Use the future to build the present
Cognitive Capacity Enhancement
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

2.4.1Cognitive Capacity Enhancement

The 20th century saw a measurable and significant increase in the average human intellect.4 While systemic efforts like education played a role, about 50 per cent of this rise was due to epigenetic modifications like improved nutrition, better medicine and reduced stress exposure.5 Further enhancement of cognition is a major project for the 21st century, to be realised by more of the same, plus drugs and machine interfaces. It is possible, however, that such enhancements in cognitive function may not suffice to help us meet the challenges of the 21st century — we may need to take a broader approach to augmenting our consciousness.
Much of human cognitive capacity is shaped by culture, including exposure to tools like mathematics and language, which underpin the ability to grasp abstract concepts and create complex models of the world. Boosting cognitive capacity further will require further enrichment of the cultural environment. Virtual environments have already been shown to boost empathy6 and memory retention7 in the classroom. Neuroscience can deliver better insights into how human brains learn. Next-generation artificial intelligence algorithms, designed to mimic the more probabilistic and error-tolerant computations done by human brain networks, will be hybridised with human intelligence to boost the human capacity for learning further.

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

Learning environments are enriched

Immersive systems have vastly greater capabilities than just sound, vision and limited haptics, creating enriched virtual environments for learning with greater empathy and salience.

10-yearhorizon

The re-engineering of education begins

We share our cognitive load with systems that enhance general consciousness, attention and recall. Neuromodulation technologies, for instance, enhance cognitive functions like learning, memory, attention and decision making. A newer understanding of how the brain learns helps people learn differently, faster, and more effectively.

25-yearhorizon

Hybrid consciousness enhances cognition

Bio-inspired AI systems that help design curricula are imbued with algorithms that operate on an improved understanding of how humans learn, creating a virtuous loop.

Cognitive Capacity Enhancement - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

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