In this article for Spanda Journal, Roger Nelson discusses the implications of the results of the Global Consciousness Project (GCP) [to understand the research methodology used by the GCP, read What Is The Global Consciousness Project?].
Since the beginning of the GCP in the mid-1990s, Nelson says that there is an undeniable evidence that there is such a thing as a global consciousness. Though we are relatively unaware of its presence, human consciousness becomes united during moments of meaningful emotions. Such emotions may be brought about by terrible tragedies or great celebrations. This unity of heart and mind is so powerful they begin to affect machines.
What then is the significance of these results?
For Nelson, the patterns discovered by the GCP has many implications. For one, it shows us that humans are connected at a deep level. Second, that our minds can have effects that we have not imagined. We can change how machines work, even unconsciously, hence, through conscious effort and intention, we have an even more powerful effect. Third, it signifies that humans participate in a higher level of consciousness that has the capacity to dictate how the future will be.
Implications for AI
Consciousness is both a gift and a responsibility. It offers to us a creative, productive, and generative role in the world, hence allowing us to truly be a part of transformation in this universe. On the other hand, having this capacity requires that we don’t wish for change that benefit only our individual desires. This capacity comes to us so that we can help the universe transform towards the direction it desires, often at the expense of our personal comfort.
Awakening to a global consciousness requires courage because it opens us to new vulnerabilities – deep emotions and compassion for all nature and its creatures, the compelling feeling to do something for the world at the expense of personal goals, the need to act in accordance to the will of the greater cosmos. At the same time, it also helps us realize that we are never alone, never helpless, never hopeless.
Global consciousness is the very human capacity that artificial intelligence hopes to replace. Will we let our technology take away the great power of our humanity?
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