Update 07/31: Mike pointed out, that the time of the event is missing in the post. It goes from 7-9 pm dinner afterwards. I also always forget to mention that the Future Salon is free and open to the public. Bring your friends.
Mike Chorost is an author, no wonder that the following introduction to the next Future Salon is so much better than mine, but first when and where:Attention it's Thursday 12th of August. SAP Labs North America, Building D, Room Southern Cross, 3410 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304 [map]
Computers and Drugs Working Together: The Present and Future of Neural Biotechnologies
Dr. Mike Chorost, SRI International, Menlo Park
Dr. Eric Lynch, Sound Pharmaceuticals, Seattle
In this presentation, Drs. Chorost and Lynch will discuss the present state of neural technologies for treating deafness and their likely future. Dr. Chorost will open by explaining how the most advanced neurostimulation technology on the market, the cochlear implant, enables the deaf to hear. Dr. Lynch will follow with a discussion of pharmaceutical technologies which may actually prevent and cure deafness.
A true cure for deafness is probably years away, but in the meantime computers (that is, cochlear implants) and drugs (that is, pharmaceuticals) may soon work together synergistically to produce far more effective treatments for deafness than are available now. The speakers will go back and forth brainstorming on how such a synergy might come about. The authors will supplement their talk with fascinating photographs and animations to explain how these cutting-edge technologies work. At the heart of their talk is the idea of the "cyborg", the human being whose body is directly controlled by implanted computer technology and pharmaceutical interventions.
About the Speakers
Dr. Chorost’s new book, “Rebuilt: How A Computer Made Me More Human” will be published by Houghton Mifflin in 2005. It is a memoir of his experience going deaf and getting his hearing back with a cochlear implant, and discusses at length its science and technology. He has a B.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently works as a researcher in educational technologies at SRI International in Menlo Park.
Dr. Lynch is Director of Research at Sound Pharmaceuticals in Seattle. He completed his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, where he mapped the first human gene for hearing loss. During his post-doctoral studies at the University of Washington, he served as a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Genetics and helped to identify and characterize the first genes for breast cancer and brain cancer. He co-founded Sound Pharmaceuticals in 2001 with the goal of creating drugs to prevent and reverse hearing loss.
Beyond good writing, Christopher Allen also comments, that Mike is a great presenter:
I heard Mike at the last Sylvia's Cybersalon. He was a great speaker, and his presentation was very effective. Plus he was sort of a live demo -- for instance, he would pull away the transceiver to his implant to show how it was magnetically attached to his skin, or attach the input to a cell phone to show how he can directly hear his cell phone (and ignore the rest of the world.)
As usual, there will be a round of introductions at the beginning and big discussions during the talk that will continue on over dinner somewhere in Palo Alto. Hope you can make it.