Automated solutions remove tedious tasks and allow us to focus on what we do best: use our natural and creative problem-solving skills.
“We have $5,450,344 of unrealized potential on this farm!”
“That’s crazy! How did you find this out?”
“I submitted our data for the last 5 years and they sent back this detailed report on the types of crop we can grow on which plot, recommended crops based on time of year, demand for them, and international markets looking to buy. They even included government subsidies and grants available nearby.”
With artificial intelligence, we can do interesting things with data. We can find patterns and insights into opportunities that a single human or team would not be able to process. For example, we can process the total income of a country and finding the optimal amount of tax a person pays, accounting for multiple potential scenarios.
We can go further by showing how someone’s work ties to a country’s GDP. Or even find programs that are doing well and divert revenue from them to programs that need funding, in real-time.
Looks like I still have your attention if you’ve gotten this far! Now take a step way back and envision processing the large datasets we collect to create greater efficiency across the global economy combined with qualitative sentiment information.
Facebook has enough data points on a person to predict their buying behavior or political leaning. What if they felt benevolent and said “we can actually use all this data to improve the lives of our users by making the invisible visible”. I’m reaching here but one can dream. It could turn into a true dystopian future if done incorrectly.
Staying positive, let’s say we get it right! You put on your Oculus or open your browser while chilling on the couch. You open Ibis (does not exist, yet!) and you’re welcomed by a giant floating globe taking up the living room.
There are a few different views to chose from. You can see on a global level, literally, the sources of events, news, and social media activity. There are global trade stats and a tracker for our carbon footprint. We can monitor our interconnected food system and simulate solutions to our pesky “logistics” problem where large amounts of food go to waste. There is a time control feature to view history and future projections.
The goal of a system like Ibis is to simplify complex daily events and help improve our lives by helping us understand how they relate to you. Imagine the benefits to our individual perspective on the world. You can now see how your tiny contribution impacts Spaceship Earth.
There is still a lot of work needed to get us there but the pieces are there. We must help increase each country’s score on the Global Open Data Index where you can see the amount of data countries around the world collect. Datasets include elections, air quality, land use, and weather. With improvements this can be real-time.
Countries can now have artificial intelligence processing this data and negotiation with each other at scale on a daily basis to maximize the competitive advantage of each and trade with those around them. Humans alone cannot make sense of this amount of data but machines excel at it. Combining human decision-making with information at scale to create insights and potential paths forward? It’s a no-brainer!
The technical capabilities of governments will need some attention. Education programs are needed in schools to help students understand the philosophy of technology. This gives us a framework to understand how technology works and how it influences society. The greater the understanding, the more input we have to bend technology to our collective will.
As mentioned earlier, so much of our food supply goes to waste because they do not fit marketing standards or are left unsold only to be thrown away! The cost are high to move these goods from stores to where they can be processed, leaving the easiest option of dumping it. There are projects making a difference including Imperfect Foods and Food Cowboy but there is still a lot left to do.
Seeing where these problems are and providing reasonable solutions to them is a start. If we put permanent infrastructure in place to handle them, with collaboration between the public and private sectors, we can improve our usage of precious resources.
Other areas this can be applied are housing, schooling, transportations, and carbon sequestration. Each have their own initiatives working in silos but providing a platform to display them side by side helps us spot patterns and quickly adjust.
This must be done in the open where access is available to all and not limited to those with connections or capital. We can deploy our collective creativity to solving these problems. Automated solutions can remove tedious tasks and allow us to focus on what humans do best: use our natural and creative problem-solving skills with enriched information.