Mike Tyka studied Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Bristol. He obtained his PhD in Biophysics in 2007 and went on to work as a research fellow at the University of Washington and has been studying the structure and dynamics of protein molecules. Since 2015 he has also begun working with artificial neural networks as an artistic medium and tool. His latest generative portraits series “Portraits of Imaginary People” has been shown at ARS Electronica in Linz, OutOfSight 2017 and at the New Musueum in Karuizawa, Japan. Mike currently works on machine learning at Google in Seattle.
Ryota Kanai PhD is a neuroscientist working on the computational principles underlying consciousness and the brain, and the founder and CEO of an AI startup, Araya, Inc. in Tokyo. His goal is to create artificial consciousness using intrinsic motivation, deep neural networks, and integrated information while taking inspirations from neuroscience. He formerly led a cognitive neuroscience lab at Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex. In this exclusive interview he discusses his ideas and work in trying to understand consciousness by creating it.
Thomas Dietterich is one of the pioneers of the field of Machine Learning. His research is motivated by challenging real world problems with a special focus on ecological science, ecosystem management, and sustainable development. He is Past President of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and he previously served as the founding president of the International Machine Learning Society. In this exclusive interview he discusses his ideas and work.
AI challenges fundamental concepts such as the human and the machine. Myth, metaphor, and generally the languages of art and literature as well as philosophy can be helpful in thinking through the challenges of AI when the languages of science, technology and commerce fail. The paper examines the enduring value of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in considering the questions of AI. The impact of AI upon human agency is also discussed. Without ways of thinking about, and grappling with a phenomenon as far reaching and transformative as AI, humans risk unintended, unforseen and perhaps unwelcome consequences of their technologies.
Shimon Whiteson is associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, and a tutorial fellow at St. Catherine’s College. His research focuses on artificial intelligence. In this exclusive interview he discusses the TERESA project, which aims to develop a telepresence robot of unprecedented social intelligence, helping to pave the way for the deployment of robots in settings such as homes, schools, and hospitals that require substantial human interaction.
“As a metaphysical artist I am concerned with a three-way comparison between: metaphysics (science of subject / why), Science of object (how), and information technology, the most important metaphor we have for the nature of consciousness.”
“To avoid killing its essence, rather than as a specimen to pin down and dissect, it is best to think of spirituality as related to experience – often subtle, but also usually powerful and emotionally charged experience. The spiritual dimension is therefore better considered as an adventure playground to explore, full of fun, challenge and excitement, of opportunities to test oneself, to learn and to grow.”
Larry Culliford was a hospital doctor and GP before becoming a psychiatrist. In 1998, he helped found the ‘spirituality and psychiatry’ special interest group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In this exclusive interview he discusses his experience and ideas into understanding the psychology of spirituality.
“Reflecting my interest in relationships and the interplay between internal and external realities, each piece is an exploration of unity and totality. Exploring ideas of integration through the use of line, shape and form the pieces are playful yet precise, often becoming intuitive and expanding into unexpected forms. I would wish for the viewer to take from the work a heightened sense of awareness. Painting can be a form of meditation in that it brings one’s attention into the present where we can be in union with creation as a whole, fully enjoying our existence in this wonderful, mysterious creation.”
“The materialist worldview, which has dominated science and academia over the last few centuries, has run its course. At last the tired old materialist paradigm has started to crumble, and a new paradigm has begun to emerge.”
Mario Beauregard, PhD., is a neuroscientist currently affiliated with the Department of Psychology, University of Arizona. He was the first neuroscientist to use neuroimaging to investigate the neural underpinnings of conscious and voluntary emotion regulation. Because of his research into the neuroscience of consciousness, he was selected (2000) by the World Media Net to be one of the “One Hundred Pioneers of the 21st Century.” In addition, his groundbreaking research on the neurobiology of spiritual experiences has received international media coverage, and a documentary film has been produced about his work (The Mystical Brain, 2007).
“I am interested in time and temporality; our relationship to time and our perception of time. The vocabulary I often employ is fleeting light….Creating scenarios wherein the viewer is made aware of the present moment and transitory moments.”
Miya Ando is an American artist whose metal canvases and sculpture articulate themes of perception and ones relationship to time. The foundation of her practice is the transformation of surfaces. In this exclusive interview she discusses her ideas and work.