The Cognitive Revolution Symposium takes the Mental Work art-science exhibition as a starting point for reflection on the emergent future of human-machine interaction, focusing on promoting a culture of responsibility within the communities at the forefront of this revolution.
Our lives have become increasingly intertwined with machines. Two decades ago, computers were limited to our desks. Smartphones have brought them into our hands, smartwatches onto our wrists, and smart speakers into our homes. Today, brain-computer interfaces (BCI) challenge us to consider an even more intimate interaction with machines: directly via brain activity. In combination with AI, this next step in computing creates a deepening convergence between natural and artificial intelligence.
BCI and other neurotechnologies hold the potential to revolutionize the treatment of many neurological conditions, enhance mental and physical abilities, and change the way we work. But the same advances could unintentionally increase social inequalities, and provide corporations, governments, hackers, and terrorists with novel ways to breach and manipulate people’s mental processes. The progress of the field puts into question our idea of individual agency, the sanctity of one’s private mental life, and other basic human attributes.
While it might take years for BCI and other neurotechnologies to gain widespread adoption, research in corporate and academic labs is accelerating quickly, and AI is already commonplace. Now is the time to develop ways to inspire reflection and exchange among scientists and engineers on the ethical and socially responsible use of their technologies, while addressing their inherent dual-use nature.
In this view, the symposium aims to convene experts from BCI research, AI, neuroscience, ethics, international security, policy, social science, human rights, education, design, and communication, with a twofold objective:
- Identifying and prioritizing ethical, social, and security dilemmas around the Cognitive Revolution
- Envisioning strategies to promote a culture of responsibility around those dilemmas
Keeping in line with Mental Work’s connection of art and science, we are also seeking three science-fiction writers to participate, with the aim of imagining and investigating emergent futures through short science fiction stories blending art, technology, and policy from the conference into fictional narratives to be presented at an open, public event.
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Pier 17, Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94111
Website: Click to Visit