The superhuman – a business use case for data science
Let’s get one thing clear: as evolution goes, there are several significant differences between humans (the homo sapiens of today) and the most advanced monkeys:
- The looks (obviously)
- The fact that humans can operate well with complex abstract models (money, religions, countries, companies etc).
- Humans have the ability to use cognitive biases for the purpose of altering their own and others’ reality and context.
- The fact that you can take a banana away from a person by promising them two bananas at a later time. Hence, in our case now, greed is what mostly drives innovation and progress.
And exactly these differences have taken us, humans, a step up the evolution ladder; by acquiring these abilities we have managed to detach from the trees (and create weapons of our own).
When we attempt to imagine the next step up on the ladder, we get to the superhuman – the one that is plugged in to the world of analytical computing power and cannot disconnect. This is the next stop of evolution, isn’t it? Because it is already happening.
The fields of Social Psychology and Social Physics have advanced immensely in the past decade: we, humans, have created these huge social networks, where enormous amounts of data are generated by the minute, analyzed and sold to governments and corporations. We have the social media analytics at our fingertips (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media_analytics )
We have also created and developed the idea of Social Physics – the idea of how to manipulate and enforce certain social behavior by influencing certain aspects of a social group, given that we have enough data and knowledge on how the links within the social environment work. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_physics )
When we add the machines to the equation, together with the social factor (social media analysis and social physics tools) we get a very powerful tool-set which propels today’s human up the evolution ladder. And we can safely call this new creature, created by this holy symbiosis: the superhuman.
And here is the greatest business case for data science:
How do we use all tools we have at our fingertips in order to get to the Superhuman as fast as possible? How do we make people unconditionally help each other and how do we destroy poverty and all social, political and cultural malfunctions of our surrounding environment?! How do we lift ourselves to the next evolution step – to Superhumans?
And all of this – not as a business for someone’s personal profit, but as a good being server to humanity, for free. After all, I would like to believe that data science can and should go beyond business and simple money-making.
By: Feodor Georgiev