Archive for the ‘mind enhancement’ tag

Jan 15, 2020

The Rise of Superhumans and the Challenges for Learning and Development

Posted by in categories: business, education, transhumanism

How will learning and development cope with the growing trend of humans augmenting their basic capabilities with chemical, electronic, physical, and genetic enhancements?

We’ve been entertained by a never ending stream of Marvel and DC Comics characters with super powers ranging from x-ray vision to mind control. Many of us have also spent time fantasising about the additional capabilities we’d like to help see us through the day. But what happens when those boundaries blur between science fantasy and everyday reality?

The practice of human enhancement or augmentation is a phenomena well underway across society – although the concept may be new to many of us. Over the next 25 years, the integration of information and communications technologies (ICTs), cognitive science, new materials, and bio-medicine could fundamentally improve the human condition and greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. As a result, the notion of the “transhuman” could emerge. For example, we are well underway with the process of augmenting human beings’ cognitive and intellectual abilities through technological implants, such as memory storage. These enhancements mean humans could achieve heightened senses and biological capabilities that are largely the prerogative of other species (e.g. speed, resistance, adaptation to extreme conditions, etc.).

The speed of development is truly mind blowing. Advances in cognitive enhancement drugs and “nootropic” supplements, electronic brain stimulation techniques, genetic modification, age extension treatments, 3D printed limbs and organs, and body worn exoskeletons, have given rise to the notion of enhancing the human brain and body well beyond the limits of natural evolutionary processes. Indeed, many leaders in the field of AI are fierce advocates of Transhumanism as the next stage of human evolution—arguing that if humans want to keep up with AI, we ourselves will have to become machines—embedding technology in our brains and bodies to give us similar levels of processing power.

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Nov 6, 2015

Can Humans Actually Have A Brain Like A Computer?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, neuroscience, science

With modern innovations such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, wi-fi, tablet computing and more, it’s easy for man to look around and say that the human brain is a complex and well-evolved organ. But according to Author, Neuroscientist and Psychologist Gary Marcus, the human mind is actually constructed somewhat haphazardly, and there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“I called my book Kluge, which is an old engineer’s word for a clumsy solution. Think of MacGyver kind of duct tape and rubber bands,” Marcus said. “The thesis of that book is that the human mind is a kluge. I was thinking in terms of how this relates to evolutionary psychology and how our minds have been shaped by evolution.”

Marcus argued that evolution is not perfect, but instead it makes “local maxima,” which are good, but not necessarily the best possible solutions. As a parallel example, he cites the human spine, which allows us to stand upright; however, since it isn’t very well engineered, it also gives us back pain.

“You can imagine a better solution with three legs or branches that would distribute the load better, but we have this lousy solution where our spines are basically like a flag pole supporting 70 percent of our body weight,” Marcus said.

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