Brittany Smith is a productivity coach who provides a variety of consulting services through her business, Devise and Conquer, that includes ADD/ADHD coaching, technology coaching, productivity consulting, and more. She is a self-designated “well-rounded geek.” She holds an M.S. degree in Cognitive Neuroscience.
In our chat, Brittany told me about her adventures with homemade videos, with a PC, as a youth. Her father was a podiatrist and her mother was a programmer, so there were always computers in the house. But the Vista version of Windows drove her into the arms of the Mac. In the second half of the show we delved into just what cognitive neuroscience is, her productivity and Apple tech coaching. Along the way we chatted about the influence of Star Trek (and Disneyland) on her career. Brittany sparkles in this interview.
Some scientists are worried about technology like Elon Musk’s Neuralink. Cognitive psychologist Susan Schneider wrote an op-ed (paywall) that it could be “suicide for the human mind.”
The worry with a general merger with AI, in the more radical sense that Musk envisions, is the human brain is diminished or destroyed. Furthermore, the self may depend on the brain and if the self’s survival over time requires that there be some sort of continuity in our lives — a continuity of memory and personality traits — radical changes may break the needed continuity.
I’m no neuroscientist but I subscribe to emergentism, which is the idea that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. An easy explanation is here, but basically it means that consciousness isn’t a property of the physical brain, but rather something that happens when you get enough neurons interconnected. This isn’t something that could be replicated with code.
This scientist would be, “building transformative neurotechnology,” and dollars to donuts says it’s related to Apple’s ongoing neural net projects.