paper to be presented at the Global Brain Workshop in Brussels

Transdisciplinary Safety of the "Global Brain" Project

Vladimir Mokiy, Mikhail Golota, Pavel Romanov

Vladimir Mokiy
Scientific Degrees: Doctor of Philosophy, professor
Position: Head of the Theoretical Center of the Informological Institute AG

Mikhail Golota
Scienific Degrees: Doctor of Philosophy, PhD (econ.), professor
Position: President of the Informological Institute AG

Pavel Romanov
Position: Business Development Director of the Informological Institute AG

Head-office: Informological Institute AG (Switzerland)
Address: Gartenstrasse 3, Postfach 4159, 6304 Zug, Switzerland
Location: Moscow Representative Office of Informological Institute AG
Address: 12 Trubnaya str., 103045 Moscow, Russia

1. Problem of a choice of the adequate paradigm for a "Global brain" system research

As organizers of the workshop  have correctly noticed, "Global Brain" is just a successful metaphor designating the phenomenon being formed at the present stage of development of the society. A scientifically proved interpretation is ought to be carried out in order to turn this metaphor into a research subject. From a position of the transdisciplinary approach four basic elements can be marked off within the "Global Brain" system. They include:

People - that part of the population, which professional or individual qualities enable to feel the necessity of a dialogue with the "Global Brain" system to grip with individual and common problems.

Technical means of communications, collection, storage, processing and transfer of the information - that part of technical means, which aggregate a technical fitting-out of the "Global Brain" system.

General information - the knowledge preserved and transferred in a human memory; individual knowledge of the living people; materialized knowledge (objects of the universal culture); the computer-related information stored on artificial carriers.

General organization - order predetermining a structure and a coordination of basic elements of the "Global Brain" system, as well as its persistent operation.

Such elements attributing to the "Global Brain" system allow to consider it as a complex multi-component and multi-factor problem. Therefore a transdisciplinary approach has to be summoned for its positive solution alongside with disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches[1]. The main distinguishing feature of this approach is that its models permit to present a research subject in its integrity, estimate its general condition and foresee the most probable scenario of their further development following the change of this condition. This feature can exert positive impact on the course of explorations of the "Global Brain" system. Such confidence is based on some objective drawbacks of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. One of such drawbacks is that paradigms of the present approaches have analytical rather than synthesizing character. As a consequence, within the framework of these approaches integral general models of research objects come across difficulties in the process of their designing, and, in the same fashion, uniform general scientific requirements to perception of the surrounding world are hardly achievable. In the end, provided representatives of one discipline belong to various schools, they can have absolutely opposite notions about the essence of the whole "Global brain" system or its basic elements. As an example, entirely opposite disciplinary and interdisciplinary views on the concept can be cited here and put into a basis of the general research:

- "People" - a concept of anthropocentrism or cosmocentrism ? [2]

- "Technical Means" - a concept of the further development of the element base with objective limits of reception, processing, storage and transfer of the information or a concept of quantum and other alternative engineering ? [S. Williams]

- "General Information" - a concept of "attributists" qualifying information as a property of all material objects or a concept of "functionalists" linking information only with a functioning of the self-organizing systems ? [3]

- "General Organization" - a concept of the synergy that considers self-organization of the concrete process as a basis of the development or a concept of co-evolution that considers a general principle of the joint directed development of all processes and phenomena creating a basis of the development ? [4]

Such inconsistent concepts can be a latent threat to the successful realization of the "Global Brain" project. Accordingly, these contradictions need to be voiced at a phase of project's preparation to realization, and the ways of their neutralization has to be found. We deem that the engagement of a paradigm of the transdisciplinary approach for the research of the "Global Brain" system during the forthcoming constructive cooperation of experts, will allow to remove this objective shortcoming of the disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Consequently, one will have an opportunity to create a workable and effective system of paradigms of the scientific approaches, adequate to the complexity of research of such systems to which the "Global Brain" belongs.

2. Disciplinary aspects of the transdisciplinary safety of the "Global Brain" project

2.1. From a stance of the transdisciplinary approach, each natural object including a man is a fragment of the certain uniform organized environment or space that is the surrounding world. For preservation of the unity all fragments should have an internal organization similar to a unique organization of space. In turn, the space stipulates the requirement according to which all natural objects, phenomena and processes should correspond to the certain attributes/indications of this organization. By this virtue the alike in internal organization, but different in indicatory manifestation objects, phenomena and processes make a uniform functional ensemble. Each participant of this ensemble has coordinated purposes and tasks of the development that constitutes a co-evolutionary development. [5]

A postulate about the uniform organization of the surrounding world and its objects, phenomena and processes allowed to develop universal models of space and its complete information successfully used in a methodology of the transdisciplinary research. In a concept of the transdisciplinary approach the general condition of space is actually its complete information. According to this definition apprehensions of "attributists" and "functionalists" about the information are nothing else, but a description of the same process of "consecutive transformation of the general condition of a uniform space". Two components can be discriminated in a transdisciplinary model of the complete information - information of a quantitative and qualitative kind. During the self-realization of the law of organization of the uniform space, each kind of the complete information is subdivided into subspecies of information of quantitative and qualitative kinds. Thus the complete information gains a natural hierarchy of indications, which presence causes a predisposition of the general information to classification and systematization. Due to this main property of the complete information the world becomes cognizable.

Ability of the transdisciplinary approach to use universal models of space and information for the research and solution of complex multi-factor and multi-component problems, can turn out to be very significant for the positive implementation of the "Global Brain" project. It concerns a prevention of the latent threat to the project from inadequate decoding of analogies of a human brain and artificially created structure of human relationship on this matrix. The following reasonings afford a substantiation of this latent threat.

Human brain is an important part of the human body. It is well-known that an organism perceives the most part of information unconsciously - as it is accustomed to speak in science. It testifies that consciousness is a necessary, but not the most important element in mechanisms of the analysis, the synthesis, the decision-making and the realization of the taken decision, which constitute a basis of the brain's functioning. Besides it should be noted that the general sense of a brain's functioning is determined not by a number of neural networks involved in the functioning, but, to a greater extent, by a normal functioning of its thalamus, hypothalamus and cerebellum [6]. Figuratively speaking, the first structures classify, systematize and converse the code of information flows coming from an organism to language used in neural networks of the brain. Otherwise, the brain would fail to "understand" an organism and, therefore, the surrounding world. And a cerebellum keeps and offers standard decisions to the organism, when external situations are identical. The constant number of cells (nucleuses) of the cerebellum of the adult man specifies the limited number of the likely standard decisions, which can be offered by a brain. From the viewpoint of the transdisciplinary approach this fact acknowledges a postulate that the man is a member of the natural functional ensemble. All participants of this ensemble (natural phenomena, objects and processes) should have the structural elements in this or that form that will keep a certain standard coordinated set of reactions or decisions predetermining their harmonious existence in the surrounding world.

In contrast to a natural brain the metaphorical "Global Brain" is an artificially created system. Their apparent similarity is triggered by the consideration that people organize their interaction according to that internal organization, which lays in their own basis. Otherwise artificial objects would contravene the requirements of the unity of the surrounding world, and this fact will meddle with their existence. However from the point of view of the transdisciplinary approach an application of concepts "self-comprehension" and "self-development" to artificial systems should be considered as nothing other than a continuation of the development of meaning of an initial metaphor. Actually processes of "self-comprehension" and "self-development" in artificial systems can occur only if natural objects participate in them. If the case of the "Global Brain" is taken, these processes can occur only during formation and development of the universal human outlook, people participating in it.

The refusal to develop a strategy of purposeful formation of the universal human outlook will not allow to develop criteria of the universal (global) ethics. In turn, absence of the universal ethics will not allow to establish obvious and indisputable principles of relations inside such complex combined system as the "Global Brain". Therefore this situation can also be converted into the latent threat to successful realization of the project.

2.2. In this connection we would like to emphasize the thesis of the workshop organizers about the "Global Brain" as being out of control. This thesis can lead to another latent threat for successful realization of the project, if a concept "control" may be substituted for a concept "censorship". If the first case deals with the managing and preventive influence on work of the "Global Brain" system, the second case touches on conscious reduction or distortion of the information in it. We regard that the "Global Brain" system by analogy to an alive brain should have the supervising body (in the first meaning). The "Global Brain" institute, for example, can be charged with this task. This body should fulfil the functions similar to those of thalamus, hypothalamus and cerebellum, which perform a specific control, but only at a certain stage of the general process of a brain functioning.

Unlike alive real brain the artificial systems similar to it, require special development of many strategies, for instance:

- Reception, classification and systematization of the information;

- Its computer processing and delivery to the consumer;

- Alternative formulation of problems and their decisions;

- Criteria of selection of the correct decisions, and their preservation in the system etc.

As a matter of fact, many authors pursued these purposes in the offered abstracts. Therefore this institute could be named a "Strategic Institute of the Global Brain". To demonstrate an importance of existence of such an Institute, an example of alternative formulation of a problem from the medical field for its solution in the "Global Brain" system, can be quoted here:

Traditional formulation of the problem: Cancer is a human disease. Therefore medicines have to be developed for its individual treatment.

Alternative formulation of the problem: Cancer is a natural condition, into which the human organism is brought at a special condition of the environment, which fragment the human is. Therefore the complex program of improvement, harmonization of the environment, including the search for new medicines for the suffering organism, should be developed.

Certainly, the decision of alternative problems will require holding a full-scale research works from the "Global Brain" system. However, it seems apparent that the volumes of the claimed disciplinary information, contents, methods, purposes of these researches will be various on principle. The value of the received decisions and the risk from their putting into practice for a Nature and Society will vary, too.

2.3. The other latent threat for the successful realization of the "Global Brain" project can be found in restrictions in speed and volume of the information capable to be stored, transferred and processed in computer and neural networks. However the standpoint of the transdisciplinary approach assumes that a network capacities in terms of the volume and the speed of the information to be transmitted are inferior to the indication this information belongs. Accordingly, a strategy of creation of quantum computers of the new generation could be elaborated at the Global Brain Institute. We are talking about the so-called "echo-spatial computers" and "negative-spatial computers". In contradistinction to the modern linear way of perception and transfer of the information by means of 2-digit codes, the technology used in the offered computers should allow to perceive, process and transfer the complete "objective" information coded as one complex impulse having the definite spatial configuration. Man perceives objects in their unity in normal life. Thus creation and gradual replacement of existing technical means constituting a technical ensemble of the "Global Brain" system, for those with the specifications adequate to a natural human brain, will condition the fulfillment of its principal assignment - promotion of sustainable and harmonious development of the man, the Mankind and the surrounding world.

3. Objective latent threats to successful realization of the "Global Brain" project

Till now we cast a look on the so-called disciplinary aspects of the latent threats to successful realization of the "Global Brain" project. However, it is necessary to mention a pure transdisciplinary aspect of this sort of threats, which has an objective nature.

It should be obvious that a general condition of people and any complex organized environments to which the "Global Brain" can be referred, deviate (or predisposed to deviation) from the norm to the degree the general condition of planetary space deviates from the norm [7]. It is an objective law. In this case an ability of people to choose an adequate decision to address problems, as well as the completeness of perception of the information of these problems is automatically reduced to the value of delta between the normal and the really existing general condition of space. Since these processes have natural character, the fixed "ideas about impossibility of the solution of the given problem" in public consciousness will evoke a counteraction to any attempts to a solution-making in the future. At best, attempts to scientifically prove an absurdity of such a solution will be undertaken, as it was, for example, in the beginning of the last century, when "an impossibility of flight of machines that were heavier than air" was proved mathematically. At worst, such solutions will not be accepted for consideration at all, as it was done, for example, by the Parisian Academy of Sciences that forbade reception of works narrating "about stones falling from the sky". Therefore the basic latent objective threat from realization of the "Global Brain" project for the society is a restriction of a degree of the complexity of problems, which can be solved with its help at the current general condition of planetary space. In this case application of a methodology of the transdisciplinary approach will allow to scientifically prove the kind of problems, which will be gradually shift into the "tough" category and specify the consequences to which the rejection of search for the ways of their solution will bring.

It would be worthy to stress a couple of valuable conclusions at the end. So, for example, the initial analysis of a complex multi-component system, i.e. the "Global brain", carried out by means of a concept of the transdisciplinary approach, allowed to disclose some latent threats to a successful realization of this project. With the purposes of prevention of these threats the necessity of creation of a "Strategic Institute of the Global Brain" has been proved. Transdisciplinary approach will allow to reveal and eliminate these threats in time. Subsequent development of a concept of the operative and strategic analysis of risk of the "Global Brain" system will allow to make its activities an important and safe element of the development of the entire Human Race.

The literature

1. V.Mokiy, A.Zhamborova and O.Shegai (1998): Brief introduction to Informology, Noviy Tsentr, Moscow.

2. R.E. Rovinskiy (1995): The Developing Universe, Moscow, pp. 156 -161.

3. R.F. Abdeev (1994): Philosophy of an Information Civilization, Humanitarian Publishing Centre Vlados, Moscow, pp. 161-162, 182-184.

4. Complexity and Self-organization: Emerging New Science and Culture at the Turn of the Century, Synergetic paradigm, /a variety of searches and approaches/, 2000, Progress - Tradition, Moscow, pp. 56-79.

5. A.Nikiforov, M.Mokiy and V.Mokiy (1999): System and informological approach to cognition and practical work, Noviy Tsentr, Moscow.

6. F. Blum, A. Leiserson, L. Hofstedter (1988): A Brain, Mind and Behavior, Mir, Moscow, pp. 53 -80.

7. V.Mokiy, A.Zhamborova and O.Shegai (1999): Method of informological analysis, Noviy Tsentr, Moscow.