Man came to be the Apex predator – the conqueror of all things – by way of his intelligence, his mighty mind, his unique brain. All of life is subservient to Man. And yet one has to wonder if Man’s information processing powers have yet to peak? Can Man become smarter? And if so, how? By what methods can he improve upon his brain so as to increase his mastery over the universe?
Let us look into the future. We will present 5 options that can potentially help Man enhance his brain and thereby gain intelligence as he continues his journey through space and time. The options presented flow from weakest to strongest.
METHOD 1: ENHANCEMENT VIA EVOLUTION
Why is it that human heads are the size that they are? The answer given to us is as follows: Had the human cranium grown any larger it would have been impossible for women to give birth. Nature had encountered a “bandwidth” issue that it could not out engineer. Cranial size did not necessarily prevent us from gaining intelligence. The ever-enlarging neocortex began to bend inside the human head to increase brain power. Ultimately, the neocortex became confined by cranial walls.
Modern medicine may have resolved the bandwidth issue in the form of Cesarean Sections, colloquially referred to as C-sections. 32 percent of women now have the procedure, a 5X increase in one generation¹.
Perhaps one day, women will no longer give birth naturally. Therefore, in theory, human heads are now free to grow larger and larger and larger.
BIG BRAIN THEORY
The evidence linking brain size and intelligence is not 100% conclusive. We are not 100% sure if intelligence is related to “hardware” or “software”. Therefore, we do not know if simply having a bigger brain makes one smarter. Human intelligence could very well be associated with the way in which Neurons are connected and organized, not simply by the sheer amount of neurons in your possession. Thus, even if our heads become twice as large it would not necessarily mean that we become twice as smart. Size may simply mean a difference in degree, not a difference in kind.
Large heads on smaller bodies play well into Alien conspiracies. Perhaps this is why individuals claiming to have seen aliens always have visions of creatures with larger heads. Perhaps advanced species around the universe have already employed the C-section method to resolve their brain birth bandwidth issue; thereby creating more intelligent beings.
EVOLUTION: THE LONGEST ROAD
Evolving our way to increased intelligence is the least best of our five options. Slowly but surely humans would gain intelligence as large headed humans mated. However, it would take millennia upon millennia for humans to amplify our intelligence via genetic mutation.
We, the impatient humanity, require a faster method of gaining intelligence.
METHOD 2: BETTER TEACHING TOOLS
AI: The Super Teacher
The Single Student Classroom
A global, teaching renaissance is upon us.
We have not had an advancement in education since the Prussian teaching method took over the world nearly two centuries afore. Now, a new education model is set to rule the world by the 2030’s. Software, coupled with Artificial Intelligence and advanced analytic systems, will do wonders for the field of education.
They say there are no bad students, only bad teachers. One has to wonder what becomes of a world in which we all possessed the perfect educator, one built solely for each and every one of us.
Imagine a world in which every student has a personalized education. Advanced software systems would gather the interests of a student. Thereupon, all information presented would conform to the likes and dislikes of each student, presenting him with information in such a way that he could not turn away; thereby, hijacking his mind for the better.
As an example: If you enjoy sports then instructions would be in sporting analogies. If you enjoy superheroes then examples would be laden with superheroes. Your AI teacher could even take on the form of your favorite human or fictitious character. Anything it could do in order to make a deeper connection with you it would do…
Having software or AI teach anyone anything will be a massive leap forward for Mankind. The teacher of the 2030’s will be a super powerful AI engine capable of training you in any field. Your virtual “Aristotle” will cater to your individual needs. The class will move at your pace. The computationally based classroom of tomorrow will be a Godsend. So efficient will education become that school days will be cut in half, if not more. We may even get rid of school altogether since anyone can learn anything from anywhere. Free, personalized education that can effectively communicate with your brain is on the horizon.
Other advanced teaching methods include turning education into games or crowdsourcing education or using AR / MR / VR as powerful teaching tools.
Our new AI and software based education will help every human across the globe maximize their Intelligence Quotient, their IQ. No longer will anyone be in the dark. All minds will come alive. A global, teaching renaissance is indeed upon us.
Be as it may, enhanced education will not resolve the issue that some humans simply possess more neuronal horsepower than others. The issue of IQ can and will be remedied by gene enhancement.
METHOD 3: ALTERING OUR SOURCE CODE
We are on the verge of remarkable breakthroughs in the field of biology.
The price of genetic testing is falling each year at an exponential rate thanks to cheaper computation. The 2020’s will be the decade wherein a good majority of humanity will understand their own genome. Conceivably, humans will have their genes checked on a periodic basis as a means of medical diagnostics. However, the real prize in biology is gene alteration. Humanity may have truly cracked the code of life with the introduction of the Crispr cas9 system which allows us to use enzymes to snip and alter genes. We can now potentially create designer babies.
There may be as little as 20 genes linked with intelligence – or perhaps as many as one thousand. The number does not necessarily matter. What does matter is the degree by which intelligence is linked to genetics. Linkage will determine the future of civilization. If intelligence is highly hereditary – meaning gene driven – than altering our genome with the best and brightest of genes will considerably alter the trajectory of Man.
Soon may come a day when all humans have an IQ of over 140 – the number by which genius is designated. What will it do for humanity when all humans possess superior intelligence? Will our society be better off? Will we become of a more studious species? Will we become more artistic?
Proponents of “intelligence via genetics” will point out that lower IQ is highly correlated with such characteristics as anger, violence, obesity, and apathy. Therefore, smarter humans would lead to a world of less anger and aggression. However, will the inverse not become equally as bad? Will a society of highly intelligent individuals result in a passive, non-aggressive society lacking what we call “personality”? Will such a society truly be better off or ever on the cusp of calamity?
METHOD 4: OUR AI ANGELS
There is a means by which we can all gain intelligence without changing our brains: Tools.
Today, our intelligence enhancement tool of choice has become the Internet. Who amongst us does not consider themselves “more intelligent” for having the ability to answer any query at our fingertips.
This is only the beginning.
It is said that Lincoln may have freed the slaves, but it was Samuel Colt and his colt peacemaker that made men equal. Tools have always brought upon equality. Technology is the great equalizer, not Government policy, progressive taxation or demagoguery.
Our ultimate tool may become Artificial Intelligence – or “AI Angels” that guide us on our journey through life.
If the saying “You are the company you keep” holds any validity then what becomes of a man who surrounds himself with Artificial Intelligence? What if we lived in a world in which we all possessed the most intelligent of friends? (show gif / video of holographic AI Agent) Would this not make us more intelligent? AI Angels would become Man’s new best friend. Always around. Always guiding us. Always protecting us.
Our future world may be comprised of the following scenario: Technology, such as smart glasses, will allow us to record our surroundings, sending data to massive AI engines. Thereupon, AI software systems could assist you by performing risk assessment on your behalf, telling you which paths you should choose, preventing you from encountering danger. The AI Angels would know who around you was a threat. They would know who was a felon, who was wealthy, which members of society were naughty or nice. AI Angels could help the blind walk and read on behalf of those who were illiterate. They would tell you what to say to anyone. They would remember everything on your behalf, seeing patterns from past experiences that you had forgotten. They could prevent you from engaging in sin and nudge you towards virtue.
Anything your brain could do, it could potentially do better surrounded by AI Angels, the ultimate tool…
METHOD 5: TRANSHUMANISM & THE MACHINE MIND
We may gain intelligence through evolutionary changes or better teaching techniques as discussed in Method 1 and 2.
We may gain intelligence by altering our genome or through AI Angels as discussed in Method 3 and 4.
No option will enhance our intelligence more than Method 5: The Computer Brain.
Our lives have radically changed since the inception of the public internet. Information is at our constant disposal. We can calculate nearly anything. We can quickly gather information on anyone or any subject. The Internet will pale in comparison to the global brain network…
The computer brain is the preferred vision of those who are part of the Transhumanist movement and those who subscribe to the coming Technological Singularity. They predict an exponential explosion in intelligence once the mind of Mankind is tethered to computational devices. Our lives will become unimaginable once we can access information located out in the Ether, connected to our brains via wireless communication. New knowledge and skills could be constantly uploaded into your brain.
A NEW WORLD OF EQUALITY
The economic and societal impact of humans instantly connected to information via their brains would be vast. Humans would quickly upload the knowledge and skills needed to fulfill any job. Janitors would become doctors, which would then drastically lower the earning potential of doctors. The short supply of Janitors would significantly raise the price of janitors. Thus, one day, Doctors and Janitors would earn nearly identical incomes. In-fact, we would all earn nearly the same income. Perhaps in such a world, we would simply work for the pleasure of experiencing a random job, walking in a fellow human’s shoes.
The “Computer Brain” and equality of information may perhaps lead to an equality of outcome – Neo-Communism, brought upon by the laws of supply and demand, not State sponsored violence and dogma.
The aforementioned vision of the world is an egalitarian one. Humans would finally be “equal”. We would genetically engineer ourselves to have the best physical attributes of the larger group, more or less. Thus, we would appear more identical, not less identical. In many ways, technology would take us back to a time wherein large groups resembled one another and were paid equally. Thus, humans would become homogenous in both body and mind – a truly universal people, possessing a hive mind.
COMMENTS AND CONCLUSIONS
The ability to gather, store and process information may perhaps be the prime commodity, the good of all goods. It separates the haves from the have nots. Thus, Man will undoubtedly continue on his quest to gain intelligence – whether it be through enhanced education, gene manipulation or computation.
Bigger. Faster. Stronger. Smarter. Humanity is forced by the laws of nature to change, to forge forth. Thus, we are a dog chasing its tail, climbing a perpetual hierarchy, a mountain with no summit. And yet even if we were to reach “supreme intelligence” we would unfortunately never reach Utopia, only a new world with new problems brought upon by intelligence. Our quest to gain intellectual mastery may perhaps be for naught, there is no panacea, no ladder long enough for us to really reach Heaven.
But ever forward we go, onward and upwards we go, towards days of bigger and better brains…