Intelligence Agency 's The Smartest Of Them All? Essay

Intelligence Agency 's The Smartest Of Them All? Essay

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In the article, “Intelligence agency wants brain tools to tell: Who’s the smartest of them all?”, author Michael Cooney talks about how the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is looking for a tool that can predict who will be the smartest out of a given group of people. Through analysis of brain structure, IARPA essentially wants to research the best person out the group that can best handle complex skills along with real-world environments. They wanted to take a different approach from the traditional pen and paper exam and add a complement towards traditional evaluation tools to grant additional predictive power.
I believe that IARPA researching for a tool that can predict the smartest person out of any given group is a great idea for application. Although they have other methods that can be used to predict academic achievement, using neural tools improves performance and precision. I strongly feel that applying neural tools to the brain to determine the smartest person will be of practical value, as it will meet the needs of many organizations who are in dire need of an individual’s future cognitive performance.
This article relates to the concept of the three levels of brain processing. According to the Norman text, he states thee three levels of brain processing …“Visceral: The most basic, the processing at this level is automatic and subconscious, determined by our biological heritage. Behavioral: This is the home of learned skills, but still mostly subconscious. This processing level initiates and controls much of our behavior. One important contribution is to manage expectations of the results of our actions. Reflective: This is the conscious, self-a...


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The only minor problem that would arise when putting this research into application might be its use of over-automation. Over automation can be seen as a problem to almost any design. When talking about "over-automation", I believe it would be defined as equipment being so great that requires less observance by the human. Usually humans like to oversee machines and be attentive to its operations, but with over-automation that would not be the case. If humans cannot find a flaw in automation, then their attention to machine operation decreases.
I think this article is an example of soft science, as qualitative research is being done. IARPA is trying to gain an understanding of reasons and motivations for wanting to apply the neural tools. They also have a list of measures, outcomes, alternatives, and limitations to would take part in this application.

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