Once more this month is packed with plenty of interesting events! Get your diaries out, and make sure to let us know if you are attending any of them.
Conscious Cities Conference No 2
03 May 2017: 0900 – 1800
Conscious Cities Conference No. 2: Bridging Neuroscience, Architecture and Technology is a full-day event, taking place on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 (8:30 to 18:00) at One Sekforde Street, London.
Our previous conference examined the relationship between neuroscience and architecture. This year’s conference will disseminate and unify the different industries and elements needed to build a Conscious City, that is responsive to human activity and needs.
The day will open with keynote speakers representing Neuroscience – Colin Ellard – and Architecture – Matthias Hollwich.
From there, the conference will address four themes, each presented and discussed by a panel of experts from academia and industry (detailed further below):
- What Does Neuroscience Teach Us About the Built Environment?
- How Can We Use High Technology in the Built Environment?
- Creating Conscious Design: How Does Behavioural Insight Affect Architecture and Planning?
- Building a Conscious City: The Role of Governance and Industry.
09 May 2017: 1900 – 2030
This evening we will be exploring our senses and how we engage with our environment through smell, touch, taste, sight and sound.
We’ll be thinking about how sensory inputs affect our moods, whether they impact how we learn, and how they colour our creativity. Investigating how new approaches to digital fluency draw on theories of embodied cognition, we’ll hear about harnessing technology and to engage our senses. We’ll also be scenting out opportunities for creative expression that don’t only rely on visual stimuli and trying to understand some visual stimuli that we can’t necessarily see. Please join us to find out more – and hopefully it will all make sense.
13&14 May 2017: all day
The course is extremely interactive and hands-on. You will learn by working through concrete problems with a real dataset. You will be taught by academic and industry experts in the field, who have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share.
- Preprocessing (scaling, log transformations, imputation, hot coding)
- Exploratory data analysis and interactive visualisation
- Unsupervised learning (k-means clustering, hierarchical clustering)
- Dimensionality reduction and feature extraction (PCA, t-SNE)
- Supervised learning (decision trees)
Neuroscience and Enterprise
16 May 2017: 1830 – 2030
We are partnering with Clustermarket for this event. They are a marketplace for scientists wishing to put their research into market. If you are neuroscientist and have wanted to move towards the world of enterprise, this is will be a great place to start your research.
We will have three different entrepreneurs with a neuroscience background, who will present their stories. How they started, how they were funded, and how they were able to combine science with the business world.
- 6.30pm Registration
- 7.00pm-7.15pm Speakers
- 7.15pm-8.15pm Panel Discussion
- 8.15pm-8.30pm Get Together / Q&A
If you would like to attend, please sign up via Eventbrite!
18 May 2017: 1900 – 2030
‘Japanisation’ can have different meanings, but within Economics it is the idea that Japan has led what is an inevitable path for developed nations. During the 1990s, Japan suffered what is now referred to as the ‘lost decade’ of stagnant growth, alongside a shrinking workforce. With more than a quarter of its residents above the age of 65 and an average life expectancy of 83 years, Japan is the most elderly country on Earth.
This Brainplay will explore themes around Japanisation which became popular amongst academics following the Great Recession of 2007-09 – is Japan an outlier, or does it foretell an unavoidable fate for all advanced economies? Will shrinking populations in Germany, China etc bring about similar outcomes, and to what degree is Japan’s highly anti-immigrant culture to blame? And what role will robotics, in which Japan is the biggest investor, play in all of this?
In short, what can the lessons learnt from Japan tells us about the future of ageing?
20 & 21 May 2017: all day
We will be hosting Cambridge Spark, which is a platform of courses in machine learning and data science.
For this class you will learn the fundamental skills you need to extract syntactic, semantic and even emotional information from text.
- Text processing (parsing, tokenisation, lematisation)
- Syntactic analysis (POS tagging)
- Semantic analysis (word vector analysis, IR techniques)
- Topic analysis
- Language models and text generation
Cognitive Academy: Human To Human Communication
24 May 2017: 1900 – 2030
At the core of human to human communication is the desire to create a specific mental state in another person. Communication involves a vast ecosystem of cognitive and motor faculties. There is the engagement of the visual cognitive system to detect physical communication cues, the auditory system to hear words, tone, inflections and the prefrontal cortex to comprehend language and meaning, as well as the sensory motor areas and Broca’s areas (amongst others), which are highly associated with speech and language. Finally, we have to involve the limbic system to understand the emotional value of a piece of communication, so we can create the correct response. This semester we will be taking a look at vast ecosystem through three classes. The classes are designed to be done as a course or taken individually, so you can join in at any point.
AGENDA OF CLASS I
- The neural substrates of communication
- The communication map
- Workshop: You will apply the learnings in creating a piece of communication of your choosing
25 May 2017: 1900 – 2030
We rarely think about gravity. Like breathing, it is a ubiquitous element of life. Occasionally when we fall are we suddenly aware of the cosmic force that pulls us to the floor. Our pens and books stay put, water lies flat and we walk knowing our feet will touch the ground. However, our entire physical and mental evolution as a species has been influenced by gravity, and this event will explore three uncommon aspects. Firstly, where does gravity come from and why is science so puzzled about it? Then we’ll look at the human neurological affects by examining how we are built to sense it through touch and sight. Finally, man is compelled to challenge his balance from birth (cue the giddiness of swinging as a child) but is there a psychological reason for this manifestation in extreme sports or walking in space? This multi-faceted, invisible and embodied force gives us much to think about and discuss.
30 May 2017: 1900 – 2030
There is an increasing perception that our use of technological devices is having an affect on our mental health. There are more and more digital detox retreats, suggesting that we need to tone down our use. However, what is happening in our brains? Is the effect permanent? Are we addicted to our devices?
Our use of digital technology is also interesting from an adaptability perspective, in other words it allows to test and see how our brains adapt to new tools. It is important to note that this is not new, we as humans, have always learned to adapt cognitively and physically to the physical world around us.
In this talk we will cover how the brain adapts to new stimuli, the plasticity factor of the brain, and put into perspective the scale at which digital technology is changing our cognitive functions. The talk will mainly centre on the attention and memory systems as well as the visual cognitive system, this will give you an idea of both the anatomy involved in perceiving digital information as well as how we are affected by it.
*** This event is taking place at 177 Hoxton Street