Fundamentally, computing is a all about controlling and managing information over time. Brains can compute, and so can your smartphone. The information that flows through both is fundamentally the same. Today we’re starting with the most commonly-used basic unit of computing: the doped silicon transistor. And yes, like human types of doping, the silicon is doped with a little bit of something special that alters its normal behavior.
It seems that somehow, from a dense spaghetti-network of over 100 billion neurons and glial cells* that the experience of consciousness arises. Continuing from last week’s newsletter on the subjective experience of consciousness, today we look at the objective cutting-edge neuroscience behind the phenomenon. Today we’re starting with the most well-studied basic unit of mental hardware: the neuron.
With growing interest in consciousness, there are so many ways to ask the questions: what makes us, us? And what will make them, them? Today’s newsletter is part of a series that explores the hardware aspects of human consciousness, and what components would be necessary for a conscious machine intelligence.
It’s all over the news. Elon Musk has done it again. From SpaceX to Tesla, and now Neuralink and Kernel. This man wants to merge computers with the brain, and he wants to do it in the next four to five years. And no, he is not a believer in the coming age of robot domination or artificially intelligent overlords. He wants humans to evolve with artificial intelligence, not behind it. But, enough about Elon. Let’s get to the science.
Each year in West Africa floods take lives dozens of lives, displace thousands of families, and destroy tens of thousands of hectares of cropland. The plus side of all this water is that it has enormous potential for electricity production, making hydropower plants keys to economic security and growth in the region.
Spring is almost here, which means it’s time to talk about food, agriculture, and bring these heady topics back to Earth. Today we’ll talk about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and whether or not using them in agriculture is worth the risk. And of course in typical Compassionate Technologies’ style, we go back to the beginning and look at some unexpected consequences of hunger and food shortages in our world today…
“What will happen when AI understands emotions better than we do?” students asked several times at the OpenMind::OpenArt Gallery at MIT, a gallery that reflects on the future of mental health and wellness. It’s a question that digs into the core of what it means to be human and machine.
You’d think by now, humans would have figured out love. Biologically, it hasn’t changed much over the last 10,000 years — but technology sure has. Technology, culture, and life co-evolve in an endless tumble, meaning that the way we love has changed too.
Tradition and modernity, communism and capitalism converge into a fascinating future as China celebrates the new year of the Rooster. In honor of this 20-day celebration held by over 1.4 billion Chinese, today’s newsletter is the first of a two part series on tech trends in China.
Big Question for Technologists: Will women’s groups be able to organize and strategically use social media to channel the potential for action in a controlled manner, versus the large and violent eruptions of the past? Time will tell.
Imagine an intelligence that knows more about you than you do. Instead of using your iPhone to apply mascara, you can also use your iPhone to apply New Year’s resolutions. It doesn’t have to be a sentient intelligence, just an illuminating one. An intelligent and very observant mirror.
Here’s an old Buddhist exercise for strengthening compassion during the holiday season, with a new technological spin.
What I’m seeing on social media is the attitude of “the rest of the world doesn’t hear us, so let’s shout louder!” Unfortunately, we do hear you. We just don’t want to listen anymore.
How can we get the intimacy that we need in a world with so many people and new technologies for connecting?
Vipassana means to “to see things as they really are.” As one of many creators in technology, I raise the challenge to all creators: can we figure out a way to profit from engaged users by fostering enthusiasm, joy, and health?
Ever wonder how big is big data? How deep is deep learning? Who can use it? What's behind the hype and what's on the horizon?
SMR, Social Media Reality can be just as mind-bending as wearing a VR headset.