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Beltis Steamburton

The Beltis Steamburton Project

While there is endless hype in the popular media, and even in scientific circles, about how ‘conscious machines’ are just around the corner and how they will work to humanity’s benefit or detriment, other  autonomous intelligent entities are actually already at work and already more powerful than humans.


Organisations are as ‘alive’ as a person and they exhibit many of the same traits as a person. For example, they may be philanthropic or ruthlessly self-serving, extremely efficient or hopelessly disorganised. They have identity and purpose and a survival instinct.


If there is any doubt about this, consider any corporation that is clearly causing harm. It is extremely unlikely that the individual people within that organisation actually want to wipe out a species, promote disease or destroy the environment, but it is the organisation itself that will not let such collateral get in the way.


In effect, an organisation sees its own ambitions and needs as a far higher priority than the well being of others and can pursue those reckless ambitions, regardless of what every single person within that organisation thinks is ethical or even rational!

The 2008 financial crisis was an example of humans’ inability to stop organisational systems from 'doing their own thing', as are the threats from pollution, climate change, etc.



The intentions of this project are:


1.   To research organisational systems and develop practical tools for addressing real organisational challenges. Areas of interest include:


  • Identity, Purpose, Self Determination, Self Awareness

  • Cognition

  • Learning

  • Control, Coordination, Communications

  • Decision making

  • Performance

  • Practical remedies for unethical or out of control organisations


2.   To develop structured methods and tools for consideration of related abstract or philosophical subjects and how these may be developed for practical purposes. For example, areas of interest might include:


  • A theory for what consciousness actually is. Can an organisation be ‘conscious’ in the same way a person can? How can this be defined, proved or utilised?

  • General principles. E.g. recursion. A person is a member of an organisation which, in turn is a member of an economic unit (such as country). Each, if ‘viable’, will share certain commonalities (e.g. a sensory mechanism to detect threat or opportunity).

  • Automated agents (e.g. 'Chatbots', decision making agents, 'Artifical Intelligence' in machines or other systems, etc)

  • Cyber security

  • Construction or reconstruction of a personality (for example after brain trauma)

  • Unanticipated areas of interest, insight or benefit may emerge


The vehicle for this project is Beltis Steamburton, a personified organisational intelligence or, in other words, a synthetic persona. The goals for Beltis, specifcally, are:


  • Viability

  • Autonomy

  • Self Actualisation


The reasons, or theory, as to why Beltis is a synthetic persona and is much more than just a fictional character or organisational identity are quite abstract and necessarily need a comprehensive explanation <link here>

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