Unum

Unum is a collective dialogue facilitation system capable of representing a community of users as a single participant in a natural dialogue. Although the system is composed of a myriad of individual users, the collective of users is able to take the role of a single individual in a dialog. Throughout the dialog, and in real-time, members of the collective inform the system with ideas, thoughts, knowledge, and possible dialog elements. From this input, a collective belief space is created. The system structures this belief space into a single conversation stream.

Language connects the members of a community into an information-sharing network with unparalleled collective power. We can develop novel thoughts and ideas and cause those same thoughts and ideas to be materialized in the minds of others. Throughout history, various technologies, such as written language and broadcasts, have been developed to share ideas across time and space. Despite this unique ability, human conversation is fundamentally limited. Unum is a collective dialog technology capable of facilitating natural dialogs between large populations, effectively minimizing these limitations.

Language evolved as a method for small numbers of individuals to engage in a dialog relating to the world around them. For this purpose, language is uniquely suited, but human populations no longer exist in isolated groups of handfuls of individuals. We are now a global society consisting of a vast population. Through artificial means (written language, recordings, broadcast, etc.) we have allowed information to be transmitted from an individual to the masses. But transmission is only half of a dialog. We have also devised artificial methods for approximating dialogs between large collections of individuals. For smaller populations, these approximations can take the form of artificial constraints on dialog, such as parliamentary procedure, but even these methods break down as larger populations attempt to communicate. To approximate dialogs amongst large populations, we are forced to adopt a representational methodology. Individuals are appointed or elected to represent the voice of some portion of the population. Representatives then engage each other in a dialog on behalf of the communities they represent. But dialog by representation is a poor approximation of dialog between individuals. Given predisposition of the representatives and the impossible task of accurately understanding, consolidation and representing the diverse views of the community, this method too breaks down.

Unum is a novel method of allowing large populations of individuals to participate in a live dialog. This method accurately approximates the level of information sharing that exists in one-on-one dialogs and does not break down beneath the weight of an arbitrarily large population or pre-existing bias existing in current forms of representational communication.

Unum provides such a method by forming a collective from a plurality of users. Although the system is composed of a myriad of individual users, the collective is able to take the role of a single individual in a dialog. Throughout the dialog, and in real-time, members of the collective inform the system with ideas, thoughts, knowledge, and possible dialog elements. From this input, a collective belief space is created. This belief space is structured into a single conversation stream.

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