Tuesday, 29 April 2014
A “cyborg” which hears more than what we see
Since 2004, Neil Harbisson has regarded himself as the first “cyborg” to be recognized as such by the government of a country—in his case, the United Kingdom, which has given him permission to appear in his passport photo with the small portable camera that he always wears on his forehead. This camera enables him not only to see colours, but also to hear them!
Harbisson was born in 1982 with a rare congenital vision disorder called achromatopsia—the inability to see colours. This disorder can also arise following a brain injury, as neurologist Oliver Sacks reported in his writings. But Harbisson has seen the world only in black and white ever since he was born. (more…)
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
The Collective Intelligence of Human Groups
In psychology, the concept of general intelligence in individuals and the use of IQ tests to measure it are controversial topics, to say the least. One frequently cited piece of evidence for the existence of such intelligence is that this single variable predicts from one-third to one-half of individuals’ scores on a variety of distinct cognitive tasks.
In a study published in the journal Science in October 2010, psychologists from three U.S. universities reported that they had discovered a factor that they called collective intelligence and that is similar to general intelligence but occurs in groups rather than in individuals. To test for this factor, the researchers formed dozens of groups of 2 to 5 people each and had them work for several hours on various tasks, ranging from creative brainstorming about a moral dilemma to playing checkers against a computer. (more…)