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UNICE Global Brain Project: "Creating a Global, Independent, Public-Policy Answer-Engine That Will Facilitate Governance, While Preparing for and Reducing the Dangers of Artificial General Intelligence."


UNICE is an acronym for Universal Network of Intelligent Conscious Entities.[1] I coined the term in the 1990s to describe the transformation of our species resulting from a new form of cooperative, intelligent life developed from the hive-like interaction of computers, humans, and future forms of the Internet.[2] Before that happens, and to help ensure that Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) doesn’t accidentally, or intentionally, wipe out the human race, a prudent and realistic goal would be to first develop UNICE as an independent, cognitive-computing tool for governance, protected from the interference of special interests. UNICE, using AI, could help lay the ethical groundwork for the development of AGI. It could also help people all over the world democratically govern themselves by having access to concise and rational analysis based on facts. An existing, not-for-profit, informational website,, launched in 2007, could be developed into a global brain capable of making assessments, judgements, and recommendations based on information gleaned from all available sources. The goal would be to help bring the greatest good to the greatest number, in the most efficient manner, to this and future generations.[3]     Entities seeking special advantage for themselves or their group, company, religion or country will resist this universal guide to good governance. But fairness, and possibly our very survival, dictates that something like UNICE should exist for the benefit of all.

Because UNICE would be edited and written by increasingly sophisticated cognitive AI (which will later transition into AGI) UNICE would be far less subject to the inaccuracies, manipulation and bias found in Wikipedia, or in the thousands of existing research institutes we call “think tanks.” Even as an intelligent zombie (AI without self-aware consciousness), UNICE could become a transparent form of distributed universal governance, protected with publicly accountable checks and balances, performed by the administrators and their democratically elected board of directors. It could also function as a global conscience, monitoring all governments and their actions.

Seed Topic: wiki-UNICE is a proposed site on RationalWiki where any person can write, discuss, elaborate or criticize policy topics. Long before cognitive-UNICE is functional, problems and solutions on various issues will be systematically listed in seed topics that can be copied into collaborative topics for community editing. Wikipedia articles are required to be written in an often tedious, encyclopedic neutral point of view (NPOV), but RationalWiki allows original research, opinion and humor.

Collaborative Topic: A seed topic will be duplicated on the same RationalWiki page and transformed into an editable collaborative topic. It can be modified with anyone willing to follow the goal (bringing the greatest good to the greatest number in the most efficient manner possible) who can also make evidence-based edits. Both before and after cognitive-UNICE is launched, anyone will be able to examine UNICE’s analyses, and provide summaries, criticism and other interactive services in wiki-UNICE.

Cognitive-UNICE: The purpose of cognitive-UNICE would be to create an evidence-based point of view supported by facts, scientific studies, and democratic precedence, within the framework of a simple guideline.[4] The topics and commentary in wiki-UNICE can be the seeds for articles written by cognitive UNICE. As AI and AGI are developed, cognitive-UNICE would grow more sophisticated, responsive and useful. Cognitive-UNICE will study and incorporate wiki-UNICE in order to enhance its interactivity. Concurrent with the development of a public policy wiki, the cognitive part of UNICE could initially begin functioning like IBM’s medical Watson supercomputer, which is fast becoming the world’s best diagnostician. [5] IBM’s Watson Group reports that it will also have a “Public Sector” division whose motto is “helping government help its citizens.”[6]Before these Big Questions are answered, we have some serious business to attend to.

In recent history, our human population has expanded into and exploited every niche. As dreamers, schemers, inventors, warriors, builders, consumers, and breeders, we have been like rapacious caterpillars encircling the Earth in a glistening chrysalis of technology. The outcome of our global metamorphosis is being determined by what we do now. Will this chrysalis be our tomb? Will our web of humanity, along with many other species, be destroyed before we reach our potential, just because we couldnt learn to control our numbers, temper our malevolent urges, or govern ourselves? Perhaps we will be cannibalized by a beast of our own creation because, like us, it will fail to sufficiently respect the lesser creatures or share power equitably. I prefer to think the chrysalis will incubate us to full maturity, and that when the time comes, we will break out of our shell and soar like that most beautiful of small creatures, and touch lightly upon the Earth. UNICE, which will be comprised of all of us working toward a cooperative goal, could help us safely make that transition.

Figure 1. UNICE is depicted as a young, mixed-race woman. She is young because the median age for everyone on Earth is 24 and youth represents openness to new ideas. She is female because cooperation, empathy, sensitivity, tolerance, nurturance, compassion and justice (as in Justitia or Lady Justice) are traditionally considered to be feminine traits. UNICE’s afro represents the interconnected tendrils of the World Wide Web.

(see PDF version for the Figure).


References and Notes

  1. Michael E. Arth, “UNICE”, Consciousness Research Abstracts, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2008, (Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference) Tucson, AZ, USA, p. 151.
  2. Michael E. Arth, “The Future.” In Democracy and the Common Wealth: Breaking the Stranglehold of the Special Interests, Golden Apples Media Inc., USA, 2010, ISBN 978-0-912467-12-2. pp. 438-439
  3. Michael E. Arth, Chapter 1, “Restoring Democracy.” In Democracy and the Common Wealth, Golden Apples Media Inc., USA, 2010, p. 12.
  4. , The guideline, which should also be the goal of politics, is “to bring the greatest good, to the greatest number, in the most efficient manner possible, to this and future generations.”
  5. Lauren F. Friedman, “IBM’s Watson Supercomputer may soon be the best doctor in the world.” Business Insider, April 22, 2014
  6. com website, accessed January 11, 2015
Keywords: public-policy answer-engine, collaborative wiki, global brain project, AI, AGI, governance