High Dive Seattle
Tuesday, April 19th
Doors open at 6:30 (get there early for seats!), talks start at 7:30
~Christina Durbin: Paradoxes & Complexities: The Science of Creativity~
Archimedes in the bathtub, Newton and the apple, Einstein’s theory of special relativity — Eureka! moments are what happens when hours of work come together in a single “creative”” flash. For most of human history, creativity was something otherworldly, a gift from the muses, only to be bestowed upon a select few. Today, cognitive science has shown this to be false. The real story of creativity is more difficult and strange than one can imagine, but one thing is certain: We are all creative. This talk will tell the story of the brain that gave the world such revolutionary ideas as E=mc² and the Theory of General Relativity, and cover simple techniques you can use to foster your own creativity.
Chris Durbin is a “creative”” currently working as a user experience designer in the tech industry. Outside of work, Chris exercises her passion for books, beer & lifelong learning by way of UX Book Club, a monthly meet up with author Q & As that cover a smattering of topics related to experience design.
~Brian Douglas: Synthetic Psychology and Braitenberg Vehicles: Explorers, Cowards and Lovers~
Not all robots require complex computing power and complicated engineering! Brian will talk about the world of Braitenberg Vehicles, simple robots with simple sensors that can exhibit complex behaviors based on how you connect them. These robots are a concept from the Italian-American cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg, a pioneer in the field of synthetic psychology. Brian will show us how by selecting simple sensory inputs, and modifying their connectivity to simple actuators, the resultant robot may exhibit complex, intelligent seeming behavior in response to stimuli — some may be lovers, some might be cowards and others might even act like eager explorers!
Brian Douglas is the principal engineer for attitude determination and control at Planetary Resources, and author/producer/director/everything for the popular ‘Control Systems Lectures’ YouTube video channel. His current extra-curricular project is writing a free textbook on control theory released under Creative Commons that emphasis reader interactivity and incorporating feedback. You can follow him on Twitter at @BrianBDouglas.