449. One Brain Chip, Please! Neuro-AI with two of the Maddest Scientists

“What are the implications when you have your own customized, autonomous network of smart brains?”

[Editor’s Note:  Mad Scientist is an Army initiative and Community of Action that continually explores the Operational Environment and the changing character of warfare. We connect the intellect of the Nation to the Army and serve as an on-ramp for academia, industry, and other parts of the Government to share their ideas and innovations. Our latest episode of The Convergence podcast features “rock star” proclaimed Mad Scientists — Dr. James Giordano and Dr. James Canton — discussing the convergence of neuroscience and artificial intelligence, its impact on future warfare, and where the U.S. falls short in technology development, relative to our competitors and adversaries — Enjoy!]

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Proclaimed Mad Scientist Dr. James Giordano is Pellegrino Center Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry; Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program; and Chair of the Subprogram in Military Medical Ethics at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC.  Dr. Giordano is a Bioethicist of the Defense Medical Ethics Center at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences; Distinguished Stockdale Fellow in Science, Technology, and Ethics at the United States Naval Academy; Senior Fellow in Biosecurity, Technology, and Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, RI; Senior Science Advisory Fellow of the Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA), Joint Staff / J-39, The Pentagon; Chair Emeritus of the Neuroethics Project of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Brain Initiative; and serves as Director of the Institute for Biodefense Research, a federally funded Washington, DC think tank dedicated to addressing emerging issues at the intersection of science, technology and national defense. He previously served as Donovan Group Senior Fellow, U.S. Special Operations Command; member of the Neuroethics, Legal, and Social Issues Advisory Panel of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); and Task Leader of the Working Group on Dual-Use of the EU-Human Brain Project.

Dr. Giordano is the author of 340 peer-reviewed publications, 7 books and 45 governmental reports on science, technology, and biosecurity, and is an elected member of the European Academy of Science and Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK), and a Fulbright Professorial Fellow. A former U.S. Naval officer, he held designations as an aerospace physiologist and research psychologist, and served with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Proclaimed Mad Scientist Dr. James Canton is a global futurist, social scientist, author, and strategic advisor. As a former Apple Computer executive and high tech entrepreneur, he has been insightfully forecasting the key trends and technologies that have shaped our world, including AI-nano-bio-IT-neuroquantum-
cloud. The Economist recognizes him as one of the leading global futurists. He has advised three White House Administrations, the DoD, Intelligence Community,  and over 100 companies over 30 years. Dr. Canton is CEO and Chairman of the Institute for Global Futures, a leading think tank he founded in 1990 that advises business and government.

Dr. Canton is the author of Future SmartThe Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World in the Next Twenty Years, and Technofutures: How Leading-Edge Innovations Will Transform Business in the 21st Century. Dr. Canton has been a lecturer at Stanford University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, the U.S. Army and Naval War Colleges, and the Joint Special Operations University. He has held appointments at Singularity University at NASA, the Kellogg School of Management, MIT’s Media Lab, EU, the Potomac Institute, and served on the International Advisory Council, Singapore Economic Development Board, been an advisor to the National Science and Technology Council, U.S. Departments of State, Defense, and Health and Human Services.

In our latest episode of The Convergence podcast, Army Mad Scientist sits down with our “James Gang” — Dr. James Giordano and Dr. James Canton — to discuss the convergence of neuroscience and artificial intelligence, its impact on future warfare, and where the U.S. falls short in technology development relative to our competitors and adversaries.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our conversation:

      • The brain sciences are highly dependent on interaction with other sciences and disciplines – social sciences, law, humanities, etc. – as well as ethics and philosophy. We need to understand that an “asymmetry in ethics” exists, where what is prohibited by one society, may be permitted and pursued by others.
      • You can’t do effective brain science without convergence and breaking down silos. It’s the convergence that enables and force multiplies the brain sciences to be used in national security, intelligence, and defense milieu.
      • We need to be looking at bolder, moonshot ideas using the AI and Neuro Science communities. The first time these communities came together, during the Synapse project through DARPA, neural nets were created.
      • Opportunities exist outside of instrumenting just humans. Other species could be used as cooperatives or proxies for human engagement, or even non-human entities such as biomimetic drones.
      • You cannot do neurocognitive science and actualize these ideas into reality without big data and machine learning. These allow you to take capabilities on a variety of scales and integrate them to create systems of systems to attain functional structural holism.
      • ChatGPT and mapping the human genome are just the beginning. We need to continue to innovate in this space to keep pace with our adversaries and competitors to help ensure peaceful global security.
      • Drs. Giordano and Canton believe we may be behind our competitors and adversaries in various Neuro-AI areas, and believe the best way to boost our innovation is to reach out to the collective intellect of the Nation to come together and solve this problem in a unified way. They are actively encouraging listeners to reach out to them and start working on solutions!

Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next episode of The Convergence on June 29, 2023, when we’ll talk with John “Grant” Rafter about Air Force Futures‘ mission, the recently published Air Force Global Futures Report: Joint Functions in 2040, and the associated AFGFR Vignette Writing Contest — seeking to crowdsource engaging, plot-driven stories that illustrate a scenario from one of the many futures described in the AFGFR.  

If you enjoyed this post, check out the following related posts:

Cyborg Soldier 2050: Human/Machine Fusion and the Implications for the Future of the DOD and its associated report from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Chemical Biological Center

Universal Soldier, by proclaimed Mad Scientist Master Sergeant Greg A. McGowan

China’s Brain Trust: Will the U.S. Have the Nerve to Compete? by Dr. James Giordano, as well as his Neuroscience, Neurotechnology, and the Future of War and Neuroscience and the Weapons of War podcasts, hosted by our colleagues at the Modern Warfare Institute

Linking Brains to Machines, and Use of Neurotechnology to the Cultural and Ethical Perspectives of the Current Global Stage and Designer Genes: Made in China? by Dr. James Giordano and Joseph DeFranco 

Battle of the Brain

Connected Warfare by COL James K. Greer (USA-Ret.)

Chatty Cathy, Open the Pod Bay Doors: An Interview with ChatGPT and associated podcast, with  Chatty Cathy, an instance of ChatGPT by OpenAI

There Will Be Data and associated podcast, with Inderpal Bhandari

Ethics, Morals, and Legal Implications; Ethical Dilemmas of Future Warfare; and The Ethics and the Future of War panel discussion, facilitated by LTG Jim Dubik (USA-Ret.)

… watch proclaimed Mad Scientist Dr. Alexander Kott‘s presentation The Network is the Robot, presented at the Mad Scientist Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, & Autonomy: Visioning Multi Domain Battle in 2030-2050 Conference, at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, 8-9 March 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia.

… and see proclaimed Mad Scientist Hank Greely‘s presentation on Future Legal and Ethical Implications of Bio Technology from the Mad Scientist Bio Convergence and Soldier 2050 Conference, at SRI International, 8-9 March 2018 in Menlo Park, California.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

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