CXI Homepage2018-09-17T20:30:57+00:00

CXI was created to proliferate the ideals of responsible participant design, data agency and metrics of economic prosperity prioritizing people and the planet over profit and productivity.

A Vision for Responsible Participant Design

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) and the MIT Media Lab are joining forces to launch a global Council on Extended Intelligence (CXI) composed of individuals who agree on the following:

One of the most powerful narratives of modern times is the story of scientific and technological progress. While our future will undoubtedly be shaped by the use of existing and emerging technologies – in particular, of autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS) – there is no guarantee that progress defined by “the next” is beneficial. Growth for humanity’s future should not be defined by reductionist ideas of speed or size alone but as the holistic evolution of our species in positive alignment with the environmental and other systems comprising the modern algorithmic world.

We believe all systems must be responsibly created to best utilize science and technology for tangible social and ethical progress. Individuals, businesses and communities involved in the development and deployment of autonomous and intelligent technologies should mitigate predictable risks at the inception and design phase and not as an afterthought. This will help ensure these systems are created in such a way that their outcomes are beneficial to society, culture and the environment.

Autonomous and intelligent technologies also need to be created via participatory design, where systems thinking can help us avoid repeating past failures stemming from attempts to control and govern the complex-adaptive systems we are part of. Responsible living with or in the systems we are part of requires an awareness of the constrictive paradigms we operate in today. Our future practices will be shaped by our individual and collective imaginations and by the stories we tell about who we are and what we desire, for ourselves and the societies in which we live.

These stories must move beyond the “us versus them” media mentality pitting humans against machines. Autonomous and intelligent technologies have the potential to enhance our personal and social skills; they are much more fully integrated and less discrete than the term “artificial intelligence” implies. And while this process may enlarge our cognitive intelligence or make certain individuals or groups more powerful, it does not necessarily make our systems more stable or socially beneficial.

This is why:

“Instead of thinking about machine intelligence in terms of humans vs. machines, we should consider the system that integrates humans and machines—not artificial intelligence, but extended intelligence. Instead of trying to control or design or even understand systems, it is more important to design systems that participate as responsible, aware and robust elements of even more complex systems. And we must question and adapt our own purpose and sensibilities as designers and components of the system for a much more humble approach: Humility over Control.” [1]

[1] Joichi Ito “Resisting Reduction: A Manifesto”

We cannot create sound governance for autonomous and intelligent systems in the Algorithmic Age while utilizing reductionist methodologies. By proliferating the ideals of responsible participant design, data symmetry and metrics of economic prosperity prioritizing people and the planet over profit and productivity, The Council on Extended Intelligence will work to transform reductionist thinking of the past to prepare for a flourishing future.

Three Priority Areas to Fulfill Our Vision

The Council on Extended Intelligence has identified three major priority areas[2] that urgently need a concerted global effort by broad societal constituencies in order to:

1 – Build a new narrative for intelligent and autonomous technologies inspired by principles of systems dynamics and design.

“Extended Intelligence” is based on the hypothesis that intelligence, ideas, analysis and action are not formed in any one individual collection of neurons or code. By leveraging principles of systems dynamics and design, developers can guide the integration of increasingly powerful algorithms and machines into present and future systems in a way that increases their robustness and prevents the reinforcement of negative systemic biases. This would align with the flourishing of all humans involved in such systems or affected by them and with the preservation of our natural environment.


2 – Reclaim our digital identity in the algorithmic age

Business models based on tracking behavior and using outdated modes of consent are compounded by the appetites of states, industries and agencies for all data that may be gathered. Such widespread surveillance, combined with social-engineering techniques, has eroded trust and can ultimately lead to authoritarianism and the proliferation of systems that reinforce systemic biases rather than correct them. The Council is actively working against this paradigm – in which people have no agency over their identity and their data – as being fundamentally at odds with an open and free society.


3 – Rethink our metrics for success

Although very widely used, concepts of exponential growth and productivity such as the gross domestic product (GDP) index are insufficient to holistically measure societal prosperity. What we measure reflects the paradigm that governs setting goals and measuring success. Current indexes prioritizing short-term gains tend therefore to reinforce economic and societal models of the Industrial Revolution era. Under current circumstances, progress in autonomous and intelligent technologies is likely to further reinforce the dynamics of such short-term returns-oriented systems, thus increasing inequality and social tensions and further concentrating wealth and power among an ever-smaller class of privileged people.


[2] Based on a submission by Konstantinos Karachalios to the Conference “AI, Intelligent Machines, Smart Policies”. 26-27 October 2017. OECD, Paris

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Our Next Steps

To proliferate the ideals of responsible participant design, data agency, and metrics of economic prosperity prioritizing people and the planet over profit and productivity CXI will pursue the following projects:

Extended Intelligence
Awareness and Action

This project will focus on creating an introduction to Extended Intelligence and Participatory Design. To avoid reductionism, these articles, webinars, and curriculum will help organizations build a new narrative for autonomous and intelligent technologies inspired by principles of systems dynamics and design.

Digital Identity
Democracy by Design

This project will create a Data Policy template for governments and organizations to utilize in helping individuals and society reclaim their digital identity in the algorithmic age. Realizing the difficulties with creating a “one-size-fits-all” global solution, CXI will focus on providing general best practices for evolved identity recommendations (Personal Identification Management Systems, Blockchain, etc.) that can be adapted based on country-specific and other contextual considerations.

Enlightened Indicators
Measuring What’s Good Versus Simply Growth

This project will create a Wellbeing Indicator template for governments and organizations to utilize in helping society redefine and reprioritize genuine metrics of prosperity to benefit us all. CXI will focus on providing general recommendations and best practices based on established indicators (such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Better Life Index and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) for their template.

Our Members

Micah Altman – Director of Research, MIT Libraries. Head Scientist, Program on Information Science

Chelsea Barabas – MIT Media Lab, Research Scientist

Karen Bartleson – IEEE President 2017

Chris Bavitz – Harvard Law School, WilmerHale Clinical Professor of Law

Sophia Adams Bhatti – The Law Society, Director of Legal and Regulatory Policy, UK

Ryan Budish – Harvard University, Assistant Research Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Joy Buolamwini – MIT Media Lab, Graduate Researcher

Craig Campbell – NYC Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, Special Advisor

Anne Carblanc – Head of OECD Division on Digital Economy Policy

Raja Chatila – Professor, Sorbonne Université – Paris & Chair, The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems

Kade Crockford – American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Director, Technology for Liberty Program

Paul R. Daugherty – Accenture, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer

Karthik Dinakar – MIT Media Lab, Research Scientist

Katryna Dow – Meeco, CEO & Founder

Jim Dratwa – European Commission & Woodrow Wilson Center

Riane Eisler – Center for Partnership Studies, President

Kay Firth-Butterfield – World Economic Forum, Head, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at World Economic Forum

Lord Anthony Giddens – UK House of Lords, Member

Amandeep S. Gill – Executive Director, Secretariat of UNSG High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation

John C. Havens – Executive Director, CXI

Cesar A. Hidalgo – MIT Media Lab, Director, Collective Learning Group

Cyrus Hodes – Advisor to the Minister of Artificial Intelligence (UAE) and co-founder AI Initiative @ The Future Society

Joichi Ito – MIT Media Lab, Director

Eva Kaili – European Parliament, Member of the European Parliament, Head of the Hellenic Delegation for the Progressive Alliance of S&D, Chair Scientific Foresight Unit STOA, Chair EU-NATO Delegation

Konstantinos Karachalios – Managing Director, IEEE Standards Association

Anja Kaspersen – Director, Intrapreneur, Storyteller, Techplomat

Baroness Beeban Kidron – Member of House of Lords, Chair 5Rights Foundation

Eileen Lach – IEEE Global Initiative, Member, Executive Committee

Lawrence Lessig– Harvard Law School, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership

Steve Mann – Chairman and CEO,

Vikash Mansinghka – MIT Probabilistic Computing Project, Principal Investigator

Martha Minow – Harvard Law School, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence

Catelijne Muller – Member of the EU High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence

Paul Nemitz – European Commission, Principal Adviser

Neri Oxman – MIT Media Lab, Sony Corporation Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences

Alex Pentland – MIT Media Lab, Director, Human Dynamics Group

Rosalind Picard – MIT Media Lab, Founder and Director, Affective Computing Research Group

Tenzin Priyadarshi – MIT Media Lab, Director, Ethics Initiative

Iyad Rahwan – MIT Media Lab, Associate Professor

Jeffrey Sachs – The Center for Sustainable Development, Director

Fr. Eric Salobir – Optic Technology, President

Natalie Saltiel – Program Manager, Ethics & Governance of AI Fund

Anjali Sastry – MIT Sloan School of Management, Senior Lecturer

Ali Shah – BBC, Head of Emerging Technology and Strategic Direction

Sarah Spiekermann – Vienna University of Economics and Business, Professor for Information Systems

Dr. Elisabeth Stampfl-Blaha – Austrian Standards, Standardization Strategist

Audrey Tang – Digital Minister, Taiwan

Andre Uhl – Harvard University, Ph.D. Candidate

Andrew Updegrove – Gesmer Updegrove LLP, Partner

Stephen Welby – IEEE, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer

Danielle Wood – MIT Media Lab, Director of the Space Enabled Research Group

Don Wright – President IEEE Standards Association 2016-2018

Lan Xue – Dean of School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University

Jonathan Zittrain – Harvard Law School, George Bemis Professor of International Law

Hear from Our Members

Martha Minow - Harvard Law School, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence
Konstantinos Karachalios - Managing Director, IEEE Standards Association
Joichi Ito - MIT Media Lab, Director

Frequently Asked Questions

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IEEE Standards Association and MIT Media Lab Form Council on Extended Intelligence

There’s a lot of concern that designers of autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS) will overlook the impact their creations could have on society. That’s why the IEEE Standards Association and the MIT Media Lab recently launched the Council on Extended Intelligence (CXI). The group seeks to foster the responsible creation of intelligent systems by recognizing they are part of larger human and environmental systems that need to be handled in a holistic way. The idea is encapsulated in the phrase extended intelligence and moves away from the “us versus them” mentality in the “robots versus humans” language found in many news media articles.

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