“Computers aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that gets us to the thing.”Joe MacMillan, Halt and Catch Fire
This is a quote from one of my favorite shows that resonates deep with me. For 20 years I’ve been following the exciting promise of integration between our physical selves and technology. The actual melding of mind and machine sounds like science fiction but is rapidly becoming a reality. Cybernetic limbs are able to be controlled by the human brain. Brain cells are growing and interacting with computer chips in petri dishes, even able to play video games. Pilots are able to fly airplanes in flight simulators with the power of thought. Quadriplegics can “think” a mouse cursor across a screen and make selections – one step closer to creating communication and creativity pathways for physically disabled people. A ‘visual prosthesis’ implanted directly into the brain has allowed a blind woman to perceive two-dimensional shapes and letters for the first time in 16 years. We are truly only steps away from the cyberpunk future that we see in movies.
Along a similar vein, this morning I woke up to an email in my inbox from Ivan Zhao, Notion founder, announcing the new Notion AI. He quotes Doug Engelbart’s vision for computers augmenting the human intellect. I’ve long believed this to be true. Computers aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that gets us to the thing. There is no replacing the marvel of the human intellect, but we can augment and enhance what we are able to do with our minds using tools like Notion. Many are building “second brains” in Notion to address our own mental limitations for storage and recall. Now, with the Notion AI, limitless creative possibilities are opened up. Notion AI is an assistant that can help us to write, brainstorm, edit, summarize documents… Consider Notion a partner that augments our creative thinking processes.
What are your thoughts on a cyberpunk future, and how do you plan to put your personal AI assistant to work?