Goals for algorithmic genies

Hassan Masum, Mark Tovey


Algorithmic genies built from growing computational capabilities bring risks like automating well-paying jobs, yet we suggest that if supplied with suitable goals and supporting infrastructure they can help in meeting many human needs. We argue that algorithmic genies can be harnessed to raise the baseline experience of people worldwide (raising the floor), especially if such harnessing is informed by wide consensus and deep evidence. Examples show how algorithmic genies could raise the floor for widely agreed human needs like health, education, and other components of the Social Progress Index. Ensuring that both the least well off and the majority share in the benefits of progress can help to ensure the floor is raised for all (floored progress). Floored progress can apply beyond basic human needs to problems that people across the economic spectrum struggle with (shared floors). We include three tables with illustrative opportunities, and conclude by summarizing the value of raising floors individually and in concert.


Algorithmic genies; artificial intelligence; beneficial AI; goals; ethics; social justice; innovation; foresight; algorithmic boost; raising the floor; Internet.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v23i2.8073

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