Artificial Intelligence in Industry with Dan Faggella
Conscious Evolution of an Economic Social Contract

Most of society functions based on a general social contract i.e. we work to contribute to society and earn income to acquire goods. Those who can’t earn an income are required in some fashion to validate why.

In this episode with Federico Pistono, an entrepreneur, author, and futurist, asks if this contract is the only way to exist as a society. In a more automated world, is this contract the best long-term structure for the common welfare? Pistono and I discuss what a future society might be like with an altered social contract i.e. a general minimum wage for all, how this might affect our approach to "work", and the avenues for testing out such a contract in society today.

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Direct download: Federico_Pistono.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Turning Up the Synaptic Noise to Create Machines that Dream

Neural network - it’s almost a buzz word, but it was looked down on during certain periods of AI development. Nonetheless, most of the public is not aware of what a neural network is, how it works, and how we can create an artificial one.

CEO and Founder of Imagination Engines, Inc., Dr. Stephen Thaler gives us some insight today on how neural networks create what we call creativity, and provides his perspective on how a neural net eventually merges to give way to consciousness.

Direct download: Stephen_Thaler_Edited.mp3
Category:Consciousness -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Artificial Intelligence's Double-Edged Role in Cyber Security

Cyber security is closely linked to advances in artificial intelligence. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy about the cyber security factors and risks associated with AI. How is AI both causing risks, and how can AI be used to combat those risks? We dive briefly into the future to speak about some of the potential 'super' AI risks to cyber security and touch on what can be done now to help hedge the unknown.

Direct download: Roman_Yampolskiy.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Get into the Machine's Head to Better Understand Your Own

It's common knowledge that scientists study the brain to understand how to replicate intelligence in machines; it's less commonly known that scientists also use machine models to understand how the mind works. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Ashok Goel, a researcher in the field of cognitive systems who sheds light on this idea. Dr. Goel also speaks about his perspective on where machines are becoming more creative, and what the future might look like if machines begin to reflect on their "identities" as humans do.

Direct download: Ashok_Goel_1.mp3
Category:Consciousness -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

The Spirit in the Machine May Not Be So Far Out

Over 100,00 years ago, it may have been advantageous for human beings to be hyper aware of other living things for the purposes of survival. In the future, between the IoT and advances in AI, we once again find ourselves ever more aware. Erik Davis, the author of TechGnosis and a praised journalist and speaker, explores the intersection of the technical, spiritual, and often mystical. In this episode, we discuss how our gut reactions to AI often spring from evolutionary or cultural reasons, and how this shapes our reactions to technology and guides our development of it in the 21st century.

Direct download: Erik_Davis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18am PDT

Wanted: Emotionally Intelligent AI that Understands the Human Mind

Most of us can admire AI such as Siri, Watson, and other agents shaping the fabric of future AI-powered entities, but it's also possible to admire them as a “dead end”. Dr. Alexei V. Samsonovich is one researcher who believes that we won't be close to perceiving AI as 'conscious' machines until we can grant them the necessary emotional intelligence. Though a lot of progress has been made in field of intelligent agents in the last 10 years, many researchers who are in the same camp as Samsonovich are now on a mission to develop human-like intelligence, cognitive abilities, emotional and social intelligence, and common sense reasoning.

Direct download: A_Samsonov.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

A Wealthier, Healthier Society through Increased Automation?

Dr. James D. Miller, an Economics and AI researcher who received his doctorate from the University of Chicago, sheds light on how economics factors into our increasingly automated world, where development is growing exponentially. We discuss how this acceleration may (or may not) help materialize the "Singularity", the theorized point at which society is so drastically revolutionized by technologies that we never return to our past ways of life.

Direct download: J_Miller.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Welcome to AI Kindergarten

Dr. Danko Nikolic, a scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, asks and works to answer questions about how our physical neuronal connections create the mind's perceptions. In the realm of AI, Danko zones in on learning in a newborn human and compares that to a robot. He asks how we can take human lessons, what’s built into our genome, and apply that to construct a more generally intelligent AI, in a way that is not being done today.

Direct download: Danko_Nikolic_Use.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 7:00am PDT

Calling Siri Names? You’re Not Alone

After receiving her PhD in Computer Science from the University of New York in 2002, Dr. Sheryl Brahnam's research interests steered her toward studying human abuse and misuse with computers, specifically conversational agents such as Siri, phone-based auto agent systems, and even chat support. Her research yields questions in relative new territory: Are AI prone to receiving misuse?; why do people misuse these agents in ways that they would not treat a human?; and, what types of regulations will we need as AI improves and becomes more intelligent?

Direct download: Sheryl_Brahnam.mp3
Category:Ethics -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Trending Now: The Evolution of Strong Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Joscha Bach is a software developer and researcher, who is currently developing a cognitive AI framework at  MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. In this episode, he speaks about the troubles in projecting when strong AI may be developed, and sheds light on the trends taking us there, including deep and reinforcement learning.

Direct download: Joscha_Bach.mp3
Category:Consciousness -- posted at: 7:00am PDT

Why We Must Hardware AI if We Want to Sustain the Human Race

Is it possible to make AI friendly to humans via software or will we have to hardwire consideration for humanity into an advanced AI? Louis Del Monte, best-selling author and expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence, argues the latter. In this discussion, Del Monte talks about how he came to these conclusions and wrote a book on the topic, in part inspired by a particular AI study that provoked his grave concern for where AI may take us in the future.

Direct download: Louis_DelMonte_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

To Get Real with Artificial Intelligence, Take Off the Hollywood Fear Goggles

Dr. András Kornai wants to put emphasis on the real and near-term ethical considerations around AI. In this interview, Kornai peels off the Hollywood myth "layers" around consciousness and AI in order to spotlight the very real, present, and advancing algorithms. He explains how such algorithms, which are slowly taking over the financial, medical, and automotive industries, are increasingly relevant as machines start to govern and make more decisions in our everyday interactions.

Direct download: Andras_Kornai.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am PDT

Tuning the Keys for Robot Harmony

Daniel Berleant is an expert in information science and artificial intelligence, and is the author of the book he Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen  - and What to Do. In this interview, we discuss how robots and automation are already affecting industry, and how these impacts might shape not only the future landscape of our economy, but also our conception of what it means to work and earn a living.

Direct download: Daniel_Berleant_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

How Unconsciousness and Technology Shape Our Chaotic Worlds

Katherine Hayles is best known for her work as a postmodern social and literary critic. Now a professor at Duke University, Hayles joins TechEmergence for a discussion about the difference between consciousness and cognition, from the features that differentiate the two to the types of technologies that facilitate each. Hayles contributes her views on how the technologies of the future may impact human consciousness and the very role of human being

Direct download: KatherinHayles_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:52am PDT

Thinking Outside the Body

Could we one day upload ourselves into a computer or chip? Keith Wiley thinks that one day, we might be able to replicate consciousness within another entity. In this episode, Dr. Wiley speaks to us about why uploading human identity in a computer substrate might be possible in the coming decades, and the type of progress we’re making today in the areas of computing and mapping the brain.

Direct download: KeithWiley_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:27pm PDT

Do Unto Your Smartphone as You Would Do Unto Others

 

When should we care about robots? How quickly should and will that change? These are just some of the thought points addressed by Professor David Gunkel, whose work on the moral valuations of AI is some of the first of its kind. In this interview, we consider the extent to which our “moral weighing” of other entities is arbitrary, and ask what a biased process might imply when we create other aware entities.

Direct download: DavidGunkel__Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:20pm PDT

Artificial Intelligence Gives Power of Foresight in the Next Decade

We talk a lot about the future of technology on TechEmergence - the long-road potentials and ethical considerations that intersect the various paths of artificial intelligence. But keeping the conversation real and present necessitates looking through binoculars rather than a telescope from time to time.

In this episode, Eyal Amir, associate professor of Computer Science at University of Illinois and co-founder of Parknav and AI Incube, Inc., gives his zoomed-in perspective of the types of technological progress that he believes will be relevant in the next 5 to 10 years.

Direct download: EyalAmir__Use.mp3
Category:Big Data -- posted at: 7:00am PDT

Do you need a body to think? This is a worthwhile (and also a perplexing) question, and an ongoing debate amongst roboticists. Cognitive Roboticist Dr. Mark Bickhard is part of a field of belief that cognition and intelligence - and maybe consciousness itself - requires embodiment and direct interaction with the world. In this interview, he discusses the concept of normative function and self maintenance in entities, and why this matters when it comes to thinking.

Direct download: Mark_Bickhard_Use.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

How Humans Do, and Will, Relate to Robots

Stephan Vladimir Bugaj is a modern visionary with extensive experience in screenwriting, technical artistry and directing in animation and games. He is the Creative Director at Hanson Robotics, where he specializes in robot personality and functional design. He is also a writer-director for WakingUp media and Visioneer studios, two screenwriting and production companies, and part of the story "brain trust" for Limitless VR. Stephan worked for over 10 years as a screenwriter and technical director with Pixar Animation Studios, and before that was a multimedia researcher at Bell Labs and artificial intelligence developer at Intelligenesis/Webmind.

In this episode, Stephan draws on his robotics background to articulate what it takes to give a humanoid robot a "personality", and explains the differences between responses and propensities. Androids are already making news in the entertainment and retail industries, but we delve into why the health sector is next, and how culture might influence social acceptance.

Direct download: StephanVladamir_1.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

RoboLobsters Have What It Takes to Open Up New Dimensions in AI - with Dr. Joseph Ayers

Do lobsters really have something to teach us about developing AI and robotics?

Dr. Joseph Ayers, a professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at Northeastern University,  has dedicated his research and work to the subject and has paved new directions for the future of AI and robotics in the domain of biomimetics.

In this episode, Dr. Ayers provides a comprehensive overview of his development of autonomous underwater robots that help discover and destroy dangerous underwater land mines, and the potential for other animal-like robots to perform other “dull and dangerous” services for humankind. He provides a concluding perspective on two major obstacles facing robotics, one of which is the concept of autonomy, providing valuable insight in light of the current events around autonomous AI.

Direct download: JosephAyers.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

United Neurons Stand Strong, Divided Neurons Fall - with Dr. Bruce MacLennan

Dr. Bruce MacLennan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK), as well as past editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Nanotechnology and Molecular Computation. His research in natural computation has led to active, interdisciplinary involvement in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive science, and philosophy.

In this episode, Bruce discusses how studying the mind has influenced, and will continue to influence, the development of artificial intelligence. In a largely digital world, he turns a clarifying light on the topic of digital versus analog computing, and articulates on how the latter may be making a slow comeback in the wake of discoveries in neural information processing.

Direct download: BruceMacLennan_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Can and Should We Create Conscious Machines - with Dr. Peter Boltuc

Dr. Peter Boltuc has a PhD in Philosophy and is currently a Professor at University of Illinois Springfield.  His background in Moral and Political Philosophy has leveraged his research into the subjectivity of moral experience and the moral implications of machine consciousness.

In this episode, Peter discusses whether machines could ever be granted consciousness.  He believes, hypothetically, that we could create such machines, and elaborates from an ethical perspective on why we may want to “curve moral space” in a way that values human-level sentience and moves us toward living harmoniously with such machines.

Direct download: PeterBoltuc_Use.mp3
Category:Consciousness -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

What Our Brains are Good at, and Bad at, and Why That Matters - with Dr. Gary Marcus

Dr. Gary Marcus is the Director of the NYU Center for Language and Music, and Professor of Psychology at New York University, and is author of well known books such as The Birth of the Mind, The Algebraic Mind: Integrating Connectionism and Cognitive Science, and the New York Times Editor’s Choice called Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind.

 

In this episode, Dr. Marcus gives us some insight as to what the brain is good and bad at, and why - in addition to what this might imply for the future of human enhancement.

Direct download: Gary_Marcus_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Public Opinion Around Artificial Intelligence, is the Media Helping or Hurting? - with Dr. Joanne Pransky

Dr. Joanne Pransky received her doctorate from Tufts University in the mid 1980’s, and began championing public awareness and exposure to robotics and AI technology, playfully calling herself the “first robot psychiatrist.” Since then, she’s been featured on CNN, The Discovery Channel, the Sci-Fi Channel, and even the Tonight Show with Jay Leno - aiming to expose the world to technology and it’s ethical implications.


In this interview, Dr. Joanne speaks with me about the virtues and vices of how the media portrays AI to the public… and why she likes recent AI movies like “Her” and “Ex Machina,” but questions scandalous newspaper headlines about industrial robots “killing people”, as well as her thoughts about the types of conversations that she believes America (and world) should be having in order to move technology forward safely and fruitfully.

Direct download: Joanne_Pranksy_Use.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

We’re Cyborg’s Now, but Here’s What Cyborg’s Will Be in the Future - with Dr. Chris Hables Gray

Dr. Hables Gray graduated with a PhD in applied philosophy from UCAL Santa Cruz, and is best known for his writings on technology, war, and cyborgs (the combination of organic and inorganic, the evolved and the invented).

 

In this interview, Dr. Hables Gray explains his ideas around how seemingly mundane technologies and social media help to blur the line between man and machine, as well as his predictions for how car cyborgs will progress in the coming decades (including the integration of drone technology, brain-machine interface, and more).

Direct download: Chris_Hables_Gray_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Sean Blacknell has spent the last year working on a filmed called “The Future of Work and Death,” based on interviews with futurists, economists, philosophers, and other experts - with an aim to bring the film to Sundance and other prominent festivals in the coming year.

 

In this interview, Sean explains some of the most meaningful lessons he’s gained about the future of humanity from all of the interviews for his own film.

Direct download: Sean_Blacknell_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

The Kind of Artificial Intelligence That Google Doesn’t Care to Build - with Dr. Roger Shank

Dr. Roger Schank received his PhD from Stanford, taught at Yale, and altogether has spent around three decades attempting to solve the big problems of artificial intelligence.


In this interview, Dr. Schank talks about a kind of helpful “teaching” artificial intelligence that would go beyond Siri and help us to make the right decisions at the right times given our own objectives. He explains why he believes such a project is not on Google’s agenda, and what he believes might be required to create such an AI.

Direct download: Roger_Schank_Use.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Computers Do Their Own Kind of “Creative,” Not Like Ours - with MIT’s Nick Montfort

Dr. Nick Montfort doesn’t hold Shakespeare and DaVinci as the high water mark of “creativity,” nor does he believe that human creative endeavor is the only worthwhile kind.

 

In this interview, Dr. Montfort shares some of his own examples of how computers can aide the creative process in ways that might result in “art” that humans aren’t capable of making alone. In addition, he provides his insight as to where the intersections of artificial intelligence and “creativity” might really lie.

 

Direct download: Nick_Montfort_Use.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

How “Ordinary” Civilian Needs Drive “Extraordinary” Biotech Advancement - with UPENN’s Jonathan Moreno

Dr. Jonathan Moreno’s book “Mind Wars” has contributed to his current reputation as one of the most prominent bioethicists in America today.

 

In this interview, Dr. Moreno shares his thoughts about the government agencies like DARPA and the NIH are invested in and involved with the latest biotechnology initiatives, from neuro-prosthetics to psychedelics and beyond. He also shares with us his ideas about how civilian needs are often a prime driver of the direction of biotechnology development (even for behemoths like DARPA).

Direct download: Jonathan_Moreno_USe.mp3
Category:Ethics -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Inevitably Transhuman - Human Nature’s Momentum Beyond Itself - with Neuroscientist and Philosopher Nayef Al-Rodhan

Dr. Al-Rodhan spent decades studying the human mind, and it helped him form a theory of humanity, its nature, and its technological future. Namely, that our very nature will inevitably bring us to go beyond nature - not merely in the extension of our capacities through devices - but through a literal enhancement and extension of our bodies and minds.

 

In his belief, human beings are emotional creatures with a moral compass that exists for their own egotistical needs. Our desire for power, profit, pleasure, pride and permanency - says Neyef - will drive us beyond the bounds of our physical condition, and it's the role of governments (not corporations) to regulate that process of enhancement and experimentation for the good of humanity. If you're interested in human motivation and the next 20 years of enhancement technology, this is an interview you won't want to miss.

Direct download: Nayef_Al-Rodhan_Use.mp3
Category:Ethics -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Dr. Patricia Churchland is UC President's Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of California, San Diego. He popular books such as “Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality” grapple with issues at the intersection of philosophy and neuroscience.

In this interview, Dr. Churchland explains how the evolution of the mammalian brain may have influenced our underlying core moral values, and her belief that society must be strong yet flexible enough to deal with the moral quagmire of new technologies / values / ways of living as we transition into the future..

Direct download: Patricia_Churchland_Use.mp3
Category:Ethics -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Tracy Ingram’s mother was misdiagnosed with a brain aneurism and placed on bed rest for two years - a problem that likely resulted from a typo or similar minor error. Tracy founded BioscanR to help turn biological information from patients into more reliable diagnostic data for doctors, and he competed with his idea in the Qualcomm X-Prize.

In this interview, Tracy talks about three reasons why healthcare is often slower to adopt new technologies, as well as his predictions about the coming 10 years of healthcare progress and the innovations that he believes may be most useful for patients and physicians alike.

Direct download: Tracy_Ingram_Use.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Dr. Hal Blumenfeld is a pathbreaking neuroscience researcher in the domains of deep brain stimulation and epileptic conditions. His recent Yale research work pertaining to the neurological mechanisms of consciousness and awareness (specially in patients with epilepsy) has garnered quite a bit of attention in recent years.

In this interview, Dr. Blumenfeld speaks with us about what he sees as the most important neuroscience developments of the past decade, his hopes for the next decade ahead, and his ideas about the future of brain-machine interface technologies.

Direct download: Hal_Blumenfeld_Use.mp3
Category:Consciousness -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is a neuroscientist and renowned researcher at Harvard University. Selected as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 for his groundbreaking alzheimer’s research, Dr. Tanzi also serves as the Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

In this interview, Dr. Tanzi shares his perspective on the relation of thought, the “self,” and free will - as well as his perspective on human enhancement and evolution (which he believes will occur at a biological and genetic level, not through a merger with machines).

Direct download: Rudolph_Tanzi_Use.mp3
Category:Ethics -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Dr. Steve Omohundro earned degrees in physics and mathematics from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. Today, most of his best-known work

 

In this interview, Dr. Omohundro shares his thoughts about how we might “scaffold” our security measures to match the intelligence of our machines in order to prevent them from getting out of hand.

 

 

 

 

Direct download: Steve_Omohundro_Use.mp3
Category:Ethics -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Vivek Wadhwa began as a software entrepreneur and now is a well-known speaker, writer, and Vice President of Academics and Innovation at Singularity University.

In this interview, Mr. Wadhwa shares his heartfelt predictions about what he sees as the complete overhaul of healthcare and education in the coming decades ahead - and the widespread benefits of emerging technology for what he sees as a healthier and more informed future generation.

Direct download: Vivek_Wadhwa_Use.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Dr. Steve Fuller is philosopher and professor at the University of Warwick in the UK. After writing “Humanity 2.0” in 2011, Steve has received increasing attention for his ethical perspective on human enhancement and the transhuman transition.

In this interview, Dr. Fuller covers covers what he considers to be the most important present considerations of transhumanism - namely - the potential economic impacts (and gross inequality) of enhancing humanity. Dr. Fuller shares why he considers these issues as the best path forward for bringing human enhancement concerns to modern politics.

Direct download: Steve_Fuller_Use.mp3
Category:Ethics -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Juan Enriquez gave a TED talk in 2009 called “The next species of human,” and video went viral - and is now one of the most popular futurist talks in TED history. In addition to previously founding the Life Sciences Project at the Harvard Business School, Juan is now managing partner in Excell Venture Management in Boston, MA.

 

In this interview we discuss Juan’s thoughts about the most relevant technologies that might “tinker with what’s human,” and which such technologies might be the first to require serious ethical consideration from humanity as a whole, in the public and private sectors.

Direct download: Juan_Enriquez_Use.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Handling Uncertaintly on a Grand Scale - an Interview with Cornell’s Dr. Joe Halpern

Decades ago, Cornell’s Dr. Joe Halpern wrote a book called “Reasoning with Uncertainty.” In this interview, we discuss alternatives approaches to handling large scale uncertainty - as might be applied to broad concerns such as environmental policy, or the management of hard-to-previct emerging technologies.

 

Through thought experiments and some philosophical exploration, Prof. Halpern explains some potential alternatives to “probabilities,” and opens up the door to other, potentially more robust methods of managing large, uncertain, important questions for humanity’s future.

Direct download: Joe_Halpern_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Fact and Fiction in the Left and Right Hemisphere - Neuroanatomy Basics with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor became remarkably well-known following her TED talk called “My stroke of insight,” where she explained her experience of having a stroke from her perspective… that is to say: perspective of a neuroscientist. Since then Jill has been featured on Oprah, and her book (with the same title as her TED talk) is available in over 30 languages worldwide.

In this interview, Dr. Taylor explains her perspective on the place and purpose of the left and right hemispheres, and how an understanding of neuroanatomy might help us make sense of our own desires / drives, and help us lead a more fulfilling or productive life.

Direct download: Jill_Bolte_Taylor_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Basic Building Blocks of Artificial Intelligence - with Dr. John MacCormack

Dr. John MacCormick is the author of the book “Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today's Computers,” and in this interview, he shares some of the fundamental algorithms that support modern artificial intelligence, and his optimistic views on the future of AI.

 

Direct download: John_MacCormick_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

What Would it Take to Model the Human Mind? - Computational Neuroanatomy with Dr. Gregory Hickok

Dr. Gregory Hickok is working on modeling brain circuits related to hearing and auditory information at the University of California, Irvine.

Listen into this interview to hear what Greg believes might be the grandest application of cognitive neuroscience in the coming decade, and why - when asked about modeling the human brain in the coming decades - he says “I don’t see the brain giving up it’s secrets in the next couple of generations.”

Direct download: Greg_Hickok_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence, and a Look Towards it’s Future - with Stanford Researcher Dr. Nils Nilsson

Dr. Nils Nilsson was one of the early researchers in emerging technology back in the 1960s - graduating with his doctorate from Stanford before it had a computer science department.

In this interview, Dr. Nilsson joins me from his retirement residence in Oregon and shares his overview of the history of artificial intelligence - and his thoughts about it’s most meaningful impact in the coming 10-20 years.

Direct download: Nils_Nilsson_Use.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Transhumanist for President? Interview with Author and 2016 Transhumanist Party Candidate for US President, Zoltan Istvan

Zoltan Istvan doesn’t believe that issues of life extension, genetic modification, and neural prosthetics are the problems for the president in the year 220, but that they’re among the most important considerations of the future of America, and of human life in general.

In this interview, I ask Zoltan what kinds of technology and health initiatives he’d get behind as a president, as well as his own thoughts as to how concerns of merging technology might be brought to the forefront of American awareness (without a disaster, that is).

Direct download: Zoltan_Istvan_Use.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Explaining the Exponential - an Interview with Futurist Speaker / Author Gray Scott

Gray Scott’s mission is to bring the concerns of the future to the public - and with recent coverage in Psychology Today, New York Post, and the World Future Society, he’s picking up steam.

In this interview, Gray and I discuss the most important societal shifts that he believes are opening up our generation and culture to take issues like life extension and brain-machine interface. We discuss how modern skepticism of religious dogma plays a role in the social shift towards transhumanism.

Direct download: Gray_Scott_Use_New.mp3
Category:Brain Machine Interface -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman is no slouch when it comes to understanding the human mind - particularly the diagnoses and treatment of mental illness. In addition to being chair of psychiatry at Columbia University, Dr. Lieberman sits on the advisory board of many of the world’s largest drug companies.

In this particular interview, Dr. Lieberman shares his thoughts around the most transformative technological developments in understanding the mind in the last 10 years - as well has his predictions as to which technologies and approaches will break the most ground in the future of diagnosing and treating mental illnesses.

Direct download: Jeffrey_Leiberman_Use.mp3
Category:Brain Machine Interface -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Applying Reason to the Future - Talking Singularity with Dr. Michael Shermer, Founder of Skeptic Magazine

There are “techno-optimists” and “techno-pessimists”… and there’s those who just don’t know what they’re talking about. Skeptic Magazine’s founder Michael Shermer shares his thoughts on what’s hyped-up and what’s worth considering in the human race to the future.

Direct download: Michael_Shermer_Use.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

It’s called “transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS),” haven’t you heard about it? The process involves zapping your brain through subtle electrical stimulation on the outside of the head - and though research has been going on in this field for decades, the mechanisms for it’s effects on mood, memory, and more, are still mostly unknown.

Dr. Brent Williams  is the director of the iTeach Center at KSU, and he landed in WIRED magazine for some of his work on tDCS. In this episode, he talks about the potential future of tCDS to enhance normal human function and potentially allow us more control over our emotional state and mental performance, as the technology progresses. It’s enough to make you want to go to Radio Shack and build one yourself.

Direct download: Dr_Brent_Use.mp3
Category:Brain Machine Interface -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Swarm Robots - When Will They Enter Society? With Dr. James McLurkin

Dr. James McLurkin works with swarm robots at Rice University, and his unique work on robot communication has landed him on PBS’s “Nova,” in addition to speaking engagements at events like TED and Singularity Summit.

In this episode, Dr. McLurkin discusses how swarm robots have been inspired by insect behavior - and exactly swamp robots are best suited for. In many cases, argues McLurkin, a group of smaller, inexpensive robots can perform a job much better than a single, more capable robot. Dr. James also sheds light on when and how swarm robots might become a part of everyday life and industry in the coming decades.

Direct download: James_McLurkin_Use.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

“Finding Quicksand” - The Purpose of Fiction in Building a Better Future - with David Brin

David Brin is recognized as one of the most iconic futurist fiction writers of our time. With huge bestsellers like “The Postman” (later turned into a movie starring Kevin Costner), David’s work explores the ramifications of human choices of our collective future.

 

In this interview, David talks about fiction’s unique role in helping humanity find a beneficial future - a job done in large part by pointing out what we want to avoid most, says David. If you’re an entrepreneur, researcher, or writer yourself, David’s insights into “imagination” as a force for good are important to listen closely to.

Direct download: David_Brin_Use.mp3
Category:Emerging Technology -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Real Applications of Virtual Humans - Dr. Regis Kopper

Regis Kopper runs the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment, or “DiVE.” His research focuses on the interactions of virtual and real humans. In this interview, he discusses his predictions for the non-gaming applications of virtual reality - and the surprising evidence that virtual reality humans might “relate” to us in much the way that real humans do. What happens when we can’t tell the difference?

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Direct download: RegisKopper.m4a
Category:Virtual Reality -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT