Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds For The Better

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds For The Better

In this ground-breaking book, Clive Thompson of Wired contends that, contrary to popular belief, the internet really makes us smarter and more open-minded. The advent of the internet has had a profound effect on our daily lives, and only recently have we been able to begin to understand the full scope of this astonishing phenomena.

The author contends that as our reliance on machines to aid our thinking increases, the quality and complexity of our own thought processes will increase accordingly. We can take in more information, remember it for longer, write in intriguing new ways, and even think in novel ways.

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds For The Better

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds For The Better

The book Smarter Than You Think tells the tales of ordinary people whose lives have been altered by the rapid development of new technologies. In a series of postcards from the future, we meet people like Gordon Bell, an elderly millionaire who is documenting his entire life in digital form, and Eric Hovitz, one of the world’s foremost experts in artificial intelligence, who is developing software that can read your emotions and predict when you’ll be at your most productive.

Smarter Than You Think is a refreshingly new take on the brave new world we live in, and it is beautifully written and argued. Right?

Computers can beat human chess players presently. After all, we know that the most advanced machines can now compete successfully with the most skilled human players. Okay, that’s true, but it’s not quite as elementary as it sounds. Remember, the best chess team in the world is a hybrid of human and machine intelligence. When competing against the finest human or best machine, a mixed team can win.

And What Do You Know?

One does not need the most talented individuals or the most advanced technology to have a winning team; rather, it is the quality of the team’s collaboration that matters most.

When humans utilise computers in a match, they become significantly stronger than when they play without them and can easily defeat both other humans and other computers.

This is a very convincing argument, in my opinion. In fact, in my book titled “Things that make us clever,” I contended that it is precisely things, artefacts, human-built tools and technology, that make us, the combination of us and our artefacts, smart. Unaided thought has significant limitations. Math, art, music, and books only flourish when we add writing to the mix. Machines that enhance our intelligence, and so on.

Chauffeured automobiles that drive themselves? Let them come; I have better things to do than look up the tailpipes of the automobiles in front of me on the congested roadways.

Last Words

There’s the 76-year-old multimillionaire who records his every waking moment on his computer, enabling him to instantly recall any thought or experience from his entire life, regardless of how far back in time it may be. The bold actions of a group of Chinese students who organised a social media campaign led to the closure of a $1.6 billion hazardous copper plant.