|Robert L. Blum, MD, PhD|
Diplomate: American Board of Emergency Medicine
Diplomate: American Board of Internal Medicine
Research Affiliate: Stanford Center for Mind, Brain, and ComputationEmergency Physician: Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, ret.
Research Scientist (1981-1986): Stanford University, Computer Science Department
Post-Doctoral Fellow: Clinical Pharmacology: Stanford University
PhD: Computer Science and Biostatistics: Stanford University
MD: University of California, San Francisco (neuroscience)
B Sci: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mathematics)
Brand New: Updated WebBrain of Cognitive Neurosci and AI:
A Repository of 8000 Links to Cognitive Psychology, AI and
Neuroscience (the public half of my 16,000 node private collection.)
Also, hundreds of new links on biology and clinical medicine (longevity and nutrition)
(updated July, 2015 - News flash: my in vivo brain is still only 1½ quarts, if that.)
Also see my notes on recent Stanford Cog Neurosci/ Psych lectures here.
Two new videos have just appeared in the prestigious journal Science.
The first is an animation showing the incredible level of detail at the synapse.
The second video, based on hundreds of electron micrographs stitched together,
shows the impossibly complex ultrastructure of the neuropil: the impenetrable forest
The key question is how much of that fine detail must be modeled
to replicate the brain's performance. My guess is that much more is required
than is accounted for in current brain-inspired AI models.
I am on the Science Advisory Board of the Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF,)
which seeks to advance the state of the art by awarding cash prizes for best research.
So, what are the prospects? I have not signed up with Alcor, but ask me again in 2030.
Here, neuroscience MD, PhD candidate Andy McKenzie elicits my opinions.
In brief: molecular brain preservation may be achieved by 2040.
Resurrection may not be possible until after 2100.
This was a summer 2015 blockbuster tech story that was
well-covered by the New York Times, EE Times, and by
Mukesh Khare, who co-led this IBM collaborative tour de force.
(This took the sting out of Intel's delay of 10nm to 2017.)
Will Moore's Law soon hit a brick wall? To make sure it doesn't,
Cymer, ASML, and Intel have spent billions developing EUV lithography.
Here is the current state of EUV.
My Stanford Lecture Notes 2015: Cognitive Neuroscience and AI
(You won't find any of these lectures anywhere else on the web; Stanford is in the forefront
in opening online classes to the world. But most of the lectures I attend are not available except here.
Also look in my WebBrain for archived lecture notes.)
Carmat: Artificial Heart Triumph
Carmat's second patient went home (January, 2015) and was cycling like mad.
And, a third patient is doing well after one month (May, 2015.)
(May 4 2015 addendum: Carmat's second patient died yesterday
9 months after implantation, cause still to be determined.)
This was a total thrill: the launch of the SNI, attended by Stanford President
John Hennessy and NIMH Director Thomas Insel. These talks are all stellar.
Stanford Neurosciences Institute website is here. SNI is directed by
Prof. Bill Newsome, who was tapped by NIH Dir. Francis Collins to co-direct
the Obama Brain Initiative Working Group. How important is SNI?
The old COGEN building that is being scraped now before constructing the new HQ
cost > a hundred million translated into 2015 bucks. Stanford is forever
abuzz with exciting neurosci, cog sci, and AI/robotics.
In 2012 a blue-ribbon panel of nanotechnologists and neuroscientists from
the Kavli Foundation proposed creating an incredible new set of tools to enable
the visualization of every spike from every neuron in brain-wide regions in real-time.
The resulting functional connectome would greatly advance brain science and its simulation.
Enthusiasts included NIH Director Francis Collins and Pres. Barack Obama. This project
became the ten-year scientific moon shot presented in the 2013 State of the Union!
That project is now the (Obama) Brain Initiative.
My Book Review of Stanislas Dehaene's Consciousness and the Brain
Ever Popular: The MYSTERY of CONSCIOUSNESS
Is the Universe Fine-Tuned for Life?
With STEVE PINKER in the AMAZON - Cognitive Science in the Jungle
by buying up several robotics start-ups. Here are videos of their acquisitions.)
The upside: those firms have stable funding. The downside: they've been
sucked into invisibility behind Google's "black hole event horizon."
Allen Brain Institute Symposia Video Archive
Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobio. Imaging (CNI):
Computational Models of the Neocortex: Stanford: Spring 2012
Is Microsoft Broken? My Struggles with Windows 7
Book Review of Kevin Kelly's What Technology Wants
On a Planet Near You: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror
Total Recall - Technology Wants Everything, Everywhere, Always Artificial Consciousness? Digital Computers, No: Silicon Networks, Maybe!
A response to David Gelernter's AI is Lost in the Woods
Against the Wall, Behaviorists! Get Conscious Now! Read William James!
America's towering intellectual of the nineteenth century,
James' descriptions of the self were decades ahead of his time and
as aesthetic as the prose of his younger brother, Henry James.
Stanford Center for the Explanation of Consciousness
(I regularly attend this series featuring some of the foremost philosophers
of mind; recent talks were given by John Searle, Paul and Pat Churchland,
Owen Flanagan, and Pat Suppes - highly recommended, if you're in town.
Bob's WebBrain contains all my notes - search CEC or Skokowski (as in Paul, our director.)
Book Review of TRANSCEND: 9 Steps to Living Forever
The Internet Rises to Self-Understanding:
Kevin Kelly's Global SuperOrganism
Singularity Summit 2010: Aug 14-15: San Francisco:
Detailed Lecture Notes and Transcriptions
URGENT EVOKE: Save The Planet via Video Games! (?)
Robot Scientists Automate Discovery
Phil Zimbardo's Secret Powers of Time
Salman Khan teaches the world science and math
Review of Manna: Two Visions of Humanity's Future by Marshall Brain
Future AIs may act as enslaving Big Brothers or as empowering liberators.
Antidepressants Don't - Ketamine Does
Increasing evidence suggests that antidepressants mainly work via a placebo effect.
See Lesley Stahl's interview of Harvard's Irving Kirsch on the TV show 60 Minutes.
Also, ketamine general anesthesia may acutely resolve severe depression.
Sir Martin Rees: Humanity's Final Hour
Only have a few minutes to check out my website?
Here's how. Go directly to Sir Martin's TED lecture (and skip everything else!)
Extinction level threats to humanity need to be front-and-center.
There is a view, gaining some traction, that superintelligent AI is imminent.
This view is erroneous. (Super-human AI is NOT imminent!)
Furthermore, that sensational forecast only serves to further weaken
already anemic efforts to lessen real existential dangers: nuclear war,
ecological calamity, pandemics, and proliferation of bioweapons capabilities.
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