(If you want to collaborate in the editing of this draft, please register yourself by clicking here.)
I believe that the viewpoint that dreams, life-goals and also smaller goals offer, can be used as an ethical and practical approach to information technology.
I have made one short video explaining the core idea of Dreams Oriented Computing (which you can watch from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWO4IcYpSKs).
There I defined Dreams Oriented Computing (DreamsOC) along the lines:
We should be able to express our dreams and goals to information system – and then the system will help us towards them.
What kind of dreams and goals could we reach for?
Let’s start with a short story…
Moona is a little girl, who has some big dreams. One is to become a professional dancer. Others are to be a firewoman and save the world (after all, why settle for only one dream?). The last one started when some homeless youngster tried to warm himself up and fire almost burnt down neighbor’s barn, where Mr. Rogers and its acquaintances live..
I will continue writing this story as little parts of Moona’s life.
Some spoilers though: in the end, Moona will end up reaching many of her dreams helped by Dreams Oriented Computing. Well, except in the alternative universe, where Dreams Oriented Computing (or anything like it) didn’t take off and our dreams are commercialized to the end and used for fuel of marketing departments and propaganda machinery.
In this material, I will first explain in a little bit more detail this core idea of Dreams Oriented Computation. I will also explain why this idea will happen, but it would be greatly beneficial for us if we would implement much of it ourselves. One important aspect of this is to develop systems which promote more proactive than reactive behaviour. Now we have historically good time and opportunity to do this. We can perhaps crucially affect if new development towards these ideas in information systems will be more like treasure chest or like Pandora’s box. One thing we need for this is ways to compare our advancement, both in user experience, but as importantly, in ethical functioning.
I will tell why I think word “Dreams” is good starting point, as it has dynamics and ethics “built in”. I will also try to analyze the values we need to adhere to such as freedom, transparency, “ownership” of data, fairness, enlightenment and courage.
The last concept, courage, includes readiness to dwell in some philosophical questions, although there is value for keeping things “down to earth and practical”. As an example, I will introduce the question: “How do we know that our dreams are ours?”.
When considering ethical and philosophical viewpoints in information technology and building systems, stories can be of great value. From simple usage stories (familiar from IT projects and user interface/experience design) to full books about imaginary worlds, stories help us to understand different viewpoints and relate to the effect that our development will have to the world.
Thus they can be invaluable in allowing a wider amount of people participate in the discussion and everyone being concerned about humane viewpoints that can be sometimes forgotten when thinking about fascinating technological aspects. I will give an example of a short story that studies the difference between utopia and dystopia (or in other words, a more preferable future vs. unwanted future) with the help of alternative endings.
It is good to examine Dreams Oriented Computing on three levels:
After going through these three levels, we will look also further, at the possibilities of making use of DreamsOC tools/system(s) for some areas outside its core idea.
Implementation of tools and their integration might give us possibilities that do not yet exist for e.g. health-related as well as economical studies, based on real data from a new viewpoint.
There also exists opportunity for somewhat new kind of charity. From “outer bounds of our knowledge”, I will also write my take on what we could possibly want to teach for Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) before we possibly hit so-called singularity.
Too much promises?
My goal for here, in the beginning, has been to give you enough information so that you become interested, even to get you to think “there is no way we are going to achieve that all”.
And then, when we go through ideas how to start implementing things, I can hopefully change your opinion to “OK, we actually can do at least much of that!”
I want to write also disclaimer though: even if we would achieve a small part of the potential of DreamsOC, I strongly feel that it is still a dream worth pursuing. I hope you are interested in joining me for this dream.