solve problems?
No. There are few things that unite humans across nations, genders, races, etc more than a desire to change the status quo.
The reality is this:
Capital, genius, and a desire to do good are abundant, but the true bottleneck lies in our ability to coordinate effectively.
Why are we unable to coordinate effectively? And what is needed to supercharge our ability to coordinate?
That is the focus of this piece.
Problem: The Coordination Conundrum 😩
Why is it so hard to coordinate people to solve problems we more or less know need to be solved?
Coordinating people to solve problems is challenging due to all sorts of reasons.
But almost no one talks about the fact that…
Coordination is basically IMPOSSIBLE if the input data that we’re using to ATTEMPT to coordinate is not high quality.
For example, to determine the best…
Policies to propose
Startups to build
Music and art to create
..., we need to have an accurate understanding of who the people you want to serve are and what they want out of life.
But how do you ascertain this information about people's identities and preferences? 🤔
Traditional methods of gauging public opinion have major limitations, and media narratives do not accurately portray the public and its interests.
Either way, this misunderstanding of the public is a major constraint and ceiling on how effective coordination can be.
And what is the problem with poor coordination?
Lack of coordination hinders our progress in several ways, including…
Connecting people who want to build or fund specific projects
Aligning individual aspirations with effective life direction
Bringing together like-minded people who share a vision for the future
And if we continue to struggle to do these things, we will continue failing to solve our greatest collective problems.
A New Solution: An AI-Powered “Civic Information Network” 🌐
To overcome these coordination challenges caused in large part to misunderstanding of the public, I propose a system that:
Accurately captures individuals' identities and preferences with high fidelity
Helps users understand others' preferences, enabling them to make informed decisions that benefit everyone involved
This system would be what I call a “civic information network”: a system or platform that enables anyone who wants to serve the public the ability to access, analyze, and act on accurate information about who citizens are and what they actually want in policies and other solutions.
While a typical social network focuses primarily on empowering users to post and grow their personal networks, this civic information network would focus on empowering citizens to provide useful information that do gooders can use to do good better.
How The Civic Information System Can Work Its Magic 🪄
AI can play a crucial role in understanding individuals and their desires—and ultimately helping everyone build more things and do more things that accurately reflect these desires.
It can achieve this by:
Continually asking citizens questions to develop comprehensive profiles, while ensuring advanced privacy protection measures are in place (users will own their own data and have tight control over who they let access it)
Optionally integrating data sources such as biometric information to create more accurate models of individuals
Providing a marketplace for AI “power-ups” that offer services to individuals based on their comprehensive profiles
Matching citizens with like-minded people based on their preferences
Synthesizing preferences to provide insights on policies, startup ideas, and constituents' needs
The more high quality civic information the system collects from users, the more “civically wise” it can be at recommending win-win actions for civic actors like entrepreneurs and political leaders to take!
The Value of Understanding What We Truly Want In Life ❤️🔥
It’s very important to accurately model who people are and what they want, including their most honest aspirations for themselves.
I call the most accurate and HIGHEST representation of who someone aspires to be their “Divine Double.”
There’s many ways to represent a Divine Double, but this is part of how I decided to do it for myself. It’s motivating to read this at least once a month. (Feel free to fork this)
When you have spent as much time as I have defining and getting in touch with your Divine Double, your life will change completely.
You need to know where you’re going to get excited to wake up in the morning.
You need to have clear intentions set for your future to activate your God-given “brainGPT” for it to works its magic to help you achieve those goals.
Some of our greatest leaders and thinkers in history knew of the power of setting an intention for your future well:
"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." – Helen Keller
"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." – Carl Jung
"The empires of the future are the empires of the mind." – Winston Churchill
I’m not saying it’s easy to…
Get people to realize they should define a Divine Double
Get people to undergo a vulnerable process of doing the inner work and disclosing enough of their values, aspirations, etc to develop a Divine Double
But I do believe AI, with sufficient privacy guarantees, can help a LOT.
AI can help…
Iteratively collect information from someone trying to develop a Divine Double
Match that person with the right resources, opportunities, and human connections they need to increasingly become their Divine Double.
While we currently associate AI with getting us away from our goals (and addicting us to our phones with meaningless news and TikTok trends), something REALLY special can happen if we create systems that help us define our goals and does everything in its power to help us achieve those goals.
Further, moving beyond the individual level, as these systems understand our personal aspirations better, can it help us develop Divine Doubles for our families, companies, communities, cities, states, nations, and the world?
AI Can Empower Politicians To See Things More Clearly (So They Naturally Do The Right Thing)
One reason politicians often seem out of touch with voters is a lack of effective tools to stay connected. AI-powered systems can bridge this gap by providing a constant stream of valuable information about constituents' preferences and concerns.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York alone represents the entire population of New York State as a U.S. Senator, which is 20.2 million people. Schumer could never make sense of the identity and preferences of these millions of constituents. But AI can.
By understanding their constituents better, politicians can make more informed decisions, better align their policies, and create a more responsive government.
For example, if a politician can find out thanks to the platform we have been discussing that 70% of their constituents are neutral or positive about decentralized currency, they would be less likely to adopt an anti-crypto stance.
The AI system would not only provide insights for the Chuck Schumers of the world but also run simulations to predict how rhetoric, policies, or other initiatives would be received by the populace.
By analyzing feedback loops and cascading side effects, AI can guide decision-makers towards choices that resonate with their constituents and support their flourishing.
Conclusion: AI Can Help Us Understand Who We Collectively Are, So We Can Each Better Serve The Collective 🌍
The importance of understanding other people and one's own highest aspirations cannot be overstated.
As Carl Jung once said, "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."
By developing an AI-powered civic information network, we have the potential to revolutionize our ability to make collective decisions, connect aligned actors, and bring about positive change.
This innovative system can help individuals define and pursue their "Divine Double" while empowering politicians and decision-makers to better understand and serve their constituents.
Ultimately, by focusing on collaboration, understanding, and leveraging AI, we can work together to overcome the coordination conundrum and address our greatest collective problems.
NOTE: I challenge all of you to take this idea and make it your own! If you have a better idea leave it in the comments below.
Gary, would you be willing to connect with me again sometime? email@example.com
Phenomenal piece. I love the vision here, this has been my gut sense with how AI can be used for good but you clarified this feeling and put it into words.