Summary: Many social species amplify their decision-making accuracy by deliberating in real-time closed-loop systems made of many independent individuals. Known as Swarm Intelligence (SI), this natural process has been studied extensively in schools of fish, flocks of birds, swarms of bees, and even groups of slime molds. Artificial Swarm Intelligence (ASI) is a hybrid AI technology based on natural swarms that enables distributed human groups to think together in real-time systems. Along with Louis Rosenberg, Hans Schumann, and Colin Domnauer, I help to show that by forming “human swarms,” networked groups can substantially amplify their combined intelligence and produce significantly more accurate forecasts than traditional methods.
This seminar will introduce human swarms in the context of forecasting and group decision-making. I seek to answer: (i) What structures enable groups to make better decisions? (ii) To what extent are these structures already present in different societal contexts, and what can we learn from these other contexts? (iii) How can we develop tools that enable teams–both human and human-AI teams–to work together more effectively?
Fun Fact from Gregg: I just started a freshwater aquarium and my one snail (Gary) has cloned themself rather unexpectedly (and asexually?) into 50 or so little snails!
…with the world more attuned to risk, lessons can be drawn to strengthen response and resilience. In 2020, the risk of a pandemic became reality. As governments, businesses, and societies grapple with COVID-19, societal cohesion is more important than ever.
Summary: In order to achieve a broadly inclusive state of wellbeing and prosperity within a community, it is essential that individuals of that community are resilient and thus contributing to their collective resiliency. A key factor of a resilient community is the level of social cohesion experienced in that community. It is one thing to know it empirically, and quite a different thing to measure and analyze it to inform policy and enable effective interventions towards a resilient community. The quality of surveys on social cohesion must also meet international standards, enabling timely and equitable comparisons to properly assess the state of social cohesion in a community. Social cohesion is complex and dynamic–it cannot be effectively grasped solely through a conventional reductionist paradigm.
Social cohesion is a fundamental aspect for greater insights at larger scales. The assessment and approach of Social Cohesion fits within a larger context of the application of complex systems science, or socio-ecological systems science for that matter, by gaining and integrating different perspectives and thereby broader and deeper understanding of the dynamics and challenges small island states like Curaçao face. This seminar will provide a review of a framework and road-map of best practices and different approaches for devising a national social cohesion survey that correlates with international standards, yet is properly localized to suit the needs of the community where it will be implemented.
Fun fact from Angelo: I am by nature curious, ever so inquisitive. Always wanting to dig deeper and seek greater understanding. Over time I found out I am a seeker, a knowledge seeker. I set out to find out why and how things work or fail to work based on an innate knowing of how it should be. My life experiences and the dissonance these experiences cause with my self, got me onto a journey of self discovery and to a greater extend the mastery of self where I now enjoy waking up in the morning and get right at moving the ball one more step further day by day towards that innately known epiphany. More so, as I see the pieces settling in their place step by step, day by day. I do at times contemplate, now more than before that it was the best thing I have done to dig deep into things very early on asking myself why I am the way I am and do things the way I do, even though it is a longer path, takes a lot more work and intentionality. I enjoy the new discoveries along the way. However, the one thing that can completely recharge me is, ever so often there comes along someone or some people on the journey, who because of my own choices, I can light the light in them, and it is an amazing feeling to see their light, light up and shine brighter!
Summary: According to historical views by colonizing wayward voyagers, Easter Island was a barren island, devoid of trees and full of giant statues left behind from a cultural collapse. These myths have now been rejected and the truth accepted that slavery diminished Easter Island’s 4,000 people to 111 in 1862. But an important question remains: Did the islanders really cut down all of their trees? The only way to literally dig into the past to uncover what plants, ecosystems, and climate changes were occurring was to core the ancient crater lake of Rano Kao. In this presentation, Candace will present the results of 15,000 years of discovery with an answer to: What really happened to the trees?
Fun Fact from Candace: While doing this field research, I learned what it was like to work in a quagmire and walk on water.
Summary: For open science to transform the academy, technology is not sufficient. Culture changes in hundreds (thousands) of academy organizations will need to be contemplated, discussed, argued, and implemented. But how do you, as a working scientist, become an open science culture change agent? Where do you start? What do you need to know? You already know that culture can work against your interests, and against the interests of scientific work (perverse incentives, etc.). How can you make culture work to nourish the new, transparent, open, generous, abundant, and kind outcomes that are the promise of open science.? Take a look at the Open Science Handbook. It’s a reference work you can use to become an open science change agent in your department, laboratory, college, learned society, or research agency. The next step is to work together to build “play books” that capture the actual culture change experiments from organizations around the globe. I’m looking for culture change agents who want to create collective intelligence around the work of culture change for open science!
Fun fact from Bruce: My database for this book has 3500 items with 24 million words.
Abstract. Modern linguistic theory goes one step further than standard scientific conventions of formal simplicity (‘Occam’s Razor’) in denoting the simplest formalisations for language structures not only for theory-internal reasons but also for empirical reasons (Martin and Uriagereka (2000)), since it has been established human infants acquire their first language at such an exceptionally high rate that, in accordance with Plato’s Problem, there may be an innate component in the human mind which is species-specific and genetically designed for human language. This is Chomsky’s Universal Grammar (UG), and formal metrics of ‘simplicity’ are a hot topic in contemporary syntactic debates as numerous definitions have been proposed throughout the development of Chomskyan models of language whose latest version known as the Minimalist Program (MP) (Chomsky (1995)) provides a backdrop to language variation and change. While assumptions such as Plato’s Problem and formal simplicity are widely agreed upon, consensus with regards to technical details remains elusive, since Chomsky (2004) radically revises his earliest definitions of formal simplicity (Chomsky (1995, 2000, 2001)) which has given rise to lively debates in modern syntactic theory. This presentation critically examines the history and evolution of modern syntactic theory from a Chomskyan perspective and compares the various principles of ‘simplicity’ proposed which drives us to the conclusion that extraneous elements in language may indeed be eliminated in favour of the simplest structures.
Summary: Gain a checklist and perspective to use when marketing your endeavors to would-be clientele, colleagues, funders, or other entities. Consider using the checklist for many other activities throughout your life. I developed this and some other checklists, based on perspective from a diverse career. (I have worked with large and small enterprises in aerospace, agricultural research, biotech, business services, computing, defense, education, energy utilities, government, healthcare, high technology, innovation, insurance, Internet, law enforcement, politics, research and development, telecommunications, and venture capital. One role included leading a 2,000-person business unit.) The checklists are broadly applicable, semi-rigorous, and hopefully not overly prescriptive.
Here’s a preview into the seminar:
If you’d like to get ahead of the curve, you can take a look at the recorded presentation (below) ahead of time and be ready with your questions & discussion points at the seminar.
Summary: Have you considered using a Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools to understand COVID19? How about a chatbot that can answer some of your friends’ questions about COVID19? Do you think that applications for a Quantum Computer are too far in the future? You can access and play with all these cutting edge technology tools today! In this talk, freely available resources will be used to demonstrate the utilization of all these cutting edge technologies to understand and inform the public about COVID19. The speaker will demo a Slack and Facebook integrated ChatBot that can answer questions about COVID19, a focused NLP and NLU COVID19 based search collection, and finally a quantum computer GDP-sick people optimization for informed reopening decisions.
Summary: This essay is about less-than-satisfying circumstances, and imperfect solutions. To that end it presents some theory, experiences and examples for how to tackle ‘geoethical dilemmas’. Geosciences co-shape the human niche, that is, the planetary network of twinned natural and cultural landscapes. Bundled by global supply chains, humans restlessly alter it through engineering, production and consumption. In turn, human agents face counter-intuitive system-behaviour, irreversible path-dependency, and multi-facet values and interests, including ‘ethical dilemmas’.
Facing such premises, geoethics explores cultural substrates to nurture the skills of agents when facing suchlike ‘wicked’ system-features. Initially, geoethics was conceived for geoscientists, that is, their professional functions in various societal contexts. Subsequently, geoethics evolved into an epistemic, moral hybrid for citizens interacting with the Earth system. Geoethics amended by Kohlberg’s hierarchy of moral adequacy and Jonas’s imperative of responsibility results in a ‘geoethical rational’, namely, to act: ‘actor-centric, virtue-ethics focused, responsibility focused, knowledge-based, all-actor-inclusive, and universal-rights based’. Less-than-perfect guidance, such as the geoethical rational offers, can support agents to navigate the human niche, that is coping with ‘ethical dilemmas’.