Birds fly in a V formation because the eddies of the front birds pull the others along. The eddies are called a slipstream. Imagine an AI-powered human slipstream on the internet. With robotic DIY and a few hours of work a month, we, and everyone, could live a life of abundance.
A number of us are working on a project to create “The Slipstream.” The project is the brain-child of Bruce Long, who took computer science and philosophy; his master's thesis was a sketch of a computable ethics theory. The philosophy eventually became math, and the math is becoming code. For computers to make ethics calculations, they need to know about what situation is in question. Bruce has developed a modeling language called Proteus for modeling systems and situations. Proteus can model extremely complex systems like countries and their legal systems and how they interplay with other countries. It can also model chemical systems, biological systems, and so on. On a personal level, it can model your favorite music or your friends.
It turns out that having a system that can maintain a model of the world and update it from arbitrary input streams can be used as an AGI. Here is one example: Give it a basic model of the world, send input streams from video and audio from the head of a robot, and direct output streams to the robot ‘muscles’ and perhaps speech synthesis. Add some more sensors as needed. If the models are good enough and the motor control sufficient, the robot could clean house, repair cars, etc.
In the early 2000s (after 9/11), when the ideas were mostly philosophy, with a little math and some experimental code, the puzzle was, given the realization that the project would eventually produce a powerful AGI, what to do with it? How can it be safe? Hard to hack? Can we avoid Skynet? No one wants to run ethics calculations on their own behavior. Corporations and governments would love the AGI, but the ideal is for ordinary people to use it. So the plan became to build an app so powerful, easy, and useful that everyone would want it on all their devices. And it should be available for Apple, Google, Microsoft, and so on to add to their devices as a UI instead of merely an app when they are ready. Later it can be made into a stand-alone operating system.
The Slipstream App
Whether it is an app or the UI of your device, the Slipstream program uses models of you and your situation to take care of you. Do you want to edit a document? Models of the document structure and of your preferred GUI will make it possible… without an app. Do you want to play a Slipstream game? Contact a friend? Find a safe party? Share a video; with or without youTube? Get accurate news? Your slipstream keeps track of which sources of information have been wrong in the past, whether that is sensors on your watch or a major news outlet. Because it has models of the world and how causal structures work, it can “peer review” incoming information such as news reports. The underlying ethics calculations ensure that it values human life and autonomy as well as other conscious creatures.
The Slipstream of People
The app is a peer to peer system that can access loads of information as well as the slipstreams of your trusted friends or people you meet or want to work with. The Slipstream proper is made of people connecting to each other to make life better. Imagine you want to start a project. Perhaps to design new clothes. Or perhaps to go to Mars or to cure cancer. The Slipstream can coordinate projects that have overlapping needs. What if you have 20 minutes and you decide to help with the cancer projects. You may find out that a few blocks away, someone working to model a cellular process needs to eat. And if you prepared something to eat, a person driving by could deliver it. So, humanity’s most challenging problems can be auto peer-reviewed and divided up into ten-thousand tiny tasks for our participation. And now, you are a part of the projects to cure cancer, so what do you need? Groceries? Clothes? Rent money? Let The Slipstream help.
The Architecture of the Slipstream
There are four parts of the slipstream system: Repositories of models, Distributions of the software system, the Proteus engine, and the Slipstream Core. Together, they make a scalable, reliable, distributed, decentralized infrastructure that can coordinate humans to power the planet.
Repositories of models
Repositories of proteus models are a set of files or links to databases that store knowledge. These are distributed and dynamically updated repositories of information. There are several types of “repo.””. Device repos track a single device of yours. They authorize “user repos” which store and protect your personal information. User repos are replicated on all your devices and are encrypted and backed up on your trusted friend’s devices. Lose your devices? User models will let you authenticate to your friend’s devices, and you’ll have all your stuff back. There are also repos for organizations. User repos authorize your slipstream to access “planet” repos on your behalf. Planet repos store our collective knowledge: how things work, what is happening in the world, which laws in a legal system are unethical. Think of them like a computerized, peer-reviewed Wikipedia.
Distributions of software
Like the Linux operating system, anyone can package together some slipstream software, a collection of repos, and some rules for validating information and release it. Having multiple distributions of the system ensures that there is no single point of failure and helps to make sure information is trustworthy. Since anyone can put together a “distro,” there will be distros for flat-earthers and for every other view. Distros check themselves and other distros for consistency and for how much the models compress the data. One might be able to make a consistent flat earth model, but it is unlikely to compress the data. Any problems can be very public.
Distros can set rules for what new knowledge can be added to the Planet Repos. In that sense, it's like a distributed, “peer” reviewed Wikipedia. Anyone can add to humanity’s knowledge as long as they meet the standards.
The Proteus Engine
The Proteus engine is software that processes models and data to do things. Proteus represents the world, not as matter moving but as information flowing. Since information is just “states” under a different unit (256 states = 1 byte information), that models the world as states. Information flowing over time is just causal chains of state changes. It’s a very powerful way of thinking about the world, and it’s the reason the system can do ethics calculations.
Interestingly, using an information flow based modeling language makes it easy to model all the complexities of natural language. Tell the system something in your language, and it will “normalize” it into Proteus for storage. When someone else queries for that information, the underlying Proteus code will be “normalized” into their language.
The Slipstream Core
The Slipstream Core is the software that sets up the Proteus engine, authenticates the user, and manages the various repositories. It sets up streams from your keyboard, microphone, keyboard, camera, and your device's sensors into the Proteus Engine. It also sets up output streams to your screens, speakers, etc. Models tell the engine how to interpret the streams and how to output the resulting information to a screen or speakers. The core is what will understand you when you say, “That sentence you just read to me, delete this word.” while you point to a word on a screen. Or “I want to help cure cancer.” The core also connects to the outside world through your friend network or other peer-to-peer structures. And it connects to IPFS to store your files.
Just as the UNIX operating system and the C language were designed hand-in-hand, the Slipstream comes with a really cool programming language that embodies the Slipstream ethos. It’s called CodeDog. CodeDog makes complete apps. It compiles to Java to create an Android app, Swift to make apps for Apple devices, and C++ for everything else. It’s very flexible and automates many decisions the developer would typically have to make, such as which libraries to link, which data structures to use, and so on. You can use it to make your own apps! And when you do, you will also be helping make the Slipstream. If you want to be Slipstreamy right away, there is lots to do! We can add new languages and platforms to CodeDog (and thus to your own CodeDog apps and to the Slipstream). It would be cool to have it make apps for Chromebooks, for example. You can also add new optimized data structures and security features. CodeDog can build very efficient C++ or other code and could thus be used to create an operating system or AAA game. It even has an example game!
Join The Slipstream!
Sure, helping with code will speed things up! But join even if you can’t code! You’ll find something to do! Go to www.theSlipstream.com and click on “Developer Starting Page.”