Wednesday, June 26, 2024

What Makes A Resilient Civilization?

This blog post builds upon the ideas presented in the Society for Resilient Civilization (res/civ) Manifesto. Rooted in technological optimism, the proposed Society is set to address the complexity of building long-term societal resilience, and explore effective strategies and tools in the age of AI.

In this post we outline one of the many possible ways to unpack the question, what makes a resilient civilization? Taking up a role of a hypothetical designer/programmer, one could think of several design elements and principles:

1. res/civ as a “Programmatic Civilization”:

  • Viewing civilization as a systematic framework that supports growth and experimentation. 
  • Introducing “stable” and “experimental branches” with continuous feedback loops to safely test new models and policies.

2. Critical pillars of a resilient civilization:

  • Optimism: Cultivating a culture of optimism and positive thinking is crucial. A resilient society avoids fear and pessimism to maintain a forward-looking perspective.
  • Growth: Sustainable growth that considers societal well-being and maximizes future options is essential for resilience.
  • Robust Experimentation: Establishing a safe environment for experimentation and innovation promotes diversity and adaptability—key traits of resilience.
  • Strong People: Encouraging individual autonomy and continuous self-improvement, the foundations for societal resilience.
  • Strong Leaders: Focus on developing leadership and personal integrity, together with tools and metrics for accountability and power balance.
  • Decentralized Structure: A decentralized organizational structure allows for diverse approaches to adopting and implementing core values, and most importantly allows breathing room for the values to evolve.

3. Resilience metrics. Important considerations for testing new regulations and policies include:

  • How well does the policy prepare society for future challenges?
  • Does it help preserve or increase future possibilities (e.g. strikes a balance between diversification and convergence)?

4. Addressing existential threats and societal issues:

  • De-growth and AI doom-ism: fear mongering should be battled with rational discussion about both risks and benefits, and a proactive approach should be taken to leverage the maximum benefits of AI and other technologies.
  • Climate, Dept, and Democracy Crises: Environmental and economic policies must promote resilient growth, and avoid power monopolies to prevent instability and one-sided solutions.

5. Collaboration with initiatives that share similar goals:

6. Scaling and Education.

  • Engaging broader audiences through active conversation, publications, and podcasts, using clear and relatable language.

By focusing on maximizing future options, enabling safe experimentation, and managing risks through technology and ethics, societies can build and maintain resilience.

When it comes to AI as a number one candidate to the societies’ soon-to-be strongest propelling force: in our view, banning, over-regulating, or limiting AI or any technology isn’t a sustainable, nor favorable, strategy. Instead, maximal effort should be put towards building beneficial initiatives, AI tools and inventions, therefore creating a robust ecosystem which will be able to withstand the negative outliers that will naturally occur.

We look forward to further discussing the building blocks of resilient societies, and we encourage you to engage with us on our social channels and voice your ideas and comments.

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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