CogniFit's Science blog: Brain Power As The Anti Computer Brain

Brain Power As The Anti Computer Brain

There seems to be certain attraction from the human being, to substitute itself as part of nature. In the history that attraction has been seen in many ways, surely depending on the technology existing at each time, creating motivations for a reduction of the individual impact in the world. 

If you look back, no so long back in fact, you certainly would recall the time when the kids in school wouldn’t use a calculator at all. All the calculations, from the very simple ones to the more complex, would have to be made using their own brain. Wow, shouldn’t it be always like this? 

Gradually the calculators started to enter in the classrooms, and currently they are allowed even in exams (surely not all, but the point is, these many cases exist). This brings a question: what does thinking substitution create? Does it create anything positive for the individual or for the society?

Another example has been the past days talked about in the news, the research at the University of Exeter with an objective to develop a brain-like computer. The earlier example was a partial substitution of the thinking skills needed to calculate simple or more complex mathematics, saving the brain the pain to do the hard work. Now if ever a computer is made with the ability to mimic a human brain, we’re not only going through the path of science fiction. We are indeed making the step to stupidify the human being.

Similarly to the example of the calculators, the substitution of the thinking skills from the human to the machine, if at first may have good objectives and leads to an increase of the total grey mass in the world (if this statistic would be ever possible to calculate), as well as an objective of efficiency (do more with less), it does create incentives to laziness. Over time, and mostly in the long run, these incentives are indeed a challenge to the world.

I will be coming back to the topics of “incentives” and “brain laziness” in the next posts. The initial point I mean to make here is: isn’t brain fitness the science response to the laziness incentives  the same scientific development creates?

If science fiction is actually going to be real, it doesn’t necessarily need to be at the expense of the human being and its capacity to create, improve and be better each day. This calls for the right incentives, to make sure everyone is able to train their brain while seizing the advantages a higher grey mass index. In a much larger extent – the continuous quest for growth depends of these incentives.