Intelligence Amplification

What Does Intelligence Amplification Mean?

Intelligence amplification (IA) is the idea that technologies can be assistive to human intelligence, rather than being composed of technologies that create an independent artificial intelligence. Intelligence amplification systems work to enhance a human's own intelligence, to improve a human decision-maker’s function or capability in some way.


Intelligence amplification is also known as assistive intelligence, augmented intelligence, cognitive augmentation or machine-augmented intelligence.

Techopedia Explains Intelligence Amplification

The idea of intelligence amplification or augmented intelligence partially arises from fears and concerns about artificial intelligence as a whole. With artificial intelligence evolving and becoming more robust, there are increasing concerns about rogue technologies impacting human life in some negative way.

It seems safer, in that context, to develop intelligence amplification technologies – tools that derive their efficacy from human consciousness, instead of forming their own artificial sentience. Experts explaining AI may talk about Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics or other theoretical or practical artificial intelligence analysis that makes the case for why augmented intelligence can be a valuable part of the technology spectrum.

Augmented intelligence tools can be used for many purposes. Some are valuable in electronic discovery, or in developing a knowledge base. Natural language tools and imaging processing tools can enhance human perception. Some of these tools are being designed for transportation in autonomous vehicles or other practical applications. The key is that all of them are based on the idea of “intelligence amplification” – using human consciousness in some manner.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.