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Recknsense: Empathy and Cooperation among Humans and Machines 

Welcome to the first newsletter from Recknsense. This blog started a few months ago as a place to post short ideas and observations for how we can develop technology that's better for humans. By better we mean, more equality, more inclusivity, promoting more happiness and generally leading us down a better path. We know there are issues from AI bias to privacy and we'll only solve these if we try to come up with new ideas and observations that might lead to a better alternative. The inspiration for this was partly from the 'commonplace book' where inventors of the past collected their ideas, observations, references and quotes so they could make connections and share their notes with others. We hope this will grow into a community for other people who feel the same, to contribute and connect to others. This week, the theme has been empathy and cooperation with 3 new posts, one reference based on a book about the origins of society, one observation based on new research and one idea built on the idea of empathy being developed in machines without the need for any emotion detection. Please check these out and some of our older posts then let us know what you think.

Reference: Notes on the book by evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson (Pulitzer Prize winner) called 'The Deep Origins of Society'. In it, Wilson talks about the history and evolution of animal and human societies. Short summaries of eusociety, modularity and group selection are included.
 
Observation: Empathy is a big driver of cooperation. Recent research showed that empathy promoted more cooperation than reputation as we previously had thought. 
 
Idea: AI needs empathy but it doesn't need to be emotional. In this post we discuss the ways machines or software can be empathic by using information to know a human and their situation better. Without the need for emotion detection or complex algorithms, we can develop empathy by being aware the way any person would.
Idea: Platforms can do more to help control our perceived identities online. Even without the complications of AI bias, we could take steps to protect and control our identity on our networks.
While this is still a work in progress, we'd appreciate any feedback on the site or suggestions for connections we should make. If you have a topic you want to recommend or are interested in writing a guest post, please get in touch.

Thanks for reading!
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