Episode: When Minds and Machines Converge


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When Minds and Machines Converge

Can thought-power control the world outside our heads? Thanks to new brain-machine interface technology, the answer is yes. But the real question is whether it can it help us control the world inside our heads. In the Season 3 opener of Soonish we meet Ariel Garten, co-founder of Interaxon, a Canadian startup that’s one of the first to offer a consumer neurofeedback device. Interaxon’s Muse headband reads brainwaves to help people with the sometimes vexing task of meditation. It points toward an era when may be able to control our brain states and share our thoughts directly with our computers, and with each other. And there are startling implications—not just for our capabilities as humans, but also for our privacy and individuality.

Featured guests: Ariel Garten, Sam Langer, Mary Lou Jepsen.

CHAPTER GUIDE

0:00 Opening

0:33 Meditating by the Lake

3:06 Introducing Muse and Interaxon’s Ariel Garten

3:56 Electroencephalography

4:24 Interaxon Goes to the Winter Olympics

8:22 Measuring Brainwaves with EEG

11:36 An Introduction to Meditation, with Sam Langer

14:51 Using Muse to Strengthen the Muscle of Attention

17:02 The Consciousness Club Tries Muse

18:12 A Controlled Study of Muse

18:59 Thinking Through Brain-Machine Interfaces

22:18 The Coming Wave of Neural Interfaces, with Mary Lou Jepsen

25:09 The Center for Responsible Brainwave Technologies

26:28 Extending Our Agency

27:37 End Credits and Announcements

The Soonish theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay. Additional music from Titlecard Music and Sound. For complete details on this episode go to soonishpodcast.org.

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Soonish > When Minds and Machines Converge

Can thought-power control the world outside our heads? Thanks to new brain-machine interface technology, the answer is yes. But the real question is whether it can it help us control the world inside our heads. In the Season 3 opener of Soonish we meet Ariel Garten, co-founder of Interaxon, a Canadian startup that’s one of the first to offer a consumer neurofeedback device...
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