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Nov '23

SuperCognition—A New Domain of AI and Human Thought – Psychology Today

The people around us have a stronger influence on our decisions and actions than we realize. Here’s what research reveals about our networks’ gravitational force.
Verified by Psychology Today
Updated | Reviewed by Kaja Perina
The enigmatic simplicity of Ohm’s Law (V = IR) in electronics, highlighting the interplay between voltage, current, and resistance, intriguingly mirrors the dynamics of human cognition, particularly in the evolving Cognitive Age. This parallel invites us to take a conceptual look into how knowledge, akin to an electrical circuit, is being transformed by an emerging super cognition. Let’s dig in…
Imagine knowledge (K) as an electrical circuit, conceptualized as K = Cognition (C) x Resistance (R). In this analogy, ‘Cognition’ parallels the flow of electrical current, while ‘Resistance’ symbolizes the various obstacles in the path of knowledge acquisition and processing. Throughout history, these barriers have taken many forms—from the limited reach of oral traditions and handwritten manuscripts to the challenges posed by information overload in the digital era. The introduction of the printing press marked a significant decline in this resistance, democratizing knowledge by making written information more accessible. Similarly, the advent of the internet further revolutionized access to information, connecting the world in an unprecedented web of knowledge. However, accessibility is just one facet; the sheer volume and complexity of information available today present new forms of cognitive resistance.
As AI becomes inculcated into society we see these multifaceted barriers ushering in an era of unparalleled cognitive potential. Thought is the new domain of humanity, particularly marked by the Cognitive Age, we observe a significant decline in “cognitive resistance”. This reduction is primarily facilitated by AI and Large Language Models, transforming human thought in ways previously unimaginable.
Superconductivity, a quantum mechanical phenomenon, occurs when certain materials are cooled below a critical temperature, leading to zero electrical resistance. This state allows for the free flow of electric current without energy loss, potentially revolutionizing fields like quantum computing. The analogy with SuperCognition lies in the elimination of barriers to information flow, akin to resistance in superconductors.
Let’s leverage this idea of superconductivity and apply it conceptually to a cognitive analogue: SuperCognition. This hypothetical idea can be likened to this state of superconductivity and represents a cognitive dynamic where the traditional barriers to knowledge processing—like information overload, limited access to knowledge, and cognitive biases—are significantly reduced, if not virtually eliminated. This is clearly reflected through the application of AI and LLMs, which augment human cognitive capacities in powerful ways that include efficiency, accuracy and personal satisfaction.
LLMs play a pivotal role in this transformative journey towards SuperCognition. By processing vast amounts of data, providing nuanced insights, and enabling sophisticated decision-making, these models act as catalysts in reducing cognitive resistance. They enhance our ability to engage with complex information systems, much like superconductors facilitate the unimpeded flow of electricity. The implications of SuperCognition extend across various domains:
The parallel between superconductivity and SuperCognition provides an interesting framework to understand the transformative impact of AI and LLMs on human cognition. As we step into this new era, recognizing and embracing the potential of these technologies becomes crucial. They not only enhance our cognitive abilities but also push the frontiers of knowledge and understanding, signaling a pivotal shift in today’s Cognitive Age.
John Nosta is an innovation theorist and founder of NostaLab.
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Psychology Today © 2023 Sussex Publishers, LLC
The people around us have a stronger influence on our decisions and actions than we realize. Here’s what research reveals about our networks’ gravitational force.

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