Administration of Mega and Open Universities With Technological Singularity Beyond Master-Human

Administration of Mega and Open Universities With Technological Singularity Beyond Master-Human

Serap Sisman-Ugur (Anadolu University, Turkey) and Gulsun Kurubacak (Anadolu University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3476-2.ch032
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to foresee a futuristic view of how open universities can achieve their sustainability in the context of technological singularity. Technological singularity predicts that artificial intelligence will prevent human intelligence in the future. Not only can artificial intelligence radically change human habits, but it can also alter learning practices. The foundation of a revolutionary transformation on humanity learning will be established for both the open universities and for the technological singularity beyond master-human. Thus, open universities are not only sustainable, but, at the same time, they can be transformed into ecological learning environments. The framework of the internalizations and predictions of the study participants on open and distance learning environments will help us save open universities in the future.
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Focus Of The Article

The aim of this study is to foresee a futuristic view of how open universities can achieve their sustainability in the context of technological singularity. Technological singularity predicts that artificial intelligence will prevent human intelligence in the future. Not only can artificial intelligence radically change human habits, but also learning practices. The foundation of a revolutionary transformation on humanity learning will be established for both the open universities and for the technological singularity beyond master-human. Thus, open universities are not only sustainable; at the same time, be transformed into ecological learning environments. Within the framework of the internalizations and predictions of the study participants on open and distance learning environments help us how to save open universities in the future.

  • 1)

    Because of the development of computers, which are “awake” and superhumanly intelligent, open universities must develop advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) as learning environments.

  • 2)

    Because of dense and extensive computer networks and their associated users that “wake up” as a superhumanly intelligent entity, open universities must establish the networks that somehow become self-aware.

  • 3)

    Because of computer/human interfaces, which become so intimate that users may reasonably be considered superhumanly intelligent, open universities must focus on advanced computer/human interfaces that users must essentially evolve into a new learners.

  • 4)

    Because of the improvements in both biological science and social science that find ways to improve upon the natural human intellect, the advancements in open universities must allow users to engineer their intelligence.

This study is a qualitative research, and has been designed by adopting an individual and dialogical phenomenological approach model to identify phenomena through perceived by the actors in the situation. This translates into gathering deep information and perceptions through individual interviews, discussions and participant observations, and representing it from the perspective of the research participants. This study will experience from the perspective of the individual, bracketing taken-for-granted assumptions and usual ways of perceiving based in a paradigm of personal knowledge and subjectivity, and emphasise the importance of personal perspective and interpretation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Skill Bank: It is the area where the learning experiences that will be transferred will be kept and stored securely. These areas will be supported by the universities and other educational institutions. Meanwhile, the transfer operations of the learning experiences will be carried out securely and continuously in these banks. At this point, institutions need to form their own ethical codes.

Master-Human: More and Vita-More (2013) , Istvan et al., who are the supporters of the transhumanism view that can be interpreted as the transition of the human to an upper form and getting an upper form, prepared and shared a declaration and conducted studies regarding the preparation process of humanism for this future. The change in humans from pre-human to post-human cannot be denied when the history of humanity is reviewed. Regarding Hayles’ explanation “there are no essential differences or absolute demarcations between bodily existence and computer simulation in the posthuman age”, it can be anticipated that the human of the future will have a brain supported with artificial intelligence and a body developed with technology. Then, this human won’t be described with the definition of “human” today and this new human can be named as a “master-human”. The human that interacts with the systems defined is now “Beyond Master-human”.

Clone Consciousness: Transferring an individual’s consciousness into an artificial body. All the memory, information and experiences of the individual are transferred into a new body. Morgan (2001) states in his work where he explains the future of his expectation that the consciousness of the people can be transferred into the new bodies that will be produced for them. The team which aimed at developing the technology that would form the gene map of the people and therefore enable the diagnosis of the illnesses together with its cost and quality through the Human Genome Project, which was completed nominally in 2004, prepared the Human Genome Project-write project to continue the previous one in 2016. In this project, it is planned to perform experiments to determine the effects of the new genome sequences and the intervened genome sequences. Many researches, which focus on the similar studies conducted today on cloning from synthetic human bodies, enable making a prediction on the development of a technology through which the consciousness of the individuals will be transferred to different bodies in the future. In this sense, it can be assumed that this technology will be used for backing up the consciousness of individuals and passing their information and experiences down the future generations.

Uploaded Mind: Transferring the information and experiences of the individuals to other individuals digitally. This concept can be explained as the acquisition by transferring from brain to brain, from the individuals who previously had information or experiences in matters like general information, routine tasks, regular processes coming from the past to the present etc. Unlike clone consciousness, not all the consciousness of the brain is transferred into the transferee; only the needed information or experience is transferred. A Brief History of Tomorrow, Harari (2016) stresses the importance of the information flow and shares the viewpoint “save, upload, share”. This flow can be ensured with the uploaded mind.

Mind Bank: The service providing institutions to which individuals can apply to back up and save their own memories. These institutions are liable to protect the legal and ethical rights of this process and operation for the individuals whose minds are backed up. The universities of the future can work with the mission of becoming institutions which help the individuals to back up their minds and use their information and experiences when needed for themselves or other people as much as they allow them to. When today’s technologies are considered, blockchain infrastructure and systems come into prominence with their theoretical structure appropriate for this working principle. Relatively, it can be said that “these banks will become institutions which will ensure the infinity of the individual/information”.

Transferred Learning: Transferring the learning experiences of the individuals into other individuals. It is the transfer of the individuals’ learning experiences that were acquired not in their own living processes but from the lives of other individuals through interpersonal transfer. It will help obtain the experiences of master-apprentice learning and different experts. While the individual produces possible solutions in different times and situations with these learnings transferred to him/her, he/she will be able to predict the best more quickly and the decision-making process will be completed in a shorter time. Grau et al. (2014) tried transferring communication and experience from brain to brain in their research and they had a successful outcome. It was revealed in the researches conducted by HRL Information and System Sciences (2016) that the success of the amateur pilots could be increased by transferring the brain’s electrical signals comprised by the experiences of a practiced pilot to the amateur pilots. In this system, the individual can create his/her own learnings and transfer them to the following learners, and this will help the formation of a cumulative system. This process can also be named as “Experience Transfer”.

Simulated Consciousness: The preview of what an individual will do or how he/she will think in different scenarios of the situations by transferring the individual’s consciousness into a virtual platform. According to Harari (2016) , consciousness is an unnecessary biological by-product of certain brain processes and mind is different from consciousness; as intelligence without consciousness proceeds at a dangerous speed, the possibility of people to stay in the game also depends on upgrading their own minds without getting tired. Harari states that it is possible to trigger a second cognitive revolution by making changes in the genes of the human-beings and restructuring the connections in their brains. In this sense, simulated consciousness is a system that enables analyzing the people’s experiences in their lives, the way they perceive the events, how they attribute meanings to things in different situations, how they make decisions under certain circumstances, who they find important and any kind of criteria they consider during the process of decision-making. With this system, it will be possible to discover over the presumptive scenario how and in what situations an individual, who demands information, will use it after obtaining it, and also to predict matters such as the improvements an individual will provide for his/her work beside how he/she will make a decision in work-related situations during the employment processes. These systems, which will enable reaching an eventual result by picturing an individual’s ways of thinking in alternative scenarios, the way he/she will attain a certain result, the decision-making processes in his/her mind, his/her reactions and emotional reactions, will be able to be used in both individual acts and critical social, political and vital decisions.

Information Transfer: The transfer process in the information banks. This operation will be designed for a transfer to be performed from human to human, from human to machine, from human to robot, from human to computer, vice versa, and one-to-one or multiply. The coordination, reliability, applicability and sustainability of these processes will be constituted by the universities and other educational institutions through the blockchain technologies. Importantly, it is an obligation for the aforementioned institutions to have the necessary manpower, technology and infrastructure through which they can configure the necessary ecological systems with blockchain technologies and to update them continuously.

Digital Memory: Transferring the life standards, cultural background and social structures of the individuals and the societies into digital platforms. The futurist thinkers such as Bostrom, Kurzweil and Neumann express that the artificial intelligence will be fed and developed by the big data via technology and the singularity process will start in the near future. It is possible to mention that learning will be reshaped during the singularity period and the learning processes will be reduced to minimum thanks to the artificial intelligence. They are the blockchain systems that will be formed to culturally map the social memory, which will be constituted by the gathering of the transferred learnings, and to transfer this information and experiences to the willing societies. With the different methods of the artificial intelligence, different situations will be presented to the societies according to their expectations, needs and demands. Thus, it will be possible to determine the master society memory and map, and to enrich them by passing them down the future generations.

Information Bank: The institutions to which the individuals can apply for obtaining new information and uploading the existing information on themselves, and which produce, store and distribute information. Huxley (2008) foresees periods when the information is stored, and humans are produced in Brave New World. When today’s developments in artificial intelligence and robotic technologies and the big data are considered, it can be believed that this prediction will come true soon. In the future, the need for institutions where the information is stored and kept secure will be inevitable. These institutions do not present all the information to all the applicants; they decide on the amount of the information to be presented according to the results of certain tests (e.g. simulated consciousness tests etc.) and present the information to the demandants in line with their needs. These institutions are liable to protect the legal and ethical rights of all these processes and operations.

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