AI as IA: The use and abuse of artificial intelligence (AI) for human enhancement through intellectual augmentation (IA)


This paper offers an overview of the prospects and ethics of using AI to achieve human enhancement, and more broadly what we call intellectual augmentation (IA). After explaining the central notions of human enhancement, IA, and AI, we discuss the state of the art in terms of the main technologies for IA, with or without brain-computer interfaces. Given this picture, we discuss potential ethical problems, namely inadequate performance, safety, coercion and manipulation, privacy, cognitive liberty, authenticity, and fairness in more detail. We conclude that while there are very significant technical hurdles to real human enhancement through AI, and significant ethical problems, there are also significant benefits that may realistically be achieved in ways that are consonant with a rights-based ethics as well. We also highlight the specific concerns that apply particularly to applications of AI for "sheer" IA (more realistic in the near term), and to enhancement applications, respectively

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This paper was published in PhilPapers.

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