Exocortex as a Learning Technology

Exocortex as a Learning Technology

Mehmet Emin Mutlu (Anadolu University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8431-5.ch005

Abstract

Exocortex is a hypothetical technology where the human brain can connect to a brain implant or a computational environment which is in the state of a wearable device, using two-way brain-computer interface, in order to augment the cognitive powers of the human brain such as perception, storage, recollection and processing. Exocortex is expected to be a part of everyday life in the 2030s. Exocortex technology is supported by parallel technologies such as brain reading, uploading knowledge into the brain from the outside, brain-computer interface, brain-to-brain interface, which are now undergoing prototype applications. In this study, by discussing the potential of exocortex technology in its use for learning processes, as a result of handling it with the “learning experiences management” approach, the opportunities it provides specifically for lifelong learners are examined. In the results and recommendations section of the study, a foresight is given for the scientific research projects that can be performed for this purpose.
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Introduction

Exocortex is a hypothetical technology that is expected to be a part of everyday life in 2030's and can connect with brain-computer interface to a brain implant or a computational environment which is in the state of a wearable device, in order to augment the biological high-level cognitive processes of the human brain and assist a user’s decisions and actions (Bonaci, Herron, Matlack, & Chizeck, 2014; Zappa, 2012).

In 1950's and 1960's, first theoretical researches that are aimed at augmenting human intelligence with the support of technology, revealed this problem for the first time (Ashby, 1952, 1956; Licklider, 1960; Engelbart, 1962). Since 1980's, science fiction writers started working on technologies providing a direct connection between human brain and cyberspace (Gibson, 1982, 1984; Vinge, 2034; Stross, 2004).

The humankind began the search for an external support in order to augment the brain's storage, recollection and processing power with the invention of writing (Donald, 1991, 1993) and smartphones, nowadays indispensable for our day-to-day information, are seen as a pre – exocortex technology (Hughes, 2007).

Exocortex technology is supported by parallel technologies such as brain reading, uploading knowledge to the brain from the outside, brain-computer communication, brain-to-brain communication, which are now undergoing prototype applications (Bonaci, et al., 2014; Sotala & Valpola, 2012).

Although exocortex is a vital topic for “learning”, there is a limited number of studies existing in the literature. In this study, by discussing the potential of exocortex technology in its use for learning processes, as a result of handling it with the “learning experiences management” approach, the opportunities it provides specifically for lifelong learners are examined.

According to Dambrot (2016), conceptualization, design and specifications in an exocortex research include a set of future studies techniques proposed by Kosow and Gaßner (2008) for predicting, evaluating and discarding possible, probable and preferred futures:

  • Backcasting: To anticipate the future scenario and define the measures necessary to achieve or prevent this scenario.

  • Modified Delphi: Review publications and expert statements that examine the likelihood of a particular scenario, its potential impact and time frame, and the likely impact of trends and other variables.

  • Scanning: Identifying emerging trends by investigating research articles, media, literature and other sources.

  • Scenario: Manages the current uncertainty by framing perceptions about alternative future environments that may affect existing decisions.

  • Technological Forecasting: Projecting that future technologies may be able to do.

  • Technology Foresight: To identify both emerging and converging technologies that can generate the greatest socioeconomic benefits by anticipating future science and technology future scenarios.

  • Trend Analysis and Extrapolation: Determine an ongoing change based on historical data and observations.

  • Vision: Making your future images real and attractive enough to allow them to act as targets.

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