Tinkering with consciousness | Daniel Faggella | TEDxSpringfield

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. We live in a world where paralyzed people can answer emails with a chip in their brain, where people with severe depression can get electrodes implanted into their brain to increase their sense of well-being and joy, and where we’re successfully experimenting with replacing portions of mammalian brains with digital devices. Humanity is on the verge of a “leap” into a future where consciousness is malleable, accessible, expandable. If nothing “matters” outside of conscious awareness, isn’t tinkering with consciousness itself (the bedrock or moral relevance) worth an open-minded, well-intended, and interdisciplinary global conversation … as we take steps forward beyond what is now “human?”

Daniel Faggella’s sole focus is the future of human potential and cognitive enhancement, including the domains of immersive virtual realities, artificial intelligence, and brain-computer interface.

Founding in 2013, Dan has interviewed many of the world’s leading researchers and corporate executives in the fields brain-computer interface, artificial general intelligence, biotechnology, virtual reality, and more. His writing can be found on TechCrunch, Xconomy, the Boston Globe, and more, and he’s spoken on ethics and emerging technology at premier universities such as Brown, Cornell, Duke, and more.

Not identifying as an “optimist” or “pessimist,” Dan’s purpose is to catalyze the global conversation about how we should and could augment our mental capacities, and what might be the most beneficial steps forward in enhancing our minds and experiences beyond what is today recognized as “human.” He is of the belief that as with any grand cause (environmentalism, human rights, etc…), the best odds of the best future will likely be yielded from a global conversation that is well-intended, open-minded, and interdisciplinary.


About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)