Among the issues that have always tormented men, the one about the functioning of the human mind stands out. The only certainty of modernity seemed to be that, over time, the intellect could only evolve unchallenged. However, the widespread optimism starting from the second half of the 1900s seems to be unjustified today. Studies conducted starting from the first years of 2000, in fact, would show how our potential is undergoing a turnaround. As the growth of computing capabilities increases exponentially, human intelligence appears to be in decline, challenged by the evolution of artificial intelligences, the omnipresence of technology and the influence it has on individuals raised in the digital age. Passive dependence on devices, programs and services that allow you to solve any decision-making or mnemonic problem in a few fractions of a second collides with both the development of rational and emotional intelligence. We live under a cyber rain of notifications, messages, images, information and sounds that tends to trigger feelings of stress, leading to a general impoverishment of judgment and decision-making skills.
The inability to slow down this frenetic pace and to think slowly about the nature of the problems we face leads to an absence of cerebral stresses, which are fundamental for our cognitive development. Confirming the high degree of elasticity of the human brain, a famous study by the University College of London reveals that in London taxi drivers without GPS devices, the hippocampus is more developed than average. This area of the cerebral cortex is primarily responsible for managing memory and learning. In short, whenever we decide to delegate a task to one of the various IT appendages that dominate our life, we are giving up an active stimulus in the areas of memory, emotional control and abstract thought processing. Think about it when, if only out of laziness, you open Google Maps or Waze to reach a destination.
If it’s true that technology represents a fundamental resource for the development of the society and the universal diffusion of well-being, a critical and active vision of the effects it generates is equally crucial. Through the abuse of technological aids we are accepting a reduction in our thinking power. The human intellect seems increasingly projected towards a single goal: the study and design of autonomous versions of itself and this, rather than exalt us, should at least make us reflect. Within this labyrinth, the only winner is technology, at the expense of an ever greater intellectual atrophy due to the elimination of thought fatigue. In short, while artificial intelligence prospers, we are getting dumber every day.