Intelligence amplification (IA) 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 a special category of human augmentation, with tools and techniques specifically designed for augmenting cognition: calculation, comprehension, recall (memory), decision-making and learning. An abacus or calculator, for example, allows a tool-wielding human to calculate faster and more accurately than an unaugmented colleague; similarly, an augmented human with access to Wikipedia can look up a huge level of detail on any contextual topic.

The approaching ubiquity of smart-phones provides incredible IA potential, with apps for spoken language translation, contextual “head-up” overlays, reminders and much, much more. (This is in addition to the socialisation enhancements that allow for low-maintenance socialising, real-time messaging and event “swarming”.)