Every time you go out into the streets of a big city, you see a lot of people who are so keen on their smartphones and tablets that they practically do not pay attention to the world around them. Digital dependence grows and frightens some people, conjuring images of unhappy citizens in the Matrix chained to a chair and decided to live in an illusion that substitutes reality. What will be next?
Let’s not be pessimistic. Neurologists, psychologists and researchers in the field of artificial intelligence say that machines also have a positive impact on our lives. They coined the term cognitive technologies to describe how electronic devices and other tools can help and improve people’s abilities, such as mental activity, learning, storing and retrieving information from memory, and solving problems.
As modern technologies in computing power surpass the human mind, so a new generation of psychoactive substances and electronic implants can become indispensable in the world of cognitive technologies of the future. There are five potential ways for this development.
- Textbooks will become truly smart
Do you remember yourself sitting in the reading room and with difficulty mastering a thick textbook full of incomprehensible terminology and complex ideas, from which the brain literally boils? Students of the future will find it easier to study, because digital books will have the capabilities of artificial intelligence and will explain everything with the patience and insight of a good old professor.
- We will live in augmented reality
Everything goes to the fact that we will walk along the street, and the data will float right in the air around us. Google Glasses is not the first beacon of such a future. For example, the agency DARPA is working on contact lenses that support augmented reality. Such devices can read digital information embedded directly in the landscape in the form of digital beacons.
- Substances that improve mental capacity
Doping for the brain is becoming more common. There are new nootropic substances that can be purchased without a prescription. Such substances improve the supply of the brain with oxygen or stimulate the growth of neurons.
- We will be able to move things by force of thought
The key to these abilities lies in the sphere called the machine-brain interface and is essentially a communication channel through which your neurons send signals to external devices with the same ease with which you strain your muscles. Scientists began to develop electronic brain implants called neuroprostheses, which allow you to control the cursor, for example, without using additional gadgets.
- We will achieve digital immortality
Perhaps the greatest limitation of the human intellect is its expiration date. Some futurists see the light at the end of this tunnel. What if we take and digitize the entire contents of our brain, and then upload this data to a computer or a robot? Given the progress in the field of neurosynthetic computer chips – that is, machines that mimic neurons and synapses of the brain – this idea is becoming more real.