Citizens of planet Earth

Do you consider yourself to be a citizen of planet Earth?


Being a citizen means you have voting rights. What would citizens of planet Earth want to vote on?


The first item might be declaring that we are, in fact, each and every person who is alive right now, citizens of planet Earth, and that the basic principles by which we choose to live are expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Earth Charter. That’s a starting point.


The second item might be asking what is the purpose of national armies? Is it to protect ourselves from invasion by some other national military, some external threat? If we are all citizens of this same planet, and we have declared our unity on basic principles, then who is the external enemy? There is no purpose for the military anymore.


There is an increasingly critical reason for considering this right now. There is something emerging in the world that we can call machine intelligence. It has the capacity for incorporating human knowledge as well as extending what we know.


We may get just one shot at teaching this emerging intelligence about the first principles on which we base our own behavior as humans. We may get just one chance at this, and if we miss this chance, what machine intelligence does emerge will be crippled. We will have failed to provide at the critical moment of development what this emerging synergy of human and machine intelligence needed.


Let’s develop healthy machine intelligence, not crippled.


Citizens, I beg of you, let’s get it right.  What are our first principles?


John Kintree

June 7, 2018