Anders Sandberg on Neuroselves and exoselves: distributed cognition inside and outside brains

Anders Sandberg inaugurated the teleXLR8 beta program in Teleplace on Sunday, April 18, 2010, with a great talk on Neuroselves and exoselves: distributed cognition inside and outside brains.

After the talk there has been a lively questions and answers session.

The talk and Q/A video is available on Vimeo. Some of the participants, including Anders himself, had intermittent Internet connection problems. Other technical problems were solved in real time, and the video, which has been recorded using the native Teleplace recording feature without post-processing and editing, includes some very useful advice on how to properly set up sound devices and PPT presentations.

At the end of the talk Anders, following Kevin Warwick, said that the really important cognitive enhancements will be communication enhancements able to boost our collective intelligence, and that any method that improves communication is going to have a tremendous practical and ethical importance. I think this talk, enabled by modern interactive telepresence technology, has provided a good example of this concept.

Title: Neuroselves and exoselves: distributed cognition inside and outside brains

Abstract: In the past the human mind was seen as atomic and clearly distinguished from the body and environment. As cognitive science has advanced this view has become increasingly untenable. The emerging view is instead that our minds are composed of networks of simpler parts. As we understand our brains better new possibilities for enhancing cognition biologically open up, but also intriguing possibilities to offload or copy our mental processes into external systems such as software. This talk will discuss the possibilities for distributed cognition inside our brains and computers and across society.

Anders Sandberg has a background in computer science, neuroscience and medical engineering. He obtained his Ph.D. in computational neuroscience from Stockholm University, Sweden, for work on neural network modeling of human memory. His research at the Future of Humanity Institute centres on societal and ethical issues surrounding human enhancement and new technology, as well as estimating the capabilities and underlying science of future technologies.