As a part of United Nations 2045 Initiative – UNleashed 2045: The United Nations at 100, the United Nations Charter Day Roundtable, June 26, 2020, was co-organized by the United Nations Academic Impact and the Boston Global Forum. At the roundtable, authors Nguyen Anh Tuan and professor David Silbersweig (Harvard) presented Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society, a new version of the article “Intellectual Society” which was published on May 31, 2020.
Intellectual Society – Thoughtful Civil Society
Nguyen Anh Tuan and David Silbersweig
While writing a proposal for the Democratic Alliance on Digital Governance (DADG) and developing the Social Contract 2020, a New Social Contract in the Age of AI, we conceived an idea: to upgrade civil society to a more thoughtful society. This captures both aspects of being thoughtful – intellectual and compassionate.
The initial name for it was Intellectual Society. After discussion, we will call it Thoughtful Civil Society (TCS). This avoids sounding elitist, and connotes both intelligence and compassion.
It is just an initial idea draft.
The features of Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society are knowledge, critical thinking and social responsibility.
Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society is a progression of civil society, it will be a guidepost for society and will contribute to social services with assistance from AI. In the Age of AI, we have many tools to support this mission, and thoughtful society must monitor ethics and manage the risks and perils of AI as well as the threats from any governments or companies that undermine democratic values. Furthermore, intellectual society-thoughtful civil society can contribute new economic models by using AI to improve problems in the distribution of income and it can promote the opinions and influence of distinguished thinkers and notable personalities in society.
In the Age of AI, citizens need to adapt to new knowledge and ways of thinking. Companies, and governments can provide every individual with educational apps that provide inexpensive convenient learning. AI can assist citizens to become more thoughtful by enhancing knowledge, critical thinking and social responsibility to maintain moral and ethical values and when intellectual society-thoughtful civil society becomes a large part of civil society, the world will be better a better place.
With good education, citizens can understand common values, standards, etc., and develop critical thinking. They can make better informed decisions and they can more readily identify fake news and disinformation, thus making it more difficult to deceive and manipulate them.
Governments should design policy with the following goal in mind: all citizens are educated through a basic program for a citizen in the Age of AI.
1. What is an Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society?
- Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society is progressive part of civil society: organizations within civil society with good education, knowledge, critical thinking and social responsibility who can contribute positive actions, initiatives, and solutions to solve social issues.
- They are thinktanks, intellectual networks, advocacy groups who respect and apply the Social Contract 2020, all of them have wisdom and knowledge, and are assisted in information and decision making by AI. Influencers who are more deliberative can be part of an independent organization of Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society.
2. Role and contribute in society, what is its scope and authority?
- As with members of the House of Representatives who raise concerns and amendments to shape political decisions before passing a bill to the Senate for approval to become law, with an Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society citizen can participate more meaningfully in direct democracy.
- Monitor ethical practices by governments, corporations, and other power centres.
- Generate concepts, models, initiatives, and solutions to solve social issues.
- Take actions to address social problems.
- Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society is a very important part of civil society, which is one of seven branches of power, and Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society will work closely with congresses, or national assemblies and other centers of power. These include: branches of Government (Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch), the Business Sector, Civil Society, and Influencers.
3. How do they operate, how to evaluate their effectiveness?
- Register under laws and regulations.
- Evaluate by results: transparency of their work and results.
- They have the right to connect and contribute to society and governments; the business sector has to be monitored.
- Monitoring Board: Supervisor of the adherence to laws, agreements and standards; generate initiatives to shape policy, create new laws and accords.
- Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society would be a partner in the formation of the Monitoring Board (AI-Congress)
4. How to build the Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society?
- Education: the general public will have access to knowledge-based education to develop critical thinking. Governments would design policies with the following goal in mind: all citizens are educated through a basic program relevant in the Age of AI.
- In the context of laws and regulations, identify people and organizations that deliberately deliver fake news, misinformation, and cyber-attacks as serious criminals.
- Support and exchange values: organizations with initiatives, solutions, or projects can get financial support and have their values recognized which would lead to the exchange of values and use of new services and products.
- New AI economy model to improve unreasonable distribution of income, opinions and influence of thinkers and notable personalities in society.
5. How can AI support Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society?
- Education of citizens to help them have the basis for intellectual development and critical thinking.
- Assist in decision-making by using causal inference methodology.
- Help the creation of Global Monitoring and the Global AI-Citizen using Causal Inference Methodology.
- New model of AI economy: make the economy more equitable, everyone who has contributed to society or the economy should be able to lead a life with dignity and values and should be acknowledged. AI can make a system to fairly recognize contributions, a system to directly deliver an unbiased value of contributors. Financial leaders should not be compensated so much more than other innovators, creators, founders, inventors, or thought leaders.
- A system that recognizes not only noble, honest, and good people, but also dishonest people. Now, with civil society in an age of social media, everyone can contribute to discussions but with this comes many problems. Intellectual Society-Thoughtful Civil Society needs to contribute to an AI system that can distinguish the difference between the noble, honest people and the immoral and dishonest. The Casual Inference Methodology of Judea Pearl can also be applied.
- Develop products and services of innovators, creators, and founders and deliver directly to users; create a mechanism to prevent governments from abusing markets to ask companies to meet unfair requirements, or to foment totalitarian power. Through this method, governments can promote innovations, creativities, inventions, and contributions.
By the time the United Nations celebrates its first centenary in 2045, we hope that Intellectual Society – Thoughtful Civil Society will be a large part of civil society.