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Augmented Intelligence

Exploring how human intelligence, consciousness, and cognition are augmented by the digital technologies we use.

What effect is technology having on our intelligence? Socrates argued that it would have a diminishing effect, but recently much philosophical attention has focused on the ways in which technology enhances and extends human cognitive capacities. Even simple technologies, such as a pen and paper, allow us to offload information into the world through the creation of external symbols, which can free up our internal resources. Nowadays technologies are far more sophisticated and pervasive, and are likely to further alter human intelligence and performance. This project consists of several strands investigating these changes.

  • Nudging.

We have long known that by altering the environment we can indirectly influence human behaviour, but now humans are increasingly being ‘nudged’ in the digital sphere as well. This strand looks at the ways in which this is being done through beeping devices, recommender systems, and AI and data-driven targeting.

  • Cognitive extension 

Are the devices we use mere tools or can they be extensions of our cognitive capacities, such that they form a part of the physical hardware of our minds, on a par with the brain? From smartphones and VR headsets to brain implants, this strand looks at a range of new technologies that extend our cognition.

  • The human-digital team.

Machines are increasingly operating alongside us, helping us to complete various tasks. This strand looks at how the growing role of automation is changing how we think, function, and flourish, and how we can best integrate humans and machines for optimal collaboration and performance.

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Consciousness and Intelligence