“Does ‘Mind Control for Good’ Exist?” A Panel on Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) at SXSW 2023

March 08 06:00 2023

Austin, Texas – Card79 is pleased to announce its place on the SXSW panel. 

Does ‘Mind Control for Good’ Exist? An overview of recent developments in the field of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) and the opportunities and risks they pose.

The Featured Speakers announced include Afshin Mehin, the Founder of design studio Card79, Benjamin Hersh from Google, Jacob Robinson of Motif Neurotech, and Anna Wexler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are an emerging technology with both opportunities and risks. The idea is to bring together experts from diverse backgrounds for an in-depth discussion. In the coming years, as brain computer interfaces continue to develop, it looks more and more likely that people will be able to control machines with just their thoughts. 

Diverse panelists from various industries will address misconceptions about BCIs during the panel. Hersh believes in thoughtful details, bold ideas, and a human-centered process. Previously an award-winning artist, radio producer, and fledging cognitive scientist who writes about intersections between design, culture, and science. Robinson is a professor at Rice University where his lab has developed new neurotechnology under several DARPA BCI programs. He has recently taken a leave to start Motif Neurotech, which aims to create minimally invasive electronics for mental health.. Wexler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. As Principal Investigator of the Wexler Lab, she studies ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding emerging technology, with a focus on advances in neuroscience and neurotechnology. Through their experience, they will discuss the capabilities of the technology and their predictions of what life might be like if people began using Brain Computer Interfaces. The panel will explore the fast-approaching reality from multiple perspectives, including engineering, design, and neuroscience. 

Panelist Afshin Mehin, designer and CEO of Card79 explains: “As the scientific developments around Neural Interfaces make leaps and bounds and more capital is being invested in BCI technologies…a future where minds will be connected to technology is looking less and less like science fiction. In order for this future not to catch us by surprise, as user experience designers, we want to start to engage with potential challenges and opportunities that this new technology may present in the most real way possible. By consulting with leading neuroscientists and technology ethicists, we want to start to lay the groundwork for what a desirable and realistic future could look like in which BCI’s have become part of more people’s lives.”

Does ‘Mind Control for Good’ exist? What should society and large organizations do as we approach the dawn of the age of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs)? This panel brings together a group of experts currently experimenting with different BCI use cases. The panelists will examine BCI technology’s potential applications at scale. The goal of the panel will be to draw a clear line between approaches that benefit us versus those that strip us of our agency and humanity. The future of education, work, and healthcare depends on understanding how BCI technology is being applied top-down. 

As Robinson points out: “We are still in the early days of this neurotechnology renaissance and we have an opportunity to help shape these future technologies toward responsible dissemination and use.”

The design opportunities available in this realm of technology are fascinating and designers have an impactful role that can ultimately “make or break it” with consumers. This upcoming technology will not only change the structure of society as a whole but in particular the world of design. Card79 is keen on being part of this foundational design work that brings this technology to life.

About Card79 

Founded in 2014 by Afshin Mehin, Card79 is a design studio located in San Francisco. It has dedicated itself to the presentation, development and support of creative products and services. Card79 excels at bridging radical, innovative concepts with beautiful, approachable designs. Combining the spirit of a fortune teller and the practice of scientific innovation, reaching both ahead and behind experiences to create something truly unique. Their mission is to be innovative while focusing on the future. 

About SXSW Conference

SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. The SXSW Conference features 15 programming tracks, each featuring sessions that focus on a specific element of the track’s broad theme, with target audiences ranging from beginner-level to advanced. The 2023 SXSW Conference and Festivals kick-off on March 10th in Austin, Texas.

For Media Inquiries, please contact
Afshin Mehin
[email protected] 

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Company Name: Card79
Contact Person: Afshin Mehin
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City: San Francisco
State: CA
Country: United States
Website: https://card79.com/

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