LeWeb10 and Singularity University

Salim Ismail, Executive Director, Singularity University

LIVEBLOGGED – some paraphrasing, may be things missed

Salim Ismail
Photo by Adam Tinworth

Talking about neuroscience. over last 20-30 years, computers have gotten smaller, faster, better. we can do a brain of a mouse in a laptop. In 12 years, brain in a computer…that is the computing power, not the brain itself. we study the impact of computing on the brain, on the fields of medicine etc.

We are geared to a linear world, not an accelerating one..we have students looking at how these tech accelerations impact the world. At the Singularity University, we get students to look at where the world is going, what is happening and get students to think where the world is going.

Looking at a See Spot Run (picture) – a one way learning. once you learn it, you can’t unsee it…

In the brain you have 100, neurons..500m connections. On first studying brain, excited as look like computer…there is a ‘stack’ you can study, like a computer.

Many systems we have today have an AI…this is a top down approach, looking at functions of brain and how to mimic them. One of our students, looking to stimulate the neurosystem of a simple animal, through top down level.

At other levels, we know results after simulus, but not how it happens. A neuron takes in 1000s of inputs, some say there may be quantum properties involved..that’s the bad news, we don’t really know how it works

The good news is that we don’t really need to know how it works in order to interface with it. We have many ways if rewiring the brain, changing what it happens. Yoga, martial arts, therapy, NLP all allow us to impact the brain…

A classic influencer of brain is a brand..trying to get you to remember it more. The ultimate master of this are religions. They take a young person and throw ‘truths’ at it..once in there, you can’t get it out…

Now we have new brain computing interfaces…we have chips implanted on motor cortex to manage wheelchair…or biofeedback systems, FRMI, you can get realtime brain scanning…we are learning rapidly how to interface.

We are the start of a lot of changes in how we interact with brains…lots of different methods. for many, we have outsourced our memories to the phone…as we change rapidly the experience of what it means to be human, we have to think about what it means..
Nanowires..they exist today…put a wire into different parts of brain. Optogenetics…intersection of genetics, virology and optics. they fabicate light sensitve cells and then use virus to put in mouse brain. they put optical fibre mouse head and can turn on the cells..to change behaviour(Karl Diesseroth) So how can we use this?

Selfawareness – we’re not really sure what this is…when you get to a level of about a frog, it is dimly aware f itself..then it gets an increasingly aware. Can you create a test for self-awareness.
Another area is luck..how do we measure, define, create.

As our ability increases, what would you do with it? What senses would you amplify, how would you enhace experience…enhance memory. At SU, we look at Education…

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