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Encyclopedia > Intelligence amplification
Part of the series on
Cyborgs

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Bionics / Biomimicry
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Intelligence amplification
A cyborg is a cybernetic organism (i. ... Bionics (also known as biomimetics, biognosis, biomimicry, or bionical creativity engineering) is the application of methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology. ... Biomimicry (also biomimickry) is the conscious copying of examples and mechanisms from natural organisms and ecologies. ... The AbioCor artificial heart, an example of a biomedical engineering application of mechanical engineering with biocompatible materials for Cardiothoracic Surgery using an artificial organ. ... A brain-computer interface (BCI) or direct neural interface is literally a direct technological interface between a brain and a computer not requiring any motor output from the user. ... Cybernetics is the study of feedback and derived concepts such as communication and control in living organisms, machines and organisations. ... History Distributed cognition is a school of psychology developed in the 1990s by Edwin Hutchins. ... An iconic image of genetic engineering; this autoluminograph from 1986 of a glowing transgenic tobacco plant bearing the luciferase gene, illustrating the possibilities of genetic engineering. ... Human ecosystems are complex cybernetic systems that are increasingly being used by ecological anthropologists and other scholars to examine the human-ecological aspects of phenomena such as economics, socio-political organizations, ritual et cetera. ... Human enhancement describes any attempt, whether temporary or permanent, to overcome the current limitations of human cognitive and physical abilities, whether through natural or artificial means. ...


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Intelligence amplification (IA) (also referred to as cognitive augmentation and machine augmented intelligence) refers to the effective use of information technology in augmenting human intelligence. The theory was developed in the 1950s and 1960s by cybernetics and early computer pioneers. Cybernetics is the study of feedback and derived concepts such as communication and control in living organisms, machines and organisations. ... This article is a list of individuals that helped create, develop, and imagine what computers and electronics could do. ...

Contents

Major Contributions

William Ross Ashby: Intelligence Amplification

The term intelligence amplification (IA) has enjoyed a wide currency since William Ross Ashby wrote of "amplifying intelligence" in his Introduction to Cybernetics (1956), and related ideas were explicitly proposed as an alternative to AI by Hao Wang from the early days of automatic theorem provers. William Ross Ashby (September 6, 1903, London, England - November 15, 1972) was a British psychiatrist and a pioneer in the study of complex systems. ... Hao Wang 王浩 (1921 – 1995) was a Chinese-American logician, philosopher and mathematician. ... Automated theorem proving (ATP) or automated deduction, currently the most well-developed subfield of automated reasoning (AR), is the proving of mathematical theorems by a computer program. ...

14/7. Amplifying intelligence. ... In S.13/8 we saw that selection can be amplified. Now "problem solving" is largely, perhaps entirely, a matter of appropriate selection. 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 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, 1956, 171-172).

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

"Man-Computer Symbiosis" is a key speculative paper published in 1960 by psychologist/computer scientist 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 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."

— Man-Computer Symbiosis, J.C.R. Licklider, March 1960.

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, as it called for:

"a network of such [computers], connected to one another by wide-band communication lines" which provided "the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval and [other] symbiotic functions."

Such thinking could also be traced in his article of "The Computer as a Communication Device"


Douglas Engelbart: Augmenting Human Intellect

Licklider's research was similar in spirit to his DARPA contemporary Douglas Engelbart; 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 computations), 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 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 which Engelbart refers to as his 'bible': 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."

References

  • Ashby, W.R., An Introduction to Cybernetics, Chapman and Hall, London, UK, 1956. Reprinted, Methuen and Company, London, UK, 1964. PDF
  • Engelbart, D.C., "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework", Summary Report AFOSR-3233, Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, CA, Oct 1962. Eprint
  • Licklider, J.C.R., "Man-Computer Symbiosis", IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, vol. HFE-1, 4-11, Mar 1960. Eprint

William Ross Ashby (September 6, 1903, London, England - November 15, 1972) was a British psychiatrist and a pioneer in the study of complex systems. ... Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart (born January 30, 1925 in Oregon) is an American inventor of German descent. ... Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider (March 11, 1915 - June 26, 1990), known simply as J.C.R. or Lick is one of the most important figures in computer science and general computing history. ...

Further reading

  • Ashby, W.R., Design for a Brain, Chapman and Hall, London, UK, 1952. Second edition, Chapman and Hall, London, UK, 1966.
  • Skagestad, Peter, "Thinking with Machines: Intelligence Augmentation, Evolutionary Epistemology, and Semiotic", Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 157-180, 1993. Eprint
  • Smart Business Networks (or, Let's Create 'Life' from Inert Information) on SSRN
  • 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.

William Ross Ashby (September 6, 1903, London, England - November 15, 1972) was a British psychiatrist and a pioneer in the study of complex systems. ...

See also

William Ross Ashby (September 6, 1903, London, England - November 15, 1972) was a British psychiatrist and a pioneer in the study of complex systems. ... Cybernetics is the study of feedback and derived concepts such as communication and control in living organisms, machines and organisations. ... // A brain-computer interface (BCI), sometimes called a direct neural interface or a brain-machine interface, is a direct communication pathway between a human or animal brain (or brain cell culture) and an external device. ... A cyborg is a cybernetic organism (i. ... Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart (born January 30, 1925 in Oregon) is an American inventor of German descent. ... Human enhancement describes any attempt, whether temporary or permanent, to overcome the current limitations of human cognitive and physical abilities, whether through natural or artificial means. ... Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider (March 11, 1915 - June 26, 1990), known simply as J.C.R. or Lick is one of the most important figures in computer science and general computing history. ... Charles Sanders Peirce (IPA: /pɝs/), (September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American polymath, physicist, and philosopher, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Symbiotic intelligence is the capacity of a group to behave more intelligently than its individual members. ... The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, first published in 2004, is a book written by James Surowiecki about the aggregation of information in groups, resulting in decisions that, he argues, are often better than...

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