Faster, Stronger, Smarter: Creating a Perfect Human Being
What does it take to make a human being capable of superior performance? If you had the ability to craft such a being, what would he – or she – look like? Since the times of Ancient Greeks and Romans, we have tried to capture perfection – in art, literature, religion, mathematics, philosophy, athletics, even war – and these ideas are being redefined by the modern advances in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience, medicine, and pharmacology. However, the basic questions still remain: What does it mean to excel in a particular field – and how do expertise and skill develop? What does it take to be considered creative? Intelligent? To have superior memory or unmatched artistic skills? Is talent something you are born with, or is it acquired out of countless hours of deliberate practice? Most importantly, what chances do any of us have to excel, to reach our full potential? Taught by a cognitive psychologist, this course will try to answer these and related questions by exploring theories of skill acquisition and expertise development across a variety of domains, as well as by critically reviewing approaches to the study of intelligence and creativity. We will also consider some of the latest advancements in the field of artificial intelligence as we ponder the reality – and the ramifications – of creating autonomous machines that can match or surpass the creative and intellectual potential of human beings.