Speakers and Presenters

Host

  • Roger Bingham, PhD.  Author, Emmy winning Filmmaker, Director of the Science Network
    • Master of Ceremonies

Speakers

Transhuman Art Exhibit, curated by Omar Lopez. Includes works by:

Biosketches and Talks

Roger Bingham, PhD, our Master of Ceremonies, is co-founder and director of The Science Network, a member of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Institute for Neural Computation at UC San Diego, and the Executive Committee of the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center (TDLC), an NSF Science of Learning Center. He is also a member of the Board of Advisers of Scientific American magazine. Co-author of The Origin of Minds: Evolution, Uniqueness, and the New Science of the Self, Bingham has also received many honors for his communication of science – including the National Magazine Award and seven Los Angeles Emmy awards.
Brian R. Alexander is writer.  His most recent book is The Chemistry of Love, with neuroscientist Larry Young.  More information about his other books, articles and media appearances can be found at his website. The Chemicals of Love: Human social bonding is driven by brain circuitry, meaning that what we call love is a product of neurochemcials acting on defined circuits. What does this mean for the future of human social bonding? What are the possibilities and ethical challenges of manipulating these mechanisms?
Brendan Allison, PhD. received his PhD in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego in 2003. He has worked in some of the top brain-computer interface (BCI) labs, including the Wolpaw lab in New York and the Pfurtscheller lab in Graz.Brain-computer interfaces: Emerging Technology, Emerging Issues: As brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) slowly become increasingly ubiquitous, many new ethical, societal, and practical issues emerge. This talk will overview recent data showing increased interest in BCIs from various sources, then address emerging issues. Many of these issues are further addressed in our recently explored roadmap at future-bnci.org, which also has introductory information, downloadable articles, videos, and other materials.
Kenan_best_image
Kenan Azam has been involved with information technology and its applications in bioinformatics for the last four years. Currently, he is a Programmer/Analyst at UCSD. Kenan is also passionate about Entrepreneurship and currently leads the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge, a non profit organization on campus that has generated over a dozen start-ups in the last 5 years with aggregate valuations of over $250 million.

Talk Description:

Transcending Aging: How do Transhumanism and aging relate and what socio-cultural implications do longer life spans and not aging have.

  • Why we age? Is aging selected for by evolution? A few existing hypotheses will be presented.
  • How can we transcend aging, technologies that are coming of age, stem cells, tissue engineering, mind uploading, etc?
  • What can we do today to live longer ((1) to (4) are very related at a biochemical level, I will show how)
    1. Link between growth pathways in organisms which help us grow when we are young, but lead us to death. And describe drugs that allow hacking of these pathways.
    2. Why exercise is important at a biochemical level–this is cutting edge research from 2012.
    3. Growth and cancer
    4. Aubrey’s hypothesis might be wrong, and understanding biology of aging is perhaps not that complicated.
David Brin, PhD is a scientist, technology speaker, and author. His 1989 ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and the world wide web. A 1998 movie by Kevin Costner was based on The Postman. His fifteen novels, including New York Times Bestsellers, have been translated into more than twenty languages, and won Hugo and Nebula awards. David also appears frequently on shows such as Nova, The ARCHITECHS, The Universe and Life After People. He is much in demand as a speaker on topics dealing with trends and the future. Brin’s non-fiction book — The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? — won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. His new novel from Tor Books is Existence. His website is at davidbrin.com.Is outer-space still part of the dream: With so much talk of “singularities” and human technological transcendence, have some of our old dreams grown obsolete? If all species rise to become self-absorbed cyber minds, could that explain the Great Silence out there? Or will physical reality, our planet, asteroid resources, the solar system… and beyond… still be the playground and realm of our descendants?

Micha Cárdenas is an artist/theorist who works in performance, wearable electronics, hacktivism and critical gender studies. She is a PhD student in Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) at University of Southern California and a member of Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. Her book The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities, published by Atropos Press in 2012, discusses art that uses augmented, mixed and alternate reality, and the intersection of those strategies with the politics of gender, in a transnational context. She blogs at transreal.organd tweets at @michacardenas.The Transreal: Our networked bodies; The Gist: Our bodies are no longer limited by our skin and our physical potential, but are increasingly part of networked ecologies and multiple realities. As an artist I explore the social, ethical and aesthetic possibilities of the networked body by developing ideas and technologies that can create more egalitarian possibilities for networked existence. As our bodies continue to be transformed by technology, my work urges us to consider the social marginalization of populations based on the categorization of bodies in order to not replicate these patterns, but to imagine new possibilities for human freedom and autonomy enabled by body extension technologies that are at the center of the transhumanist imagination.Abstract: Philosophers from the beginning of western thought have speculated on the meaning of the body: for Plato the body was a shadowy illusion in the cave, for Merleau-Ponty it was the center of a field of experimentation, for Levinas the body, specifically the face, is the center of ethics. As a transgender woman, I am deeply invested in learning about the ways in which technology is changing our bodies and therefore our minds, identities, genders and sexualities, and our possibilities for happiness. Now that augmented, mixed, and alternate realities are being used in art, games, advertising, entertainment, they are increasingly part of our everyday lives. Our bodies are no longer limited by our skin and our physical potential, but are increasingly part of networked ecologies and multiple realities. As an artist I explore the social, ethical and aesthetic possibilities of the networked body and try to develop ideas and technologies that can create more egalitarian possibilities for networked existence. In Becoming Dragon, I lived in virtual space and physical space continuously for 365 hours, pushing the limits of online embodiment and questioning the legal/medical/psychiatric limits that transgender people face when attempting to modify their bodies. For this project, I used a motion capture system with custom software that I developed with a group of other artists and technologists to control a dragon avatar in Second Life with my physical motion. I also wore a head mounted display so that all I could see was the virtual environment. The project has been described in the media as the longest known immersion in a mixed reality environment. My current work considers the potential uses of wearable electronics to create networks of communication based on mesh networking that do not rely on the internet to function. The devices, which were presented at the Queerture fashion show at UCLA and the Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica and will be featured in the International Symposium of Electronic Art 2012, are inspired by a drive to create networks of communication to increase community autonomy and reduce violence against women, LGBTQI people, people of color and other groups who continue to survive violence on a daily basis. As our bodies continue to be transformed by technology, my work urges us to consider the social marginalization of populations based on the categorization of bodies in order to not replicate these patterns, but to imagine new possibilities for human freedom and autonomy enabled by body extension technologies that are at the center of the transhumanist imagination.

Sky Chistopherson was on the U.S. National Cycling Team and resident athlete of US Olympic Training Center. He is a velodrome world record holder. And, in a related life Founder of the successful start-up Vicaso.com, Seattle WA. He also serves on the boards of several tech companies, including Zeo, maker of bestselling consumer sleep monitors–devices which with a single electrode monitor a user’s sleep stages and integrate a “smart alarm” clock to wake the user at optimal moments of the sleep cycle. More on him can be found at his website.Self Quantification and Performance:I shall describe a 15 year personal journey of self-quantification for athletic performance as an olympic cyclist, followed by immersion in business culture and declining health. Focus will be on a one year experiment utilizing cutting-edge concepts in “personalized medicine” to regain health and well being with some surprising results.
Jamie Dunbaugh is a Navy veteran and UCSD undergraduate studying Psychology and Philosophy. his main academic interests are Neurophenomenology, Moral Psychology, Mental Health, and the ethical implications of transhumanism. He is also Lead Organizer of Envisioning Transhumanity.
Overview of Transhuman Thought and its implications: Transhuman thought has been developing throughout history for hundreds of years. With the recent varieties of scientific developments and insights into our human condition, the interest of transcending our humanity has recently begun to germinate into a cultural phenomenon. The impact of these technologies and insights will be profound, and the existential, cultural and moral implications will be impossible to ignore.
Ariel Garten is a Canadian artist, scientist and intellectual. She was an avant garde clothing designer with a store called Flavour Hall (now closed) in Toronto, Canada. She is deemed to have made a “significant contribution to the field” for her work in integrating art and science. She is pursuing cutting edge art and performances in other media, including dance, music, percussion, and cutting-edge instruments (such as hydraulophone, quintephone, and other). She creates work that explores the intersection of art and neuroscience.
Luke Robert Mason is is a Researcher in Technology and Cyberculture. He is currently Director of Virtual Futures, a series of events that aim to retrospectively critique and challenge notions of ‘the future’ to understand the evolutionary processes that have given rise to today’s emergent web-culture. Twitter: @LukeRobertMasonPerceptual Augmentation: Art for Future Humans: Enhanced hearing and visual aids, which interpret signals outside the human perceptual range, are a development we might reasonably expect in the near future. These medical technologies could, conceivably be used as tools for human enhancement and may offer new frameworks through which to understand the more traditional ways we choose to interact with Augmented Reality (AR). AR has formally been concerned with the enhancement of the visual senses by overlaying information rich environments and making them visible through the use of an external device. But often the interface interferes. This talk will question how new advances in embedded medical technologies offer the possibility of a fully, technologically enhanced, human sensorium.

David Pearce is interested in the use of biotechnology to abolish suffering throughout the living world. In 1998, I co-founded with Nick Bostrom the World Transhumanist Association / H+. He is a vegan activist who lives in Brighton UK. The best place to start looking into his work is here.The Reproductive Revolution: The Gist: I shall briefly outline the case for phasing out the biology of suffering and urge the universal use of preimplanation genetic diagnosis to replace today’s genetic roulette.Abstract: Since the Cambrian explosion, pain and suffering have been inseparable from the existence of life on Earth. However, a major evolutionary transition is now in prospect. One species of social primate has evolved the capacity to master biotechnology, rewrite its own genetic source code, and abolish the molecular signature of experience below “hedonic zero” throughout the living world. This talk explores one aspect of the evolutionary transition ahead, namely the reproductive revolution of designer babies. How much of traditional “human nature” do we want to conserve?

John Smart is a technology foresight educator and a scholar in global processes of evolution, development, and accelerating change. He is president of the Acceleration Studies Foundation (Mountain View, CA), and a professor and program champion for the Emerging Technologies masters program at the University of Advancing Technology (Tempe, AZ). His blog is EverSmarterWorld.com.Technological Change: Ten Areas of Accelerating Opportunity, Disruption, and Threat: We’ll consider a few high-level forecasts of our future in ten areas of technological change: Nanotech, Resource Tech, Engineering Tech, Info Tech, Social Tech, Economic Tech, Political Tech, Security Tech, Health Tech, and Cognitive Tech. We will claim that two of these, Nanotech and Info Tech, are particularly important to building a better future rapidly and without resource contraints: the more Humanity’s intelligence gains access to “Inner Space,” both to the ability to manipulate matter, energy, and information on very small size scales (“Physical Inner Space”), and to the domain of very powerful brain-based and computer-based simulations (“Virtual Inner Space”) the faster and more efficiently we learn to generate major new economic, social, and adaptation benefits for civilization. This “Race to Inner Space” may turn out to be the dominant developmental trend for our species, the primary “driver” of accelerating technological change. Finally, we’ll briefly discuss ways we might better test these claims, and if they continue to prove true, to help more of our leading countries, institutions, corporations, and entrepreneurs to understand and benefit from our civilization’s potentially inevitable race to inner space.

Artist Remarks

Artist and futurist Marie-Clare Treseder is the Virtual Curator of TEDXDelMar. Her paintings are on display in the Transhumanist Gallery. She is also the curator of “Futurist Art: The Singularity and Space”. Marie-Clare formerly worked for Singularity University as the Producer of “Women at the Frontier”, their Media Production Supervisor and Official Photographer. Her photography has been published in WIRED UK and The Independent. She last curated the exhibition “Valley Impressions: Historic Block Prints and Watercolors by William S. Rice”. More of her work can be found at her website.Overview of Remarks: Art has progressed over millennia from ritual, to religion, to object, to ideas. The best art today, represents these ideas. Specifically, ideas we haven’t quantified into a science. With the transformative technologies of today already ushered into our modern lifestyle, (e.g. the iPhone and virtual reality), it is necessary to re-examine what is left to art other than experience.

Curator

Omar Lopez is the curator of this TEDx Del Mar, and with help from Marie-Clare Treseder collected Transhuman works from San Diego and beyond for this TEDx event. He is well known in San Diego and beyond, though he hides on cliffs, in jungles, and the outdoors. His sculpture is widely shown. You can explore his main website, frankenhaus.org.

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