Cognitive Revolution: Prosperity & Sustainability

Cognitive Revolution: Prosperity & Sustainability

Rinaldo C. Michelini (Università di Genova, Genoa, Italy) and Roberto P. Razzoli (Università di Genova, Genoa, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/ijpmat.2012070105


The paper recalls ideas on the human wellbeing developments, already outlined by the Authors (Chap. 17, M.M. Cruz-Cunha, Ed., Social, Managerial & Organizational Dimensions of Enterprise Information Systems, IDEA Group Inc., Hershey, 2009, pp. 329-351, ISBN 978-1-60566-856-7). The cognitive revolution is condition of growth sustainability, requiring new social, political and management paradigms rather different from the extant Western Style ones, and, quite amazingly, more related to the regular culture and ethics ideas, which typify the Eastern Style world. The analyses list peculiarities in opposition between the two styles, such as holism and complexity instead of logic and reductionism, or fairness and conformity instead of rivalry and individualism. The pickings are examined in relation to the robot age technologies, deemed fundamental for the cognitive revolution to come, and to the cultural and ethics backdrop of a global village, aimed at safer running, because of altruism uniformity.
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The human wellbeing is ‹conquest› (or ‹myth›) obtained by the intentional transformation of natural sources, towards ‹value added› artefacts. The label ‹conquest› addresses the ‹prosperity›, founded on consumerism, to distinguish the community innovation rates. The label ‹myth› is criticism rooted in the entropy irreversibility, causing the impoverishment of third people (and generations to come). The two views co-exist; the modelling of the external world and the acknowledgement of alternatives on wide spectra of occurrences bring about the choice of the most advantageous solutions, i.e., the ones providing fair value-added, on steady horizons. Different situations are summarised by Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Example relations between men and surrounding sources


Looking at the past, it is clear that the wellbeing progresses, but the situations worsen. The survey shows that the history characterises by turning points, when the extant earth conditions do not anymore supply enough, safe and reliable foods for subsistence. The mankind progressively evolved, exploiting their instinctive skills, common to the other living being, and progressively developing rational capabilities, based on modelling the causal frames of the surrounds. This brings to the sequence:

  • The opportunistic supply of pickers/hunters, limited to what found in the wild lands;

  • The farming/breeding provisioning, using renewable resource processing techniques;

  • The manufacturing contributions, performed by industrial artificial energy processes;

  • The cognitive extras, joining artificial life/intelligence for recovery/reclamation aims.

The picture resorts to the optimistic view that the man skill allows devising new sources and transformations to propagate the value-added artifices, with the recovery and reclamation of the chomp conditions. This leads to sustainable growth bet, according the outlines of Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Basic options distinguishing transformation from opportunistic conditions


For sustainability, it is necessary adding chances, modifying the current over-depletion and over-pollution of the industrialism, by respect to the natural recovery, with suited account of the ecology qualms, by robot age inventions. The mankind civilisation, to hope for future progress, needs looking at change of paradigms from the extant consumerism: this has to be modified, not rejected. The riches ought to be obtained by better balanced processes. One shall remember that:

  • There is no wellbeing without consumables; the riches build on context synergies;

  • There is no life without consumption; the life promotes, also, regenerative upshots.

The planned changeovers are, today, fairly well assessed, bringing to the perhaps too advertised ‹cognitive revolution›, which will use artificial life/intelligence to close the manufacture processes by suited backward logistic recovery and reclamation. The ‹revolution› entails a series of innovations, not only in technologies, as well at civic and political purport, making vital these kinds of investigations.

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