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2 min readHuman magnetism

Like the birds, humans have a built-in compass. How can we keep this sense alive when GPS-enabled devises and navigation software have become so mainstream?

We have heard of bird navigation [read Birds And Quantum Entanglement], but what about human navigation? How did Polynesian seafarers sail back to their homes despite having no compasses to point their way? How did the participants of the Manchester experiments know where their campus was located despite being blindfolded?

In this article for Aeon, cognitive neuroscientist Philip Jaekl explores the idea of human magnetism, which he refers to as magnetoreceptive sense. Jaekl maintains that the magnetic sense can be traced early in evolution and that plants, animals, and of course, humans living today are endowed with this sense. Our inability to utilize the magnetoreceptive sense in our daily lives could be due to the fact that we now have other means of navigating, namely biologically (through vision) and artificially (through maps, and lately, through our smartphones).

Implications for AI

The following article awakens us to several realities. First, despite our seeming difference from all the living creatures on this planet, humans are a product of evolution. As such, we have internalized the various developments developments of this eons-long process, enabling us to reach the summit we are at now. Second, technology is replacing our natural senses, and that the less we use our natural senses, the bigger the tendency that it will be lost to us. 
Knowing these two realities, we now have to look to the future, to the new capacities that artificial intelligence is affording to us, and to the “eons-old” human capacities that may be lost because of this new technology. Without capacities of our own, we will become overly dependent of this new technology. Are we truly willing to give up our freedom that easily?

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