Scheduled for Sunday, July 31, 5:15 PM – 5:45 PM
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- Aida Memisevic: The Growing Trend of Technology Assisted Self Awareness
- Jill Nephew: Could Mind-Computer Interactions Catalyze a Revolution
Aida Memisevic is an international executive producer and media host, with a focus on creating health and well-being content. She owns and has produced several television projects including five television series. Currently, Aida is completing her Masters in Digital Media degree with a project thesis focus on technology assisted self-awareness. Aida’s interests and journalistic research lies in how media technology, neuroscience, and positive psychology can be harnessed and bridged to create happier lives and positive social impact. Aida has been featured in theThe Toronto Star, CFRB, 680 News,The Mississauga News, Book TV, Sirius Radio, Gaiam TV, and her television programs have aired on eleven channels in Canada, the US, and in over fifty countries.
The Growing Trend of Technology Assisted Self Awareness
We live in a world today where technology has drastically impacted our culture, changing at the most rapid rate in human history. Every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003. Thought-controlled computers, human bionics, BCI (brain-controlled interfaces) and galvanized skin response systems are now becoming our reality. We live in a world where neuroscientists are now exploring areas what once were thought to be the lofty science fiction ideals of transhumanists.
As a result of rapidly changing technology, the quantified self-movement has spurred great interest. We have begun to track the components of our lives, to better understand ourselves and to achieve better results; from an electronic fork that tracks our eating behaviours to cognitive optimization platforms where we can track how meditation, coffee or sex effects our performance. We have apps that track our steps, physical activity, sleep patters, heart rate, posture, micronutrients, moods and happiness…and this is just the beginning. The recent media attention being bestowed to positive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, along with the observation and gamification of mental processes have all contributed to a growing “Technology Assisted Self Awareness” movement.
Fascinated by the progressive application and fusion of technology in the sphere of brain research, we are also now looking at ways to track our happiness levels with recent digital products and apps that have appeared on the market. What is the next evolution of how technology will assist us in the science of happiness? Through positive gamification principles, can we control the dopamine loops that are currently created by the use of technology, to serve us rather than distract us? The gamification of mental processes can support happiness research allowing the principles of positive psychology to be applicable to the changing dynamics in our technology driven world.
Jill Nephew is the founder of Inqwire, PBC – tools for personal meaning-making. She has a scientific background in complex physical systems – soft condensed matter physics, atmospheric dynamics, and biophysics. She has worked for many years as a technologist in the domain of computer modeling, languages, algorithms and artificial intelligence. She also has a 30-year personal inquiry and meditation practice where she constantly applies experimentation, empiricism, and innovation to reveal a deeper subjective understanding of the psyche. She is currently writing a book on how best computers can help people make sense of their lives.
Could Mind-Computer Interactions Catalyze a Revolution in Personal Meaning-Making?
Computing was invented to overcome cognitive limitations of humans, particularly working memory limitations. Using computer modeling, processing and visualization to enhance our ability to make sense of complex systems has become ubiquitous. Charts, graphs, and maps are constantly rendering complex information back to us and leveraging our powerful pattern recognition abilities to make sense of what is far beyond what we can sense directly.
In the physical sciences, computing has allowed us to make sense out of astoundingly complex real-world systems, such as biological and earth science systems. Without computing we would not be able to ‘see’ brain processes, model the climate or predict the weather. Could we use computing in a similar way to help us make sense out of our personal lives?
In this talk, I will share perspectives from cognitive linguistics on what a model of meaning might look like and present an instance I constructed from open-ended meaning based question forms. I will discuss how a highly structured and self-guided system based on such a model could generate a uniquely powerful data set for understanding the relationship between meaning making and psychological well-being. I will also discuss how formulating the development of personal meaning as a learning task over autobiographical memory provides insight into the wealth of beneficial health correlations with meaning making, and supports the hypothesis that meaning making is the underlying mechanism of PP2.0.