The f(x)=e^x --> Synthetic Minds 🧠💻
A new name, same newsletter:
If you're wondering where 'the f(x)=e^x' went, don't fret. I decided to rebrand it to 'Synthetic Minds'—no, it's not a Sci-Fi club, but close. The old name was a nod to tech's exponential growth. While the essence of exponential change remains relevant, I believe it's time to refine the focus to capture the nuance of our new reality: a world where synthetic media, data, and even biology will increasingly define our interactions, politics, and perceptions.
'Synthetic Minds' encapsulates this focus. It serves as a mirror to the multifaceted, synthetic elements that are beginning to weave into the fabric of our society. The name acknowledges the blend of artificial and human intelligence that will shape our collective future, posing incredible opportunities and ethical dilemmas.
Thanks for riding along on this upgrade. Buckle up; our synthetic future awaits.
The Mind-Bending World of Brain-Computer Interfaces: How the Technology Will Change Humanity
My latest article:
The mind-machine merger is coming! 🧠💻 My latest article explores how radical brain-computer interface #technologies could redefine what it means to be human.
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are poised to transform humanity by seamlessly merging the human brain with technology. BCIs can restore mobility to the paralysed, vision to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and touch sensation to amputees.
They also enable direct brain-to-brain communication, amplification of cognitive abilities, and intuitive control of devices. However, neuroethics and guidelines for responsible development are crucial as BCIs redefine human identity.
The possibilities are incredible! But ethics and responsible development are crucial as BCIs shape the future of humanity.
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Synthetic Snippets: Weekly Bytes for Your Synthetic Mind
Quick, curated insights to feed your quest for a better understanding of our evolving synthetic future.
1. AI's art: from Picasso to puffer pope.
AI's newfound skill in image generation has dazzled the internet, scoring wins in photography contests and even causing stock market hiccups with convincing fakes. While critics worry about copyright woes and the precarious future of human artists, the real star here is the diffusion model, the latest tech darling making this all possible. This article explains how these synthetic images are created (Scientific American)
2. Future UI: San Fran's designers dream up AI's next big thing.
A new wave of UI designers in San Francisco is imagining how AI could reshape interfaces, from fluid screens that morph to your needs, AI-powered tools that streamline creative work, and messaging apps that act as personal AI companions. (Fast Company)
3. Microbe hacks: Doudna's gutsy plan to edit digestive bacteria.
Nobel winner Jennifer Doudna aims to genetically alter gut microbes to treat immune disorders, mental illness, and more. Her team will use CRISPR to edit specific bacteria and genes linked to childhood asthma. Doudna also wants to tweak cow microbiomes to reduce methane and help combat climate change. Critics worry about disrupting delicate gut ecosystems, but synthetic biology is here to stay. (Wired)
4. Is your AI navel-gazing or just number-crunching?
Researchers have thrown caution to the wind and embraced "the C-word"—consciousness—to explore whether AI can actually experience existence. But even as they piece together a rubric to identify 'presence' in a machine, they're left grappling with the "hard problem" of consciousness and the inherent ambiguity of what it means to 'be'. After all, pondering if your chatbot is sentient might seem like asking if a pinball machine dreams. (NY Times)
Sky's the limit or end of days:
a yarn on AI with Harari and Suleyman
Harari and Suleyman tackle the AI conundrum, one with tech optimism and the other with existential caution. It's less a debate and more a cosmic ping-pong match where the ball is humanity's future. (The Economist)
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