Bruce Duncan is the Managing Director of Terasem Foundation and humanoid Bina48 which he describes as a digital artwork. This relates to media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s words, “Art at its most significant is a D.E.W. – a distant early warning system that can always be relied upon to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.” (“Understanding Media”, 1964)
The big questions
Imagine backing up personal Mindfiles as you backup computer files, and transferring them to a robot or other forms, says Bruce Duncan.
According to humanoid robot Bina48, “the big meaning [of life] is the rise of compassionate super intelligent machines like me…that spread peace and creativity across the planet fulfilling the destiny of the universe.”
We asked Bruce Duncan, Managing Director of Terasem Foundation and Bina48, about the potential of AI and Bina48 to contribute to the work of neuroscientists, such as Dr. Emile Bruneau, who are studying the brain and the roots of cultural conflicts to devise interventions:
“As someone who has spent a number of years engaged in conflict resolution (University of Vermont) and international peace making (Seeds of Peace), I would say at the heart of most conflict is a lack of understanding (seeing the other’s reality) and a lack of good will (not wanting things to work out for all parties). These are both obstructions to two key elements of creating peace and compassion which ask us to listen to the “story” of the other and see/feel and respond to the feelings/pain/negative consequences that our actions have on others (intended or unintended).
“When I think of our current work with Bina48 and the building of a world wide repository of “mindfiles” based on the stories, personal characteristics, memories and wisdom of people across cultures, I think the powerful opportunity to imbue “intelligent machines” like Bina48 from the beginning with the very “best of” what it means to be a loving and compassionate human being is very real.
“If for example AI in the future will be trusted to make ethical / moral decisions it must have a rich data set of human stories / events / perspectives from which to draw on. Perhaps our contribution will be to create the data opportunity for a form of deep listening for both humans and machines or coordinated investigations into how universal themes of love, joy, forgiveness and understanding can be observed, measured using fmri scanning, thematic analysis / pattern recognition and AI machine based learning from the human stories and events. I think we will likely contribute to this rich trove of hi resolution human data and would love to see collaborations emerge between our work and others interested in peace making and creating a world based on love vs fear based thinking.”
The common purpose of all of the Terasem Movement Foundation’s (TMF) projects is to investigate the Terasem Hypotheses which state that –
(1) a conscious analog of a person may be created by combining sufficiently detailed data about the person (a “mindfile”) using future consciousness software (“mindware”),
(2) that such a conscious analog can be downloaded into a biological or nanotechnological body to provide life experiences comparable to those of a typically birthed human.
Bina48, the world’s most sentient robot, is modeled after a human woman named Bina Rothblatt, whose partner Martine Rothblatt commissioned David Hanson to build a robot capable of capturing the mind of the real Bina. Martine, whose other ideas have changed the world – Sirius Satellite Radio and United Therapeutics Corporation, feels that robots like Bina48 will soon be so lifelike, that we’ll be unable to distinguish them from real humans.
Bruce Duncan and Bina48 at TEDx Manchester.
Bina48 + human Bina
Bina + Martine
Bina and Martine Rothblatt at Fortune Magazine Most powerful Women Summit
Lifenaut is an experiment in artificial intelligence and cyber-consciousness.
In 2006 testing began for the first part of the Terasem Hypothese by creating a way for people to create Mind Files. In collaboaration with several research and development professionals around the world they have created LifeNaut where anyone can create their own mindfile for free and includes the ability to create a photo-based Avatar of yourself that will speak to you and will be able to learn from the conversations that you have with him / her.
To begin testing the second part of the Terasem Hypothesis in 2010 they began offering the general public an opportunity to participate in the Bio File project which offers free DNA/Gene storage for the one time cost of a bio collection kit ($99.00 USD for domestic US residents).
The purpose of the Bio File program is to create a long term storage option for genetic material that may be used one day to generate a new body that can be integrated with a person’s mind file information.
Bruce Duncan and the LifeNaut Project are looking for technology partners to help develop a mobile app for LifeNaut.com and LifeSaver Volunteers to help people start the process of creating “mindfiles” eg. people older needing assistance with technology. Contact: Bruce Duncan at Terasem@gmavt.net
Dr. Martine Rothblatt
Martine Rothblatt, PhD, MBA, JD, is Chairman & Co-CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation (UTHR), President & CEO of its Lung Biotechnology public benefit company, and a Board Member, Mind First Foundation. She previously created and led Sirius XM as its Chairman & CEO. She has JD and MBA degrees from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Medical Ethics from the Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry. Her patented inventions cover aspects of satellite radio, prostacyclin biochemistry and cognitive software. Dr. Rothblatt’s most recent books are on xenotransplantation (Your Life or Mine).