'Cyborg' by runran2, courtesy Flickr

In Nautilus, SFI President David Krakauer takes a critical look at artificial intelligence in light of humanity's long tradition of using tools to augment cognition — and our more recent, perhaps darker tendency to let them do the thinking for us.

After a fortifying tour of cases in which humans have adopted tools that remember, search, and calibrate to our cognitive benefit, Krakauer asks the reader to ponder the trajectory of our modern-day cognitive artifacts -- apps and algorithmic recommender systems that threaten to "[sap] our ability to explore options and exercise judgement."

"The deep intellectual and ethical question facing our species is not how we’ll prevent an artificial superintelligence from harming us, but how we will reckon with our hybrid nature," he writes.

Read Krakauer's essay in Nautilus (September 6, 2016)