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In the future will cognitive augmentation and artificial intelligence broaden or narrow our consciousness?

We relinquish awareness when we allow a program to decide what's relevant information.

For example, car computer systems are rapidly decreasing our awareness of simple skills such as parking a car. In time, no one will know how to parallel park. If the computer system fails, a driver could be stranded for hours in their parked car, without the skill to pull out. In addition, future systems will monitor and send health information…and other personal information.

The lose of simple skill sets such as parking is minor but it points to the larger issue of losing cognitive skills. Our ability to reason would atrophy, and become dependent on imperfect, biased or worse corrupt systems that operate beyond our awareness. You may want to dismiss the idea as a cynical dystopian view point… but ask yourself why the general public is losing the ability to do simple math in their heads.

Is ease of living worth relinquishing independent consciousness?


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  • Apr 10 2013: Gord, It is sure that due to disuse,we may lose track of some of our cognitive abilities,but at the same time,we should 'nt forget that the ability to put to use the right technology at the right place also needs our conscious effort....So I think a balance is the key....
    • Apr 12 2013: I agree. I think balance is key.

      To date intellectual momentum has been maintained by a natural progression of knowledge within an academic community (human to human). Machine learning has the potential to circumvent human nature by evolving a society that must adapt to machine logic to survive.

      The question is ...how do we maintain a balance...when our primal nature seeks to maximize our control over our environment by optimizing our tools.

      It seems the quest for power has always been open ended.

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