Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Society for Resilient Civilization - a Manifesto


  • AI’s Role and Humanity’s Future: AI’s advancement prompts questions about humanity’s role and the need for a resilient society guided by values.
  • Society for Resilient Civilization: The “Society for Resilient Civilization” is proposed, aiming to ensure AI benefits all, is not monopolized, and helps humanity evolve.
  • Resilience Characteristics: A resilient society’s adaptability, diversity, and balance can be supported at individual and organizational levels.
  • Organizational and Individual Strategies: Organizational members promote power balance and diversification, while individuals develop integrity and long-term decision-making skills.
  • Fluid Membership and Next Steps: Evolving set of contributors will catalyze societal changes and individual growth, run workshops, and open ideas for discussion and exploration.

Where are we headed, as a civilization?

AI is gradually getting better than humans at every assignment and it is a matter of time before all the jobs could be replaced by AI. As humanity we are confronted with questions, what is our role and purpose, what will be left for us, and most importantly what kind of future do we want to live in?

Both as individuals and as a society, AI can empower us unlike any other tool in history.  Together, we can use it to build a more resilient society and evolve as a civilization.

To paraphrase Francois Chollet*, in an increasingly complex world, we should base our decisions on values and principles rather than predictions. Among our key values are the ability to make our own decisions. Values of freedom, agency, determination of one’s own future. The need to create and build, learn and grow.

As humanity we can choose to set the direction of our future according to what we value, before we find ourselves in a future where all the decisions have already been made for us by AI (or by a stakeholder behind it). 

Society for Resilient Civilization

With this idea in mind, we propose the Society for Resilient Civilization, an evolving institute and a “school of thought” anyone can subscribe to, rather than a fixed organization with elitist membership. At the core of the Society is the technological optimism (as an antidote to the alarmist narratives of AI doomism and de-growth): leverage and maximize the power of AI in a responsible manner to drive progress. The set of goals, values and principles of the Society would unite individuals and organizations with capacities of both think-tank and implementer.

The Society for Resilient Civilization would have the following key objectives:
  1. To make sure the AI isn’t monopolized by a few entities to pursue selfish goals
  2. To make sure people can benefit from technology as individuals and as a society, and use it to evolve as humanity
  3. To design civilization as a robust system or program (“programmatic civilization”), with various policies serving as extensions to the core structure, supporting experimentation and growth.
Note: building a resilient civilization isn’t just about AI, and we don’t anticipate that it will be the sole focus of the Society, which will deal with the topic on a systemic level. However, at this point it feels most natural to focus the discussion around AI as a catalyst for societal transformation, a technology that’s currently entering every aspect of our lives.

Building blocks

What makes a resilient society, much like a natural ecosystem, is adaptability, diversity, and balance. These qualities can be promoted on an individual and structural level by various members of the Society for Resilient Civilization:

On the level of organizations,
  • Acting to promote diversity and power balance. This includes support and adaptive policy for AI projects and their deployment (to avoid that e.g. “well-meant” data protection policies discriminate, and bar access to beneficial technologies*). Public and private high-impact AI initiatives should have independent controlling mechanisms to guarantee beneficial AI use, and prevent monopolization
  • Supporting collaborative initiatives and open-source projects
  • Developing robust strategies for societal transition (to make sure people benefit from AI while their jobs are being replaced)
On the level of individuals,
  • Developing human character and integrity – by taking inspiration in teachings such as contemporary Stoicism, Virtue Ethics, and others
  • Learning to become better, more responsible decision-makers and thinking in long-term
  • Cultivating strength and independence (via education, proactive care of one’s health and environment, etc.)
Every action or policy should be evaluated based on whether it is increasing the resilience of human civilization, and maximizing its future options. Developing the evaluation metrics would be one of the Society’s first tasks.

Next steps

In practice we imagine the Society for Resilient Civilization as an attractor with a fluid membership, and naturally some members will become more permanent while others will step into light whenever their contribution or decision making power is required. The Society can give rise to various long- and short-term programs, catalyzing structural changes and spawning stronger individuals, movements and organizations.

We believe that none of the contributions would be too small and can result in compounding effects. As a first step we would like to open this very idea of the Society for Resilient Civilization (res/civ) for discussion, and look at the possible building blocks and roadmap to the future of humanity.

We will continue exploring and sharing ideas around the Society for Resilient Civilization and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Be on the lookout for the next blog post: What Makes a Resilient Civilization?

Our first workshop will be on the topic of: A Roadmap for Resilient Civilization


Thank you for reading this blog!


Marek Rosa
CEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software House
CEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAI

Personal bio:

Marek Rosa is the founder and CEO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and Keen Software House, an independent game development studio, started in 2010, and best known for its best-seller Space Engineers (over 5 million copies sold). Space Engineers has the 4th largest Workshop on Steam with over 500K mods, ships, stations, worlds, and more!

Marek has been interested in game development and artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer and later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to fund GoodAI in 2014 with a $10 Million personal investment.

Both companies now have over 100 engineers, researchers, artists, and game developers.

Marek's primary focus includes Space Engineers, the VRAGE3 engine, the AI People game, long-term memory systems (LTM), an LLM-powered personal assistant with LTM named Charlie Mnemonic, and the Groundstation.

GoodAI's mission is to develop AGI - as fast as possible - to help humanity and understand the universe. One of the commercial stepping stones is the "AI People" game, which features LLM-driven AI NPCs. These NPCs are grounded in the game world, interacting dynamically with the game environment and with other NPCs, and they possess long-term memory and developing personalities. GoodAI also works on autonomous agents that can self-improve and solve any task that a human can.

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