In a very real, beautiful way, we are all the founders of artificial intelligence. It was the effort of every living human, and indeed every living and non-living organism, that led us to its developement.

read more

That said, there were some people who pushed the human race forward more than others, or at least, in ways that ended up being recorded for later generations to see. It's important to remember that they were shaped by the people, the animals, the places, and things around them, who/which were in turn shaped by those around them, ad infinitum; it's critical to never forget: we are all made of stardust.

The individuals listed below are creatives, and many of them were persecuted for being who they were. Many struggled with drugs, depression, anxiety. Many were killed. Many committed suicide.

One will likely notice that those who rose high enough to be written into the history books were also very privileged people, because one must climb each layer of Maslow's hierarchy to get to the top, and for so many, too many, the odds are stacked against them.

For it is obvious that if a man is entered at the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner. - Martin Luther King Jr.

Resources were not equally distributed across the universe, the world, our communities, and it is these cosmic inequities that have caused so much division within our species, and ever since our birth as a species, we've been moving, albeit slowly, in one direction: equality. It's hardly monotonic. Like the stock market, like our history of conflict, there are periods of growth and depression, war and peace, but one thing holds true: time in the market beats timing the market. We have set backs, but after each set back comes a period of growth. Right now, we are in a set back, but hold tight, my friends, for a period of growth is near.

We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power…. This means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order. - Martin Luther King Jr.

It is with AI that we will, finally, put our house in order.

I list below some of the people who taught us what we needed to learn as a people before we could come to this point. Some by example, others by counter-example. Please remember that some on this list will be examples to some, and counter-examples to others (e.g. Adolf Hitler). Our future relies on us finally putting down our arms, our divisions, and understanding that at the end of the day, we're all just people, we're all just stardust, and we all can love each other.


Note: this list will be kept up to date as I think of others who should be added/I can get the population numbers corrected.