07 September 2012

Are These the 10 Smartest People Alive?

Of course not. But they make a flashy infographic. And they are certainly "10 of the smartest people alive".
The 10 Smartest People Alive Today
Source: SuperScholar.org

But don't despair if you are not pictured on the graphic above. The US agency DARPA is working to develop "superlearning," for the next generation supersoldier.
The Accelerated Learning program will develop quantitative and integrative neuroscience-based approaches for measuring, tracking and accelerating skill acquisition while producing a twofold increase in an individual's progress through the stages of task learning. Accelerated Learning will identify the neural basis of expert performance by integrating behavioral data with neurophysiological measures to track the progression of novices on the training path to expertise.

Accelerated Learning will develop reliable, quantitative methods to track task progression based on noninvasive measures of brain activity, including neurophysiologically driven training regimens, neurally optimized stimuli and stimulatory or modulatory interventions. Complementary components to help attain this goal include development of neurally based techniques to maintain acquired skills, prediction of skill acquisition based on real-time neural activity, preferential brain network activation, and strategies for understanding relationships between cognition and emotion in skills learning. _DARPA Accelerated Learning

It is too bad that we have to wait for the US Defense Department to develop these methods for accelerated human learning. I suppose the US Education Department is too busy devising better methods of "dumbing down" and mental indoctrination to be concerned about anything that might contribute to personal empowerment and increased personal productivity.

We need to work both on improving average human intelligence levels and on developing better methods of compensating for our undeniably limited intelligence. Both of these goals should take higher priority than the drive to develop human-replacing artificial intelligences.

As always, we should remind ourselves that executive function (EF) is even more important to life success than is IQ. Any efforts to improve IQ and to compensate for low IQ, must also include efforts to improve EF.

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