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The Time For Universal Brain Development Is Now

Like it or not, some people are smarter than others. And pretty soon, robots will be smarter than all of us. We can ignore all of that, or start using brain sciences to level the playing field.


PARIS — To compete with Artificial Intelligence (AI), humans will need to get smarter. And to do that, we'll have no choice but to use nano and biotechnologies, information technology (IT) and cognitive sciences to radically hike our brain capacities. We'll either be able to increase our intelligence through pre-birth interventions or by acting directly on the cognitive machine that is the brain. Schools will thus become trans-humanist, meaning they'll seeking to boost human capabilities. And the idea of modifying students' brains will become normal.

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A Cool Takedown Of The Misfit Genius Stigma

People with particularly high IQs are often viewed as difficult and socially awkward, a new survey suggests. But in reality, they're not so different from the rest of us.

BERLIN — What kind of people constitute the intellectually gifted, meaning someone with an IQ higher than 130? Are they mentally superior to others? Do they have difficulties with social interaction? Do they suffer more often from emotional problems?

Psychologist Tanja Gabriele Baudson from Germany's University of Duisburg-Essen asked more than a thousand "averagely gifted" people between 18 and 69 years old exactly those questions. She wanted to discover what society's common beliefs are towards geniuses. Besides socio-demographic data, respondents were also asked to indicate how intelligent they considered themselves to be and how they felt about intellectual giftedness in general.

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Genetic Engineering, Humankind Creeps Toward A 'Planet Of The Apes'


PARIS — Half-animal, half-human? The astounding developments in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science (NBIC) are posing problems that we thought only existed in science fiction.

Recent studies have brought us closer to Planet of the Apes, written by French novelist Pierre Boulle in 1963. In three experiments, the last one of which was published in Current Biology last month, scientists have improved the intellectual capacities of mice by modifying their DNA sequences with segments of human chromosomes or by injecting them with human brain glial cells.

These modified animals have bigger brains and can perform difficult tasks more quickly. The DNA sequences that were successfully modified are involved in language and brain size in humans. This comes after a study on successful genetic modifications on two small monkeys was published in Nature in March of last year. Meaning that the success of cognitive improvement of mice will soon be verified in monkeys.

These manipulations were achieved with DNA-modifying enzymes. For about $12, a biology student these days can create these enzymes and conduct genetic engineering, making it incredibly cheap to create animal-man chimeras. Decade after decade, new findings and experiments will have breathtaking consequences.

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A Chinese Prodigy's Quest For The Genetic Roots Of Genius

BEIJING — When he was 17, Zhao Bowen was a bored student who made an audacious decision. In a country where the cult of diplomas knows no boundaries, he quit school and decided not to take the exam that would have allowed him university entry.

“All that fuss just to learn things that you can find in books or on the Internet anyway? I had better things to do,” he explains, with a laugh.

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