Tim O’Reilly on Rearing a Well-Rounded Internet

Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc., corrected a widely held myth: that artificial intelligence is separate from our own intelligence. 

"The extraordinary convergence between computing and human potential is taking us toward a global brain," and intelligence is largely driven by data that we type or input into the cloud. Yet, when we talk about global consciousness we land on really trivial stuff like orange being the universal color for decaf coffee.

Computers harness our intelligence and soon they’ll collect data without our typed inputs. The smarter the algorithm and the better computers can collect data, the better off we will be (if this sounds like a technopositivist position, you’re quite right).

But our algorithms mirror our vices and virtues. So computing should not advance unchecked. If we think of this global brain as a child, which it is, the question should not be what can it do, but how should we nurture it and what should we be teaching it? 

What should we be teaching the global brain? How can we direct it to solve the most important problem facing humanity?