Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.

— Kofi Annan

Knowledge. Information. Are those truly power?

Kofi Annan was likely referring to what is in our head when he made that statement above.

What Is The Place Of Artificial Intelligence In Enhancing Natural Stupidity?

Questions like..

– What is the dental formula of chimpanzee?
– How far is the moon from Earth?
– Who was the tenth President of the United States of America?

.. are things you would get answers to in a jiffy, using the power of technology. You simply ‘Google it’

Could this be a bad thing?

Someone says,

I love Digital Assistants. They are now ubiquitous on almost all mobile platforms. Voice command shortcuts in apps, Instant Dictionary Search, sending an email or calling without having to look for the contact – these are immensely useful.

But the biggest benefits i get from it is the contextual reminders….remind me of X when I arrive at Y/home/work.

Remind me of Z, when Mr K calls or I call him, etc.

Another responds,

That’s cool.

But I particularly like stressing my brain, whenever I can.

The fear is that we can get so reliant on technology that our brains atrophy. I think deliberately trying to remember things should strengthen our mental acuity, especially as we age..

Do we need to store information in our heads – anymore? Additionally, do we still need to keep exercising the ability to process information in our brain?

Using the smartphone / web as an extension of our brain gives us the kind of mental power that Einstein used to enjoy. There are computers to do what would take centuries of human mental effort in a jiffy.

Neural Lace,anyone?

The difference between an encyclopaedic knowledge and a mobile Internet connection now appears insignificant. And that does not stop at solving complex math and riddles.

Memory, communication, data analysis – in all these areas, we can acquire superhuman powers through devices connected to the Internet.

The Internet risks making us mentally lazy, stupid , lonely or even crazy .But in reality, tools like Wolfram Alpha, Google, Facebook and Evernote may have the potential to make us not only more knowledgeable and productive, but literally more intelligent than ever.

It is a matter of how we make use of these incredible tools.

The idea that we might invent tools capable of modifying our cognitive abilities may come as a surprise, but in reality this is one of the fundamental definitions of human evolution.

With the acquisition of language, our ancestors not only changed their way of communicating but also their way of thinking. Mathematics, printing and science have further extended the scope of the human mind, and in the twentieth century tools such as telephones, calculators, and the Encyclopedia Britannica have allowed current access to a quantity of knowledge surpassing all that a person could assimilate during a single lifetime.

There is now no difference between the knowledge you store in your head, and the vastly superior knowledgebase that the Internet represents.

Today, smartphones are part of our daily lives and high-speed networks are lining the developed world.
If I ask you which is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, it is now unimportant whether you have the answer in your head, or you reach for your smartphone to answer me.

Get out your phone and repeat the question using Google Voice Search, and a robotic voice will answer you immediately.

So, what is the importance of having knowledge nowadays? Is it so egregious to be an ignoramus as long as you have access to the Internet?

Like Henry Ford who demonstrated that using your brain to think is far more important than using it to store information, do you still beat your chest in knowing that a bat sleeps upsidedown or still clutter your Brain with other “useless” facts that can easily be Googled?

Use it or lose it !

Can too much reliance on technology weaken our brain as well as other muscles, since any muscle that is not exercised enough invariably rots away?

Each time we get into a car to traverse a distance that can be trekked, pull. out a calculator for something that can easily be computed by long hand, or retrieve from your note app information that can easily be retrieved from memory, are we doing ourselves a disservice.?

I think so!