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AI vs IA - 08

Our current tech ecosystem is focused on artificial intelligence. Much in the same way that we've replaced physical human effort with machinery the intent is to do the same with mental human effort. CGPGrey has a fantastic video on the subject that I've seen multiple times and highly recommend: Humans Need Not Apply

But it has competition in what is called intelligence augmentation. The argument from this side of the rubicon is that focusing on augmenting human intelligence, whether through cybernetics or through biological or chemical augmentation, will yield results superior to focusing on developing AI to the point it can compete with or supersede human intelligence on its own.

A good example of this is a recently human tested brain implant which boosts memory. Although these are clinical trials and the people being tested have some kind of brain impairment, the mechanism is interesting and I'm curious to see what will come of later testing. What the chip does is familiarize itself with the specific pattern your brain fires off when its encoding a memory. When the chip detects weaker than average signals it fires off an imperceptible "booster" to the naturally existing pattern and reinforces the encoding process by over 30%.

The interesting thing to note here, among many interesting things mind you (pun intended), is the fact that human intelligence is being compared to computers as they are rather than as they might be. A lot of the human brain's power comes from the massively parallel infrastructure it has built in and our machines currently interpret commands and store data sequentially. This might change with the quantum computer, and I'm interested to see how the benchmark shifts.

Happy Father's Day.

update 2019-06-06: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention nootropics, which are any substance that may improve cognition, in particular memory, motivation or creativity. On the softer end of the spectrum are ginseng and gingo biloba, and on the harder end are drugs like caffeine, nicotine, eugeroics and amphetamine.


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