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 MIT have joined 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:

“The most critical question in the time of so-called “intelligent” technologies and systems is how to use them in order to reinvigorate, and not to undermine human autonomy, agency and self-determination at an individual and – most importantly – at a collective level. This desire is the driving force behind the creation of the global Council on Extended Intelligence.”

– Konstantinos Karachalios

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.

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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.