Meeting Description: Humans have reached a unique point in the Anthropocene. For perhaps the first time in history the possibility of significant and even game-changing amplifications of human cognitive and physical ability seems possible. This is due in part to advances in cognitive neuroscience, an increasing mass of fine-grained biometric data, a performance-enhancing drugs arms race fueled by sports competitions, and novel gene editing technologies with untold and far-reaching consequences on human physiology and cognition. Coincident with this potential amplification of human performance through biological interventions, is the rise of artificial intelligence and the growing interest in how collective phenomena have an impact on human team performance.
This workshop serves as fascinating and perhaps novel intellectual bridge linking four programs at SFI: The Limits Program, The Program on Artificial, Natural and Collective Intelligence, The Program on Complex Time, which focuses on aging writ large in complex systems, and the InterPlanetary Project — bearing on the future of terrestrial life in space. The goal is to look forward rather than to examine current limits, which we explored in LHP1), and come to an understanding of what the realistic limits of human performance might be given new technologies and perspectives and also to think creatively and playfully about ways in which human limits might change that currently seem inconceivable. Although there are many domains of life in which these issues are relevant, we will limit to the discussion to sports and cognitive games like go and chess to keep the meeting manageable. Furthermore, both sports and cognitive games are rich in data and expertise and can be thought of as near ideal model systems, with very well-defined performance metrics, for exploring the limits to human performance.
We will consider realistic future limits to human performance given new biological interventions, understanding of collective effects and artificial intelligence and machine learning.