Posts Tagged ‘behavior’

Intellectual technologies

July 14, 2009

Yesterday, serendipity brought me from my research on artificial intelligence to the expression “intellectual technologies”, quoted by Nicholas Carr in a recent article. Nicholas Carr explains that this expression was used by sociologist Daniel Bell to describe the tools we humans have developed to increase our mental abilities: reading, writing, calculation, to name only a few. Behaviorist approaches such as organization methods, communication and group interaction practices are other examples, I think.

These approaches have to be learnt. They may become a “second nature” but they are not instinctive, the way language is. We are not genetically designed to read, calculate or interact smoothly in groups.

Yet, it is striking to see that reading and writing have become so intricate in us that they seem quite natural, at least for those who were happy enough to get an education. (True, there is still work ahead before this applies to all people in all countries.)

What if technologies aiming at improving attitudes and social interaction were broadly taught in schools and colleges ?  Should not they be part of every graduate’s ABC ?

In my opinion, they should be a part of what everyone gets to learn at school. There is no doubt that studying books like “Getting things done” (David Allen), The Evolution of cooperation (Robert Axelrod) ou “How to win friends and influence people” (Dale Carnegie) would be as useful and beneficial as studying algebra and literature.