Later this week (March 15, 2012), I will be giving a talk in Vancouver,
The Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars
Notice of Meeting
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2012
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC campus, 515 West Hastings Street (between Seymour and Richards Streets) in the Diamond Alumni Lounge, Room 2065 (second floor)
Speaker: Maryse de la Giroday
Topic: Whose electric brain?
Memristors are collapsing the boundaries between humans and machines and ushering in an age where humanistic discourse must grapple with cognitive entanglements. Perceptible only at the level of molecular electronics (nanoelectronics), the memristor was a theoretical concept until 2008. Two different researchers without knowledge of each other had postulated its probable existence respectively in the 1960s and the 1970s. Traditionally in electrical engineering there are resistors, inductors, and capacitors. The new circuit element, the memristor, was postulated to account for anomalies that had been experienced and described in the literature since the 1950s.
Conceptually, a memristor remembers how much and when current has been flowing. In 2008 when it was proved experimentally, engineering control was achieved months later in both digital and analogue formats. The more intriguing of the two formats is the analogue where a memristor is capable of an in-between state similar to certain brain states as opposed to the digital format where it’s either on or off. As some have described it, the memristor is a synapse on a chip making neural computing a reality. In other words, with post-human engineering we will have machines that can think like humans.
The memristor moves us past Jacques Derrida’s notion of undecidability (a cognitive entanglement) as largely theoretical to a world where we confront this reality on a daily basis.
A Brief Bio:
Maryse de la Giroday is a science communications consultant and writer who focuses on nanotechnology and science in Canada. Her blog (www.frogheart.ca) offers “Commentary about nanotech, science policy and communication, society, and the arts” and it currently enjoys an average of 50,000+ visits per month.
She has a BA (honors-Communications) from SFU and an MA (Creative Writing and New Media) De Montfort University, UK.
As an independent academic, she has presented on the topic of nanotechnology at the 2009 International Symposium on Electronic Arts, the 2008 Congress of Humanities and the Social Sciences, the 2008 Cascadia Nanotechnology Symposium, and the 2007 Association of Internet Researchers.
She gratefully acknowledge the 2011 grant from the Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars which makes the publication of her latest paper, Whose electric brain? possible.
I expect to be exploring ideas about machines and humans as buttressed by the notion of the memristor. The talk will be recorded (tarted up/edited) by Sama Shodjai and posted, in the near future, here and elsewhere online.