Tag Archives: W Ross Ashby

Amplified intelligence

Decorative imageNotebooks have been used for centuries to extend people’s minds while computers and smart phones have taken the extension to a new level.  I find myself using the more than 500 posts in this blog as an extension of my brain.  Not only to recall information but to reconstruct thought processes and ideas.  Perhaps it is idleness or just faster than waiting for my neurons to shuffle through options until they reassemble the pattern that I am looking for.  Of course, this blog is a very public extension of my mind and was accessed from more than 140 countries last year, as it has been every year since 2016, based on data from WordPress.  It is difficult to estimate the total readership of the blog because it is published through several media but last year it appeared to increase substantially.  I started posting in July 2012 [see ‘Why RealizeEngineering?‘] but only started weekly posts ten years ago this week on January 7th 2013 with ‘Renewable Energy?‘.  Today’s post is number 548.

A cyberneticist, W. Ross Ashby coined the term ‘amplified intelligence’ to describe the role of computers in extending our minds [W. Ross Ashby, An Introduction to Cybernetics, William Clowes & Sons, 1956].

Image: Painting in the possession of the author.