Futurist Thomas Frey: I’ve been closely watching the debate on artificial intelligence with people like Rodney Brooks saying it’s only a tool, and others like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking giving bone chilling warnings of how it could lead to the destruction of all humanity.
“Transcranial direct current stimulation” (tDCS) involves passing electricity through your head. The current is relatively weak, so it’s not like the electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) used to treat extreme depression in mental institutions; sometimes called “deep brain stimulation.”
It is difficult reliably to distinguish different “disorders.”
By Peter Kinderman: The idea that our more distressing emotions such as grief and anger can best be understood as symptoms of physical illnesses is pervasive and seductive. But in my view it is also a myth, and a harmful one. Our present approach to helping vulnerable people in acute emotional distress is severely hampered by old-fashioned, inhumane and fundamentally unscientific ideas about the nature and origins of mental health problems. We need wholesale and radical change, not only in how we understand mental health problems, but also in how we design and commission mental health services.
Computers are improving at an exponential rate.
Futurists started predicting that in just a few decades machines would be as smart as humans soon after computers evolved in the 1940′s. Every year, the prediction seems to get pushed back another year. The consensus now is that it’s going to happen in … you guessed it, just a few more decades.
Paul J. Zak: It is quiet and dark. The theater is hushed. James Bond skirts along the edge of a building as his enemy takes aim. Here in the audience, heart rates increase and palms sweat. I know this to be true because instead of enjoying the movie myself, I am measuring the brain activity of a dozen viewers. For me, excitement has a different source: I am watching an amazing neural ballet in which a story line changes the activity of people’s brains.
Brainform 3D printed brain.
Brainform is New Zealand-based company that will print a high quality 3D model of your brain. The company’s mission is simply stated on its website: “We 3D print brains.”
Tweaking our genomes we could make humans drastically smarter.
Scientist Stephen Hsu’s theory is that genetically engineered human beings could have IQs of 1000 or higher. Hsu is something of a scientific polymath, who has done work pertaining to quantum physics, dark energy, finance, and information security, as well as genomics and bioinformatics, or the application of computer science and statistics to biological data. He officially holds the title of Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies at Michigan State, where he is also a professor of Theoretical Physics.
About half of the educators surveyed believed that people only use 10% of their brains.
Surveys of teachers in the UK, Turkey, Holland, Greece and China have revealed that many believe seven common myths about the brain, likely because the simple explanations are often attractive, even if totally wrong. The results of the surveys were reported in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.
This is the first time researchers have been able to reverse the memory loss caused by the disease.
The first time ever, huge lifestyle interventions seems to have reversed memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease in some patients.. The findings stemmed from the joint efforts of a team from UCLA’s Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
Basic, deep-seated fluency in math and science—not just an “understanding,” is critical.
By Barbara Oakley: I was a wayward kid who grew up on the literary side of life, treating math and science as if they were pustules from the plague. So it’s a little strange how I’ve ended up now—someone who dances daily with triple integrals, Fourier transforms, and that crown jewel of mathematics, Euler’s equation. It’s hard to believe I’ve flipped from a virtually congenital math-phobe to a professor of engineering.