The toughest problems and challenges facing humanity originate from excessive complexity
Extreme problems are very large-scale multi-disciplinary problems, involving thousands or millions of variables and which cannot be solved using conventional technology. In such situations, it is impossible to determine the cause of the problem not only because of its sheer size but, most importantly, because it is frequently perceived through conventional eyes and distorted by narrow and linear thinking. It is not a matter of Big Data, AI, huge compute power or sophisticated math modeling - some things just cannot be modeled. Certain problems cannot be solved with traditional mathematics. A model-free approach is mandatory.
Examples of extreme problems:
Large-scale zero-day cyber attacks, beyond anomaly detection
Are we under attack?
Unexpected collapses of critical systems or infrastructures (transportation systems, IT networks, large corporations, trading systems)
Prolonged states of crisis, inefficiency or frequent system failures (process plants, transportation systems, economies, telephone networks)
Sudden catastrophic collapse (spacecraft, aircraft, software systems, ecosystems, stock markets)
Post-crisis scenario management
Clearly, extreme problems cause extreme consequences. And loss of reputation.