Connecting Feeling and Thought interIntraPersonally

Meeting Topic: Where can/should/will technology take our ability to connect the thoughts and feelings that people share between themselves and in themselves?


Session Notes:  Discussion started with Adrian talking about his interest in using cell

phone/portable technologies to monitor and capture experience in

audio/video/brainwave streams for immediate or offline processing to simplify

and share.  This lead to discussion of issues of what information needs to be

kept for emotional vs. intellectual understanding or communications.  Rebecca

and others suggested music as one medium for transmission of emotional data,

suggesting an interface similar to how emoticons are used.  Amit emphasized that condensed or

time limited data can lose important relational information and fail to allow

a mutually felt connection to be created.  She brought up the example of a

pulsing device that is synchronized to another person's heartbeat as an

intimate form of connection.  Adrian echoed this, describing his experience of

using Skype video in an open ended fashion instead of a time constrained

phone call.  Rebecca raised the question of whether these technologies could

be used to help traumatized children.   The discussion led to questions about

the impact of user differences: whether derived from past history/declarative memory or

genetic tendencies to emphasize particular modes of communication (musical,

verbal, mathematical, kinesthetic).  Rebecca gave the example of autism,

describing the case of Dr. Temple Grandin and how such conditions change a

person's ability to connect.  Suzanne ended with the question of whether

technology might allow us to induce the emotional experience of one person in

another - creating a kind of "empathy machine."


Organized by Milton Huang, MD





2PM, Nov 15, 2008, Conference Room B