Future science project 2018 UVA


Have you ever wondered what someone thought? And how realistic is telepathy actually? We are Mika and Esma and have interviewed Randal Koene about telepathy and mind uploading in the future. about telepathy and mind uploading in the future. Randal Koene studied physics at the University of Amsterdam and studied AI and information science in Delft. and studied AI and information science in Delft. Koene has a PhD in computational neuroscience about human memory and learning Now he is working at Kernel a company in San Francisco But what does Kernel actually do? Kernel was founded as a company that should work on neuro-interfaces Specifically on neuroprostheses In the beginning the idea was to create a prosthesis for the hippocampus with which Ted Berger from the USC already started with which Ted Berger from the USC already started In the beginning, for the first 6 months, this was also the main project for Kernel But then we figured out that the hardware for that kind of interfaces, to record enough neurons to record enough neurons, was not good enough. And so, we had to start working on the hardware first. He also has two other projects carbon copies and minduploading These projects work more towards whole brain emulation also known as mind uploading. He is one of the leading scientists in these futuristic subjects and that is why we thought it would be a very interesting man to interview for our Future Science Project. How would telepathy work? To realize this, a brain computer interface must be created and this can be achieved either invasive, via single cell recording or non-invasive via EEG. The brain activity is read and interpreted by a computer. Over time, this interpretation of the brain signals becomes increasingly accurate and as soon as these signals can be precisely measured it would also be possible to read out complex brain processes and perhaps even send them to others. and perhaps even send them to others. This video shows our interpretation of the first step to telepathy in which a head-up display is visible with some short information about the people you meet on the street and how they currently feel. with some short information about the people you meet on the street and how they currently feel. with some short information about the people you meet on the street and how they currently feel. Jade, 19, studies photography, feels sad that no one answered her on WhatsApp Tom, 20, swim teacher, is happy that it is not raining Is telepathy actually realistic? It is actually a little bit more difficult because you have to understand how different brain regions communicate with each other Because the way how my brain for instance controls my body is not exactly the same how your brain controls your body So, you actually have to build something like a translator, a little bit like google translate that translates how your eyes are for instance connected with your body. That is like a language. The way how my body does that is a different language. It is comparable with translating English into Chinese and then into Dutch To represent the communication inside the brain so, that it is useful and understandable. Is our representation of telepathy in form of a head-up display realistic? That would be the first step of translating. In our example chines would first then be translated in some kind of a label, which you could understand. In our example Chinese would first then be translated in some kind of a label, which you could understand. For instance: he is happy, he is unhappy, or he is angry Ya so then it would be a label. Tessa, 20, studies fashion design, is irritated by criticism over her pitch What kind of consequences would this kind of technology have? You can make a connection between what a person says to you, what that other person feels like while he says that and what intention he has to say that. (What he/she really means/thinks) I honestly do not know what the impact might be, But I can imagine that if you are connected with other people that way, that communication could be much richer, and People could better understand the background of others. We could better understand and assess what others mean with what they are saying. That way there would be less miscommunication That would be great! What would be the next steps to come closer to a realization of that idea? A lot of work has to be done to get access That means the ability to accurately “read” what is happening in the brain. More specifically “functional access” which means “reading” the neural activity while the brain is still intact as well as getting a clearer picture of the connectome, the connections between all the different brain areas. Also, a lot of work has to be done by creating models of the brain, that really work. We need computational models that are based on real data. That are not based on phenomenology or behavioral criteria that can be seen from the outside. But models that use recorded data from the brain. What would be the main ethical problems? I think the main ethical problem would probably be, what we often saw with new technology, that not everyone has access to the newest technologies. So, who would have access? Who would be allowed to use it? And who profits from those technologies? This is never equally distributed in the world. Where do You see humanity in 10 years? I really hope that in 10 years people understood that we can work with the brain the same way we work with other objects from nature in science. That the brain is seen as something that can be described scientifically and mathematically So that the brain becomes a subject that plays an important role in planning future scientific projects, as well as the economy and technology. And that the idea, to create an integration between human and machine. If the idea, that this is actually possible, becomes clearer if there were some examples for this kind of integration, even on a small scale, interest in this topic would become greater. For instance, if patients, where this kind of integration succeeded, would have abilities that others do not have, as for instance choosing which memories they want to keep and which not or different kind of access to their memory. This could be possible with a hippocampal prothesis. I do not want to go into too much detail but if there was this kind of role model, I personally think this could have a really good impact on the further development of science and technology So, this would be my 10-year prediction or hope. Where do You see humanity in 100 years? I hope that in 100 years we are scientifically and technologically able to describe and record our whole brain and maybe even copy the content. I hope that we will be able to work with the brain in a similar way we are working with silicon technology right now. With the same precision and understanding. That we way we can be the engineers of our own future! We would like to thank Randal Koene for this interesting and inspiring interview! Further, we would like to thank the actors that helped us filming this video. Of course, all names and personal data were changed. Esma Tange & Mika Mautner for the “future science project” for the Honours program at the University of Amsterdam

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