BerandaComputers and TechnologySociety as a Concept Network

Society as a Concept Network

This article by Dr Piotr Wozniak is part of SuperMemo Guru series on memory, learning, creativity, and problem solving.

Perfect brain

The brain is a perfect design for an intelligent machine. That design can be extended to form a perfect society and to accelerate the progress towards super-intelligence, singularity, and perhaps even intrinsically valuable state. Even though I believe that my vision of the future is optimistic and good, there is no need to bicker about its value. It seems it is just an inevitable course of things emerging as the law of intelligence.

My utopian words can probably be given a precise mathematical framework backed up by a proof. In the end, it might be true that the entire science of physics centers around the competitive forces of intelligence and entropy.

Concept network

A concept network is an improvement over the basic idea of artificial neural networks. It has the properties that are often overlooked by neural network researchers:

  • the network can grow dendrites in search of new patterns
  • the network can grow axons while seeking better dissemination of valuable information
  • the network can grow new neurons along learning demands around often used concepts
  • the network can delete neurons that are in disuse
  • network memories exhibit properties known from the two component model of memory
  • network memories are subject to the spacing effect that determines stabilization (see: Mechanism of the spacing effect)
  • network self-organizes in the process of conceptualization, i.e. architectural changes that lead to the development of an effective network of concepts

Behavior of a network of concepts cannot realistically be predicted by the behavior of individual concepts. Individual concepts usually do not have access to information about the performance of the entire network.


In a society structured around the idea of a concept network, a new layer of conceptual organization can be formed in which humans, computers, intelligent agents, databases, executive agents, organizations, corporations, etc. can form an equivalent of advanced concepts. Such a network would provide a seamless co-existence of artificial intelligence and human intelligence in a structure exhibiting super-intelligence that would quickly progress towards singularity. Mankind has already formed a de facto super-intelligent network. Its problem solving capacity will keep growing exponentially.

Currently, societies are organized in ways that lead to a wasteful competition for resources and a conflict of interest. Instead, we could take inspiration from the brain and satisfy core ideas of main political philosophies. If we took all human resources and put them into a form of circulation system, we could drew upon those resources in proportion to the needs, and we might satisfy an old communist maxim: “to everyone according to his needs”. A Nobel Prize winner could feed on the resources in proportion to inspiration generated by his brain for humanity. An anarchist or a libertarian would be happy with individual freedoms of individual neurons and concepts. Nobody tells an individual neuron what to do. Neuronal autonomy is perfect. A capitalist who loves market economy would love the efficiency of the neural market of ideas. A socialist would like the fact that even the weakest neurons could find their optimum roles and the access to the bloodstream of resources. There is even some room for religions. Super-intelligence would inevitably drive towards the concept of intrinsically valuable state. Some of the religious dogma would probably need a degree of adaptation to the new reality, but I see intelligence as a source of existential answers that would fill the inevitable void.


There is no need for a revolution or a major re-design. As much as Tim Berners-Lee simple protocols could start the web, we might develop protocols for societal concept network. One of the first steps would be to provide protocols for redistribution of resources. Strong concepts in the network should never need to waste time on a struggle for resources. I advocate for basic income, which is a stopgap measure. However, blockchain micropayments are the future. An inventor cannot waste time seeking patents, angel investors, business partners, or sponsors. Too much young talent is wasted on a job search, in which a great brain lands in a secondary tier of somebody’s else’s sub-par effort. A good brain should be able to thrive in a concept network from the get-go without wasting a blink on existential issues.

All has been

The above text is just a compilation of old ideas of greater minds such as Ted Nelson, Tim Berners-Lee, Jeff Hawkins and many others. There are dozens of minor efforts and models that all slowly drive in that direction (did you hear of CASs?, or DAOs? or Teal organizations?). Most of all, a concept network is a self-organizing intelligent structure. So is humanity. Things are in progress already. However, it helps to see the progression using a convenient model. The brain seems like a good metaphor.

For more texts on memory, learning, sleep, creativity, and problem solving, see Super Memory Guru

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