Computers dominate how we live, work and think. For some, the technology is a boon and promises even better things to come. But others warn that there could be bizarre consequences and that humans may be on the losing end of progress.
According to a recent study, a person who knows that he or she can readily look up a piece of information online doesn’t remember it as well as someone without Internet access. The study finds that the human brain treats the Internet as an extension of itself, as a kind of external memory. Ideally, this means that trivial knowledge can be stored in this external memory, freeing up brain space for creativity. But, in the worst case, the computer becomes a prosthetic brain.