Augmented Cognition

Using technology and computational power to extend and enhance our cognitive resources and abilities is called “augmented cognition”. This can involve filtering information flow, modulating information volume to stay under overwhelm limits, enhancing data with analysis and visualization, enhancing bandwidth by using multiple channels and information formats, sequencing information properly to allow increased assimilation rates, attention allocation techniques and more.

Augmented cognition: Science fact or science fiction? – [neurophilosophy.wordpress.com]

We live in a time in which we are overwhelmed by information obtained from multiple sources, such as the internet, television, and radio. We are usually unable to give our undivided attention to any one source of information, but instead give ‘continuous partial attention’ to all of them by constantly flitting between them. The limitations of cognitive processes, particularly attention and working memory, place a ceiling on the capacity of the brain to process and store information. It is these processes that some researchers are aiming to enhance with augmented cognition, an emerging field which aims to use computational technology to enhance human performance in various tasks by overcoming the bottlenecks in processes such as attention and memory.

Augmented Cognition International Society – [augmentedcognition.org]

About
A main goal of the field of Augmented Cognition (AugCog) is to research and develop technologies capable of extending, by an order of magnitude or more, the information management capacity of individuals working with 21st Century computing technologies. AugCog science and technology (S&T) research and development (R&D) is therefore focused on accelerating the production of novel concepts in human-system integration and includes the study of methods for addressing cognitive bottlenecks (e.g., limitations in attention, memory, learning, comprehension, visualization abilities, and decision making) via technologies that assess the user’s cognitive status in real time. A computational interaction employing such novel system concepts monitors the state of the user, through behavioral, psychophysiological and/or neurophyiological data acquired from the user in real time, and then adapts or augments the computational interface to significantly improve their performance on the task at hand.

DARPA – Information Processing Techniques Office – [darpa.mil]

Cognitive Systems
Cognitive computing is the development of computer techniques to emulate human perception, intelligence and problem solving. Cognitive systems offer some important advantages over conventional computing approaches. For example, cognitive systems can learn from events that occur in the real world and so are better suited to applications that require extracting and organizing information in complex unstructured scenarios than conventional computing systems, which must have the right models built in a priori in order to be effective. Because many of challenges faced by military commanders involve vast amounts of data from sensors, databases, the Web and human sources, IPTO is creating cognitive systems that can learn and reason to structure massive amounts of raw data into useful, organized knowledge with a minimum of human assistance. IPTO is implementing cognitive technology in systems that support warfighters in the decision-making, management, and understanding of complexity in traditional and emergent military missions. These cognitive systems will understand what the user is really trying to do and provide proactive intelligence, assistance and advice. Finally, the increasing complexity, rigidity, fragility and vulnerability of modern information technology has led to ever-growing manpower requirements for IT support. The incorporation of cognitive capabilities in information systems will enable them to self-monitor, self-correct, and self-defend as they experience software coding errors, hardware faults and cyber-attack.

Pentagon’s PCs Bend to Your Brain – [wired.com]

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