Among my reading and film watching, I occasionally come across something which confirms that I’m on the right track with my course – which tells me that what I am planning to tell students is on the right track, and that, while I may not have had any profound insights, I haven’t said anything wrong, let alone outrageously wrong.
This film of Daniel Dennett speaking about how the brain works reassures me that I am sending the right message about our cognitive architecture.
Similarly, this excerpt from the Ed Hess article in the Harvard Business Review, ‘In the AI Age, “Being Smart” Will Mean Something Completely Different’ reassured me that I have the right prescriptions for helping people to improve their thinking:
We will spend more time training to be open-minded and learning to update our beliefs in response to new data. We will practice adjusting after our mistakes, and we will invest more in these skills traditionally associated with emotional intelligence. The new smart will be about trying to overcome the two big inhibitors of critical thinking and team collaboration: our ego and our fears. Doing so will make it easier to perceive reality as it is, rather than as we wish it to be. In short, we will embrace humility. That is how we humans will add value in a world of smart technology.
Well I bloody hope so! It will do wonders for demand for my course and hopefully the books that I plan to write.
But I would go further, and say that this is precisely the way that humans can add value in any world, regardless of the level of AI. We needn’t wait for superintelligence to arrive – we can add value in this way now, and far into the future.
And this quotation, from neuropsychologist Michael Bishop, in Jordan Rosenfeld’s article, ‘I kicked my smartphone addiction by retraining my brain to enjoy being bored’:
The more a behavior is practiced, the stronger neurological connections grow.
They do indeed. As Heuer tells us, on page 21 of his magnum opus:
Retrievability is influenced by the number of locations in which information is stored and the number and strength of pathways from this information to other concepts that might be activated by incoming information. The more frequently a path is followed, the stronger that path becomes and the more readily available the information located along that path.
So: I’m on the right track.