Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (4):2345-2362 (2020)

Authors
Constantin Vica
University of Bucharest
Emilian Mihailov
University of Bucharest
Abstract
The Internet has been identified in human enhancement scholarship as a powerful cognitive enhancement technology. It offers instant access to almost any type of information, along with the ability to share that information with others. The aim of this paper is to critically assess the enhancement potential of the Internet. We argue that unconditional access to information does not lead to cognitive enhancement. The Internet is not a simple, uniform technology, either in its composition, or in its use. We will look into why the Internet as an informational resource currently fails to enhance cognition. We analyze some of the phenomena that emerge from vast, continual fluxes of information–information overload, misinformation and persuasive design—and show how they could negatively impact users’ cognition. Methods for mitigating these negative impacts are then advanced: individual empowerment, better collaborative systems for sorting and categorizing information, and the use of artificial intelligence assistants that could guide users through the informational space of today’s Internet.
Keywords Internet  Cognitive enhancement  Information overload  Misinformation  Persuasive design
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-020-00210-8
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References found in this work BETA

The Philosophy of Information.Luciano Floridi - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Fake News and Partisan Epistemology.Regina Rini - 2017 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 27 (S2):43-64.

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