Intelligence amplification (IA) (also referred to as cognitive augmentation, machine augmented intelligence and enhanced intelligence) refers to the effective use of information technology in augmenting human intelligence. The idea was first proposed in the 1950s and 1960s by cybernetics and early computer pioneers.
IA is sometimes contrasted with AI (artificial intelligence), that is, the project of building a human-like intelligence in the form of an autonomous technological system such as a computer or robot. AI has encountered many fundamental obstacles, practical as well as theoretical, which for IA seem moot, as it needs technology merely as an extra support for an autonomous intelligence that has already proven to function. Moreover, IA has a long history of success, since all forms of information technology, from the abacus to writing to the Internet, have been developed basically to extend the information processing capabilities of the human mind (see extended mind and distributed cognition).