Beyond the Information Age discusses a new way of thinking about computers, knowledge and understanding. See the editorial for more information....

Constructing a New Tool

So, now is the time to start thinking about the New Tool that is the focus of the final chapters of this book. This New Tool presented here in this book for the first time is a software system called ISSU. Pronounced 'issue' this acronym stands for Intelligent-System-Specification-Unit. The prime focus of this new tool is to document true knowledge and understanding by precisely defining the whole nature of real living intelligent-systems. It is a tool designed to aid in the creation of new life-forms in all their complexity and detail. It is also a tool to allow millions of people to work together simultaneously to develop new life-forms from the comfort of their homes, using the Internet.

From a software design sense the configuration of ISSU is that of a user interface, a new human readable and machine readable knowledge storage language, a ten director knowledge base, a search engine, a proof engine, a true knowledge management system, an issue resolver, language translators for most human languages, a voice input output system, an authors resume and historical knowledge base, an accounting system, a library of understandings, a private patent office, a voting system, a pool of ideas (POI) system, and a security system. To operate all these modules will require considerable computer resources and almost infinite memory.

Let's look at these software modules more carefully to get an idea of how ISSU will work. Key to the design of ISSU is to make it easy enough to use that virtually everyone on Earth can use it. The primary user interface will be via voice using something like a cellular phone. Users will talk to, ask questions, and get answers about their issues. About the only things a user will need to remember are the names of the ten directors and the difference between knowledge and understanding. By carrying on a conversation with a director, the user will learn knowledge and so will the ISSU. Eventually enough knowledge is acquired from the user to develop an understanding that resolves the issue. In the same sense that ISSU deals with resolving issues it also deals with the design of intelligent-systems. Remember the difference between an issue and an intelligent-system is only that issues are to be resolved where intelligent-systems are designed to live on as new life-forms. So in the new age most people will carry cellular phones or wear them as headsets behind their ear and spend their days chatting with their issues. For the more dedicated ISSU developers there will be a computer screen user interface that allows a user to observe, analyze, and direct the development of ISSUs in a much more detailed way.

The next major software module of ISSU is the Language of ISSU. This may be the first new human language to be written in our time. Language of ISSU will be both human readable and machine readable. Written in a format similar to a computer programming language it will be designed to capture true knowledge in its purest form. Strict language rules will prevent multiple definitions for the same word yet allow anyone to define new words at any time. The ISSU software will constantly search and verify the integrity of the language to eliminate possibilities of misunderstanding. Words, phrases, and statements will all be defined as if they were a single word because in a way they are a single thought. Every sentence written in the Language of ISSU will be tied to its source author so that it can be traced back to its source if someone finds need for clarification. The Language of ISSU will strive to be the most perfect language the human race will know.

The next major module of ISSU will be the Ten Director knowledge base where the knowledge will be stored that defines and directs an issue or intelligent-system. Each director will have its own library of understandings that will shape their personality according to the context to which they direct. To talk to a director will require that the user confine their conversation to the context of that director.

The search engine of ISSU will search the Internet for any other public ISSUs that are similar to the one the user is working on. Results of automatic searches will help the user resolve their issues by attaching them to the knowledge base and experience of millions of other people. As the user thinks about and talks to their ISSU it will be like they are simultaneously connected to a planetary mind containing almost all true human knowledge. It will be like everyone on the planet will have the same enormous brain and searching for knowledge will be almost as automatic as it is in your own mind today.

The proof engine looks for ways to prove that knowledge entered into ISSU is actually true. If possible it looks for truth in the four dimensions of MEST, but if the input is only information then it will look for contradictions. If that fails the proof engine will ask the user to provide additional facts or supporting evidence.

The true-knowledge-management-system of ISSU will constantly keep track of data types, knowledge types, and knowledge contexts and make sure they are properly used. As the user makes statements to ISSU, the system will begin searching for supporting evidence or contradictions that could prove or disprove the statement. The goal is to allow only true knowledge into the director's knowledge base and ISSU will help lead the user to find the truth.

The issue-resolver subsystem will look for the most efficient way to resolve an issue or implement an intelligent-system. Alternative solutions will be presented to the user so they may make the decisions that will control the outcome of an ISSU. The issue-resolver will work to resolve conflicts between knowledge in the different director contexts. Efficiency in mass, energy, space, and time will guide the issue-resolver to do its job.

Another key feature of ISSU will be its author management system. All users of ISSU will be considered authors of any input they provide. All input will be recorded, date stamped, and assigned to the author. One major goal of ISSU is to provide jobs and income for the authors. Authors that provide valuable input that helps resolve issues will get paid for their work. ISSU will function like a private patent office running within each issue or intelligent-system. Knowledge of new ideas will be connected to the authors resume and their list of qualifications. Other users that take advantage of an author's idea will automatically pay the author for their idea. In this way users and other intelligent-systems will provide financial support for the authors of valuable knowledge. This author management system will become the basis for the knowledge based economy of the new age.

ISSU will also contain a voting system to resolve issues that span the scope of many individuals. Votes will not all have the same value for different authors. The owners of an ISSU may have more significant votes than a simple member of the market of a particular ISSU. In some cases a single author may be required to make a final decision to guide a particular understanding of knowledge. In most cases authors will be paid for their votes in proportion to their qualifications and experience with similar ISSUs. ISSU will automatically seek out authors to vote on issues that affect the life of the intelligent-system.

The pool of ideas (POI) system will manage a pool of random thoughts that authors can enter that may or may not be used by the ISSU. ISSU will look to the POI for ways to improve its products and procedures.

ISSU will also require an elaborate security system to protect the identity and personal information about authors. ISSU will also need to protect the integrity of its knowledge bases and language. Like any computer system there will be opportunities for hackers to corrupt the system with false knowledge or bad decisions. This is a problem that will never completely go away but with due diligence and experience the system will grow to become strong and secure.

ISSU will likely be under development for at least a hundred years and during that time it will experience many faults and misunderstandings. Eventually it will develop a base of provably correct understandings that stand the test of time. These understandings will become the fundamental guide for the evolution of the human race for the foreseeable future.

Last Update: 2006-Dec-23