Convergent technologies have created new venues for virtual social interaction and influence, both hard and soft power based. These new theatres of culture and conflict and marketplaces for constructs and products also host virtual agents of organizations and individuals.
Technological convergence takes place within the current uneven global societal convergence and evolution of rules and rule that emerge through the interplay of propensities for hierarchy, hegemony and heteronomy, propensities identified in Onuf's constructivism. An overarching social construction that maybe characterized as a weak world confederacy (WC) with republican characteristics has emerged.
Human and machine intelligence and kinetics continue to converge within and with the WC, which may be characterized as a growing 'cyber organization' - or system composed of human and social subsystems as well as subsystems of human constructs - ideological and technological.
Looking into the future techno-social transformation may be projected to range between (1) a point where human mind (in its collective social expression as WC) is at the apex of the power hierarchy and (2) another where technology (in the form of a much-progressed technological singularity, no longer supported by human intelligence external to it) is at the apex. In between would be a range of Whole Brain Emulations (Ems) as described in Robin Hanson's The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth.
This article will discuss power and techno-biological convergence and employ a constructivist approach to analyze social order as projected in The Age of Em. It will also raise political-economic questions in the lead-up to singularity, when Van Neumann machines will be available. It will normatively take the view that the republican values and virtues of the current world system should prevail in the shaping of any evolving WBE regime. It will call for the transfer of norms to ems and artilects as far into the future as possible. In the time ahead, the question of how human society might balance power with a power-oriented artilect might be our principal concern. Might this happen through interplay of hierarchy, hegemony and heteronomy continuing through phases of global cyber organization?
- Artificial intelligence
- International regimes
- Soft power