Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Intelligence amplification

Intelligence amplification

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Intelligence amplification'
Start a new discussion about 'Intelligence amplification'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Intelligence amplification (IA) (also referred to as cognitive augmentation and machine augmented intelligence) refers to the effective use of information technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 in augmenting human intelligence
Human intelligence
Human Intelligence may refer to:* Human intelligence in the species as the property of mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, plan, problem solve, think, comprehend ideas, use languages, and learn....

. The idea was first proposed in the 1950s and 1960s by cybernetics
Cybernetics
Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. Cybernetics is closely related to information theory, control theory and systems theory, at least in its first-order form...

 and early computer pioneers.

IA is sometimes contrasted with AI (Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

), that is, the project of building a human-like intelligence in the form of an autonomous technological system such as a computer or robot. AI has encountered many fundamental obstacles, practical as well as theoretical, which for IA seem moot, as it needs technology merely as an extra support for an autonomous intelligence that has already proven to function. Moreover, IA has a long history of success, since all forms of information technology, from the abacus to writing to the Internet, have been developed basically to extend the information processing
Information processing
Information processing is the change of information in any manner detectable by an observer. As such, it is a process which describes everything which happens in the universe, from the falling of a rock to the printing of a text file from a digital computer system...

 capabilities of the human mind (see extended mind
Extended mind
The Extended Mind is a book in the field of philosophy of mind edited by Richard Menary. It contains several papers by different philosophers....

 and distributed cognition
Distributed cognition
Distributed cognition is a psychological theory developed in the mid 1980s by Edwin Hutchins. Using insights from sociology, cognitive science, and the psychology of Vygotsky it emphasizes the social aspects of cognition. It is a framework that involves the coordination between individuals,...

).

William Ross Ashby: Intelligence Amplification


The term intelligence amplification (IA) has enjoyed a wide currency since William Ross Ashby
William Ross Ashby
W. Ross Ashby was an English psychiatrist and a pioneer in cybernetics, the study of complex systems. His first name was not used: he was known as Ross Ashby....

 wrote of "amplifying intelligence" in his Introduction to Cybernetics (1956). Related ideas were explicitly proposed as an alternative to Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

 by Hao Wang from the early days of automatic theorem prover
Automated theorem proving
Automated theorem proving or automated deduction, currently the most well-developed subfield of automated reasoning , is the proving of mathematical theorems by a computer program.- Decidability of the problem :...

s.


.."problem solving
Problem solving
Problem solving is a mental process and is part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem shaping. Consideredthe most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of...

" is
largely, perhaps entirely, a matter of appropriate selection
Selection
In the context of evolution, certain traits or alleles of genes segregating within a population may be subject to selection. Under selection, individuals with advantageous or "adaptive" traits tend to be more successful than their peers reproductively—meaning they contribute more offspring to the...

.
Take, for instance, any popular book of problems and puzzles.
Almost every one can be reduced to the form: out of a certain set,
indicate one element. ... It is, in fact, difficult to think of a
problem, either playful or serious, that does not ultimately require an
appropriate selection as necessary and sufficient for its solution.

It is also clear that many of the tests
used for measuring "intelligence" are scored essentially according to
the candidate's power of appropriate selection. ... Thus it is not
impossible that what is commonly referred to as "intellectual power"
may be equivalent to "power of appropriate selection". Indeed, if a
talking Black Box
Black box
A black box is a device, object, or system whose inner workings are unknown; only the input, transfer, and output are known characteristics.The term black box can also refer to:-In science and technology:*Black box theory, a philosophical theory...

 were to show high power of appropriate selection
in such matters — so that, when given difficult problems it
persistently gave correct answers — we could hardly deny that it was
showing the 'behavioral' equivalent of "high intelligence".

If this is so, and as we know that power of selection can be
amplified, it seems to follow that intellectual power, like physical
power, can be amplified. Let no one say that it cannot be done, for
the gene-patterns do it every time they form a brain that grows up to
be something better than the gene-pattern could have specified in
detail. What is new is that we can now do it synthetically,
consciously, deliberately.
Ashby, W.R.
William Ross Ashby
W. Ross Ashby was an English psychiatrist and a pioneer in cybernetics, the study of complex systems. His first name was not used: he was known as Ross Ashby....

, An Introduction to Cybernetics, Chapman and Hall, London, UK, 1956. Reprinted, Methuen and Company, London, UK, 1964. PDF


J.C.R. Licklider: Man-Computer Symbiosis


"Man-Computer Symbiosis" is a key speculative paper published in 1960 by psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

/computer scientist
Computer scientist
A computer scientist is a scientist who has acquired knowledge of computer science, the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their application in computer systems....

 J.C.R. Licklider, which envisions that mutually-interdependent, "living together", tightly-coupled human brains and computing machines would prove to complement each other's strengths to a high degree:

Man-computer symbiosis
Symbiosis
Symbiosis is close and often long-term interaction between different biological species. In 1877 Bennett used the word symbiosis to describe the mutualistic relationship in lichens...

 is a subclass of man-machine systems. There are many man-machine systems. At present, however, there are no man-computer symbioses. The purposes of this paper are to present the concept and, hopefully, to foster the development of man-computer symbiosis by analyzing some problems of interaction between men and computing machines, calling attention to applicable principles of man-machine engineering, and pointing out a few questions to which research answers are needed. The hope is that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today.
Licklider, J.C.R., "Man-Computer Symbiosis", IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, vol. HFE-1, 4-11, Mar 1960. Eprint



In Licklider's vision, many of the pure artificial intelligence systems envisioned at the time by over-optimistic researchers would prove unnecessary. (This paper is also seen by some historians as marking the genesis of ideas about computer networks which later blossomed into the Internet).

Douglas Engelbart: Augmenting Human Intellect


Licklider's research was similar in spirit to his DARPA contemporary and protégé Douglas Engelbart
Douglas Engelbart
Douglas Carl Engelbart is an American inventor, and an early computer and internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on the challenges of human-computer interaction, resulting in the invention of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs...

; both had a view of how computers could be used that was both at odds with the then-prevalent views (which saw them as devices principally useful for computation
Computation
Computation is defined as any type of calculation. Also defined as use of computer technology in Information processing.Computation is a process following a well-defined model understood and expressed in an algorithm, protocol, network topology, etc...

s), and key proponents of the way in which computers are now used (as generic adjuncts to humans).

Engelbart reasoned that the state of our current technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 controls our ability to manipulate information, and that fact in turn will control our ability to develop new, improved technologies. He thus set himself to the revolutionary task of developing computer-based technologies for manipulating information directly, and also to improve individual and group processes for knowledge-work. Engelbart's philosophy and research agenda is most clearly and directly expressed in the 1962 research report: Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework. The concept of network augmented intelligence is attributed to Engelbart based on this pioneering work.

Increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems.

Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more-rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insolvable. And by complex situations we include the professional problems of diplomats, executives, social scientists, life scientists, physical scientists, attorneys, designers--whether the problem situation exists for twenty minutes or twenty years.

We do not speak of isolated clever tricks that help in particular situations. We refer to a way of life in an integrated domain where hunches, cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human feel for a situation usefully co-exist with powerful concepts, streamlined terminology and notation, sophisticated methods, and high-powered electronic aids.
Engelbart, D.C.
Douglas Engelbart
Douglas Carl Engelbart is an American inventor, and an early computer and internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on the challenges of human-computer interaction, resulting in the invention of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs...

, "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework", Summary Report AFOSR-3233, Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, CA, Oct 1962. Eprint



See also



  • Augmented learning
    Augmented learning
    Augmented learning is an on-demand learning technique where the environment adapts to the learner. Instead of focusing on memorization, supplemental information is presented to the learner based on the current context. The augmented content can be dynamically tailored to the learner's natural...

  • Exocortex
    Exocortex
    An exocortex is a theoretical artificial external information processing system that would augment a brain's biological high-level cognitive processes....

  • Ashby, William Ross
    William Ross Ashby
    W. Ross Ashby was an English psychiatrist and a pioneer in cybernetics, the study of complex systems. His first name was not used: he was known as Ross Ashby....

  • Collective Intelligence
    Collective intelligence
    Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals and appears in consensus decision making in bacteria, animals, humans and computer networks....

  • Democratic Transhumanism
    Democratic transhumanism
    Democratic transhumanism, a term coined by Dr. James Hughes in 2002, refers to the stance of transhumanists who espouse liberal, social and/or radical democratic political views....

  • Cybernetics
    Cybernetics
    Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. Cybernetics is closely related to information theory, control theory and systems theory, at least in its first-order form...

  • Brain-computer interface
    Brain-computer interface
    A brain–computer interface , sometimes called a direct neural interface or a brain–machine interface , is a direct communication pathway between the brain and an external device...

  • Cyborg
    Cyborg
    A cyborg is a being with both biological and artificial parts. The term was coined in 1960 when Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline used it in an article about the advantages of self-regulating human-machine systems in outer space. D. S...

  • Engelbart, Douglas
    Douglas Engelbart
    Douglas Carl Engelbart is an American inventor, and an early computer and internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on the challenges of human-computer interaction, resulting in the invention of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs...

  • Emotiv Systems
    Emotiv Systems
    Emotiv Systems is an Australian electronics company developing brain–computer interfaces based on electroencephalography technology. The company was founded in 2003 by four scientists and executives: neuroscientist Professor Allan Snyder, chip-designer Neil Weste, and technology entrepreneurs Tan...


  • Human enhancement
    Human enhancement
    Human enhancement refers to any attempt to temporarily or permanently overcome the current limitations of the human body through natural or artificial means...

  • Sensemaking
    Sensemaking
    Sensemaking is the process by which people give meaning to experience. While this process has been studied by other disciplines under other names for centuries, the term "sensemaking" has primarily marked three distinct but related research areas since the 1970s: Sensemaking was introduced to...

  • Licklider, J.C.R.
  • Peirce, Charles Sanders
  • Symbiotic intelligence
  • Wisdom of crowds
  • Mechanization
    Mechanization
    Mechanization or mechanisation is providing human operators with machinery that assists them with the muscular requirements of work or displaces muscular work. In some fields, mechanization includes the use of hand tools...

  • Knowledge worker
    Knowledge worker
    Knowledge workers in today's workforce are individuals who are valued for their ability to act and communicate with knowledge within a specific subject area. They will often advance the overall understanding of that subject through focused analysis, design and/or development. They use research...



Further reading

  • Engelbart, Landau, Clegg (2009). "The Engelbart Hypothesis: Dialogs with Douglas Engelbart" NextPress, Berkeley CA, 2009.

  • Asaro, Peter (2008). "From Mechanisms of Adaptation to Intelligence Amplifiers: The Philosophy of W. Ross Ashby," in Michael Wheeler, Philip Husbands and Owen Holland (eds.) The Mechanical Mind in History, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Ashby, W.R.
    William Ross Ashby
    W. Ross Ashby was an English psychiatrist and a pioneer in cybernetics, the study of complex systems. His first name was not used: he was known as Ross Ashby....

    , Design for a Brain, Chapman and Hall, London, UK, 1952. Second edition, Chapman and Hall, London, UK, 1966.


  • Waldrop, M. Mitchell, The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal, Viking Press, New York, NY, 2001. Licklider's biography, contains discussion of the importance of this paper.

External links