Optimising Human potential as we head towards the singularity

The many of people, myself included have fallen into a trap.

We have a set of behaviours when using a computer which are mostly there to optimise the power of the computer, not of humans. We might have to start copying a load of files and leave the computer for a while as things are slower, or when trying to organise our files and folders might multitask, trying to keep track of multiple file copies, whilst downloading the latest episode of a TV series, chatting to friends on social media all whilst we are meant to be working on an assignment. Such multi-tasking of attention is not what the brain is designed for or can really do. We can usually only concentrate on one thing at a time and have to keep switching attention, but each time you switch it takes up to half a second.

We have become so used to computer restrictions like only being able to send 160 character sms’s that we have duplicated the restriction with services like Twitter which don’t need such restrictions.

Basically, we have been optimising computer potential, which was a scarcity, at the cost of human potential. But we are near if not have reached the point where that needs to change. We need to be using computers to optimise human potential or else computers will leave us in the dust before we even reach the singularity.

As computers are getting faster we can predict that they will be as computationally powerful as humans in only a couple of decades. Only 18 months after that they will be twice as fast and barely 6 years later will be 32x as powerful, assuming Moores law is the main limiting factor.

By Michael Kubler

Photographer, cinematographer, web master/coder.

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