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Free Life Planner

http://dev.freelifeplanner.org [access currently restricted, working to release ASAP]

HELPING THE HOMELESS AND SIMILARLY DISADVANTAGED


THE TIME HAS COME for me to summarize about our efforts to help those experiencing homelessness, poverty, illness and disability.

We are writing a program that provides logistical support to the homeless and similarly disadvantaged. To learn more about related conditions, perhaps watch some of the videos here https://invisiblepeople.tv/

I myself was homeless off and on for 5 years, I know what it is like, and began writing this program to fix my situation. It took 20 years to build, and is now finally being released. (https://github.com/aindilis?tab=repositories)


What can the program do to help the homeless? EXACTLY HOW can a life planner help the homeless?

Well, I just wrote up a short story that hopefully will fill people in on how this is supposed to work. It may seem unbelievable, but it really works this way, because of the fact that it borrows the PrologCYC discipline.

http://frdcsa.org/~andrewdo/writings/homeless-story.html


When you are homeless you are exposed to the elements. Also you are exposed to your own needs such as hunger. You might not have enough money to get where you're going. You have to develop a pattern of survival. (see http://frdcsa.org/frdcsa/internal/verber) It is expensive being poor, you don't have money to preempt problems. To help with survival, the system is capable of micromanaging your situation, ensuring you do what you want to do, and helping you to plan for many potential contingencies. You can say things that you are afraid of happening, and it will begin work looking at both how to prevent them and how to deal with them if they do happen.

It also can keep track of or retrieve relevant information automatically, such as how much money you have in a bank, or will have if you take certain actions (https://github.com/aindilis/financial-planning/#financial-planning), whether or not the store will be open by the time you get there, what the forecast is tomorrow, whether it is raining here now, etc.

The system is capable of examining literally billions of potential situations per second. It's obviously not invincible, yet it is perhaps better than nothing, probably quite a bit better than nothing. For instance the transportation planner is going to be designed to have a contingency plan for what happens should a vehicle you are travelling break down with a resolution of every hundred feet or so (for now). It may indeed eventually be possible to even solve exactly for the threshold at which different options becomes necessary.

For now you can see this writeup which I did back in the years 2002-2005:

http://frdcsa.org/~andrewdo/writings/artificialintelligence.txt

There is also a illustriative scenario about resupply milk starting on the latter part of page 4 of this paper:

http://frdcsa.org/~andrewdo/writings/Temporal-Planning-and-Inferencing-for-Personal-Task-Management-with-SPSE2.pdf

And here is a hoaky story I wrote, reminding us why I leave writing to Meredith:

http://frdcsa.org/~andrewdo/writings/dangerously-cheesy.txt

Here follows an FAQ about common objections and a first attempt at a clarification. Going to flesh this out, but as Buckminister Fuller noted it is probably easier to change people's circumstances than to change their minds. Unfortunately, I need help getting the AI done, so I can't show it working very well, I can only tell, or try to show with stories.

Here is hoping that this FAQ disarms some of the legitimate objections that have slowed progress on the Free Life Planner: this system:


COMMON OBJECTIONS to the Free Life Planner:


IT'S UNWISE!

+ Is it going to take away our jobs?

It could, or maybe it could replace work with something more conducive to happiness, and explore the galaxy with you. One does not need to automatically resort to a scarcity mentality.

+ Are you making Skynet?

The FRDCSA is unique in that it has always avoided military contract work, and seeks to create what Buckminister Fuller described as Livingry as a sort of antisymmetric to Weaponry. That said, the FRDCSA uses and enhances open source software used by the government and the military. This is unavoidable due to the nature of the licenses, and a possible cui bono as to why it is tolerated.

+ What exactly do you intend to accomplish with it.

That is a great question. I've written hundreds of thousand of to-do items, but reading those is hard. I also have difficulty summarizing. Here are some mantras that the project has used: "EVERY FAILED DEDUCTION IS EXACTLY THE CAUSE OF ALL FUTURE ACCIDENTS" (intentional harm being (a) failed moral deduction(s)). Another one is "the evasion of chance in survival." To promote the welfare of all feeling beings. Again, see: http://frdcsa.org/~andrewdo/writings/artificialintelligence.txt

+ What is your goal exactly?

Well when I was a kid my sister died at an early age in unknown circumstances. That was a tragedy that so hurt our family that I was left with a latent resolve to do my best as often as possible to prevent it from happening again to my family or yours.

+ Is this a cult?

If it is, it's not a very effective one.

+ What about religious objections?

What about religious defenses? Some people think it is trying to play God. I assure you this system is not nor can replace God, never thought that. Never will. Most of you still use your car right when you have to travel long distances? When you have a problem that the AI can solve, if you want to have it solved, that is one way you could solve it.

+ What about free will?

It takes people 10000 hours to master something like Chess for instance, or you can use a freely and instantly and worldwide copyable computer program with superhuman performance. If my life depended on a game of chess (and only a game of chess), I would trust a computer at this point.


IT CANNOT HELP!

+ What the heck is a cognitive prosthetic anyway, and who would need it, and why?

For people lacking in certain abilities a cognitive prosthetic is a software tool which seeks to remediate the failed abilities. For instance, I sometimes say "it's" when I should use "its" and vice versa. I say vindicitive instead of vindictive. And I spell contigent instead of contingent. These illustrate simply some unimportant yet frequently manifested cognitive deficits I have. A spell and grammar checking program eliminates these errors, although I like to leave my spelling and grammatical errors in as it tends to give people a metric of my mental performance to aid in their decision making. For instance I posted that I was an autodidact to warn people about the inconstancy of my abilities, not to pose as a maverick. So since lives sometimes depend on cognitive skills, having a freely available, modifiable, and redistributable tool which can enhance them seems like a cogent idea and a means to reduce suffering.

+ I don't need such a tool.

Then don't use it, but don't work against getting it to people who do need it. Maybe you don't need it but maybe your friend with ADD or you stepmother who cannot drive needs it. Or maybe you need it more than you realize?

+ How can it help the homeless, because what can a computer do in the real world?

Computer systems control all kinds of things in the real world, such as the monetary system. Ever try to steal money from an ATM? Easier said than done, right? They are in fact highly effective at this kind of stuff. The general method involves sensors and effectors. Sensors record data which the computer makes decisions about using proven and well tested methods, and then issues its effectors to achieve results. An effect can be any computer controlled phenomenon, from sending an email or text message, to steering a car, or to guiding a person to a location through audiovisual prompts, to even dispensing money. I assume this kind of question stems from a lack of familiarity with computer systems. For instance, when you use the internet your computer is filtering millions of ethernet packets. No one would be taken seriously if they were to suggest that a person do this. It is obviously amenable to automation. People lacking an understanding of computer systems tend to underestimate the number and kinds of things which are responsive to automation, and have associated psychological control issues that manifest when they realize this.

+ AI is impossible!

I used to have to argue against this all the time but, despite the well-known AI Effect, this is a much less frequent phenomenon due to the now widespread popularity enjoyed by the term. Maybe a second bubble, but at any rate it's a long drawn out discussion. It usually comes from the fact that people think there is an inherent claim in AI to create what is called Strong AI, aka human equivalent or superhuman intelligence. To forgoe this conflict we simply refer to solving increasingly complex problems, which is an incontrovertable truth. Most people aren't aware of the metamathematical issues surrounding such a post-Hilbert reformed/relativized Hilbert Program, but it centers on the question of Absolute Undecidability. I make no attempt to suggest that it can do anything more than this, and whether or not it can does not affect its usefulness in the mean time.

+ How can it help people on the other side of the world?

Well computers are actually quite good at helping people on the other side of the world. Thing of the military defense networks which enable effective command and control of our armies on the opposite side of the world. That is demonstrated effectiveness? Now, tailor the domain towards helping more than just our military, and you have an answer, except for the objection that maybe computers cannot help with anything but military problems. Well some civilian problems supervene on military problems, and civilians here make much use of computers, no reason to think it should be any different over there, right? Also, communication systems can contact the other side of the world on the order of sub-second time frames. Natural Language and media can be employed to solve many problems. This question is really moot. Another objection, they lack the infrastructure? Answer is Less than you would think and that's a failure mentality, make the infrastructure available. That is what the FRDCSA does. I am writing this so those who want it may have it.

+ Why not have people helping people? Why use a computer?

Why not both? Scarcity mentality again. Also in point of fairness I have on balance received less help from random other people than I would like, having asked over 5000 people if they would help on the AI. To their credit, Dmiles and Jbalint are hopefully sufficient. So I am trying to be a person who is helping random other people. I choose to do it with AI. The reason is it is like loaves and fishes. You write it once, then everyone may have. I cannot have it any sooner than them, cause both predepend on writing it. Since everyone may have it, that in my book multiplies the motivation to work on it. All for one and one for all! Imagine if all 7 billion people could instantly have a house. That would be desirable you would think, unless you get off on having more than others, which some people think I do with words.

+ What if they don't have a computer?

Well, suppose they have no technology whatsoever? Patients in a hospital don't necessarily have administrative rights to the hospitals technology, but the staff use technology to administer care. Few people nowadays would want a hospital that didn't have electronic equipment to improve the quality of care. Chances are that the government of wherever they reside probably uses computers to coordinate public good. One does not have to possess a computer to benefit from it.

That said, this system already can reach them via phone through a web browser. If it is audio only, I am working to set up an IVR (the kind of automated systems that people often wind up disliking, but less and less since they are getting better and better). Or they can have a computer, but...

+ What about the digital divide? Computers are expensive.

What is lacking here is no so much the availability of cheap computers and cell phones (you yourself may have thrown out or returned your last super powerful cell phone to get the next even more super powerful cell phone), but the availability of software to make use of them. Also there are computers one can buy to replace another one here for as low as $20, e.g.:

https://www.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-pc/pp_657435.html

And there are even full blown computers as cheap as $5.

https://www.adafruit.com/product/2885

Indeed the problem of capitalism is not lack of production. Karl Marx argued that the chief problem with capitalism is OVERPRODUCTION. So the problem is not the physical infrastructure. It is having software that can help people to use their and others infrastructure more effective. The problem is raising the money to write that software. Fortunately, I've devoted 20 years of probono work to writing this so others don't.

+ I don't have the discipline to use a meal planner.

The meal planner has software to help manage discipline. That right there is an executive skill, and this system is an executive skills prosthetic. I think it's got you covered. However, you may more likely have a phobia or fear of change.

+ Why do I need it?

No one, I repeat, no one, is telling you you have to use it. That said there are a lot of cases where you might wish to use it.

+ People have been getting along fine for thousands of years, we don't need computers to do these things.

I'd argue people really haven't been getting along fine. Think the world wars etc. But why adapt to new technology? Why not rely on what has worked in a limited sense in the past? When I first started on AI people said it was impossible. Now these same people say it is inevitable.

+ What good will software be if they don't have the raw resources?

It will track that they don't have this, and develop a plan to try to fulfill the resources to satisfice the problem.


WE SHOULDN'T HELP PEOPLE!

+ What if people lose their critical thinking skills?

This would happen whether or not AI existed. If someone is going to relinquish their critical thinking skills just because they have a tool to help them, did they really possess them to begin with?

+ What if someone can unplug it?

Ever tried unplugging the US military? It's harder than it looks.

+ What if someone cannot unplug it?

People are losing their shit over this. It's a real problem. I'd argue that an arms race of intelligence would tend to rule out insane options rather than promote them.

+ If we enable people they will never get better on their own.

Well I hope you don't ever require surgery for your health.

+ Instead of having this kind of assistance, they should get jobs.

Scarcity mentality again. This will help people as much with their jobs as anything else. Microsoft.com runs Linux.

+ Don't there have to be poor people in the capitalist system?

That's your necessity not mine.

+ What if they don't want to use it?

Then the AI will do everything it can to honor their wish. Informed consent is the key here.

+ Doesn't the government already give too much assistance to these people.

Easy to say when one is in a good position. Harder to say when one is starving or freezing to death.


I CAN'T HELP, I'M NOT A PROGRAMMER!

Do you not know how to spread the word? You certainly know how to come up with every conceivable objection! Use your argument skills and go online and help promote it. If you cannot do anything else, just send money. If you don't have money, just wait, the AI should be done soon and we will try to help you meet your needs if you so desire the assistance.


I AM NOT OBLIGATED TO HELP!

No one says you have to help. But it would be nice. If you are purely selfish, think in terms of how much better this can make your own life. If you care about others, think about how this can help them! If you don't do anything, people might begin to doubt whether you really want to improve things.


There is a contrarian bias, I have it terribly myself, that if someone posits something, the automatic response is to try to find fault with it. (I have caught myself multiple times arguing against my own points when uttered by someone else after I temporarily forgot that it was a belief I often defend). There is supposedly a Japanese saying to the effect that "he who talks first loses." In Go they say "beginner plays contact move". (https://senseis.xmp.net/?BeginnersPlayAtari) An immoral application of these considerations is given in "The Secrets of Power Neogtiating". I was thinking to myself right before I was motivated to write this post that I could probably say something as self-evident and incontrovertible as 1+1=2, and people would take issue with it, and then I remembered that actually happened! My father tried to persuade me to desist from working on AI by arguing that "all your life your opinions will change", so I asked him what he currently thought 1+1 equalled, and he said "in what way?" (although I doubt he was referring to Z mod 2 or the metamathematics of Presburger arithmetic - he knew what I was referring to). Just imagine the grade I would get in school if I had responded that way! I knew a guy who thought before he spoke, and used these kind of predictable response biases in order to guide people into arguing his very points against him. I am just not that crafty, but I suppose, and this is what one of the great Greeks said about rhetoric, that it should be used to guide people to the Truth. And that is what my original "Machiavelli" system was supposed to have done, before major parts of it were destroyed. Anyway such a system contributed to people misunderstanding my motives. I realized that the there is a perfectly logical reason why God, whatever you conceive that to mean, works in mysterious ways. It is because God's complexity is irreducibly greater than ours such that in no way can we fathom God's contingencies. My whole life I have sought pragmatic assistance with AI, not resistence effected through remaining absurdly skeptical (no matter what lengths must be gone to to deny as much) as to its feasibility (once someone said that they can't use the Free Life Planner website sight unseen (and thus indistinguishable from any other sight unseen website) because "it doesn't work with [their] brain") as similarly related here: http://sootyempiric.blogspot.com/2016/11/informal-omega-inconsistency.html If I saw a house catch on fire people would probably argue with me the philosophy of skepticism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_skepticism) before doing anything to find out if there was a fire and how they could help to put it out. Sorry to be so blunt but it's hurtful. There was a meme: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ta-nehisi-coates-trump-racism_us_5852a68fe4b0732b82ff04f8 "If I have to jump six feet to get the same thing that you have to jump two feet for ― that’s how racism works."

See also both:

http://frdcsa.org/~andrewdo/WebWiki/FreeLifePlanningCoachSoftware.html

and

http://frdcsa.org/~andrewdo/WebWiki/FreeLifePlanningCoachSoftwareUpdate.html