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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 11 2013: .

    "Use it or lose it".
    We will bio-evolve foolish.
    We will go to self-extinction biologically.

    The "ease of living" is a kind of “invalid happiness” really.

    (For details, see the 1st article, points 1-3, 14, at
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      Apr 11 2013: I consider the opposite: the access to ease that we now have allows many trivial activities to be overcome (if we choose so) in order to encourage a quicker pace in our lives, which if you are concerned about losing the ability to do math or losing brain power, this added time available can be spent thinking or developing consciousness.
      • Apr 12 2013: I'm going to stir the debate a bit more...

        Today we don't require the same level of physical activity to maintain a comfortable living environment. Many people spend their days sitting in chairs (whether at the office, in the car, or while watching the twentieth episode of Mad Men).

        With the decrease of our physical demand to survive and the increased availability of free time, you would think we would have time to improve our fitness. Yet there is an increased level of obesity in our society today.

        You would think with all that free time and extra energy people would spend it improving their physical health.

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