The Extended Mind Think Tank

This blog is set up to inform about the progress of the Extended Mind Think Tank based in Helsinki, Finland. The think tank is focused on figuring out questions regarding the extended mind and to brainstorm different technological applications of it. Currently, the group includes professors of psychology and communication, internet experts, a network analyst, a neuroscientist and two philosophy researchers.

The extended mind is a hypothesis crafted originally by philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers in 1998. In a nutshell, it says that mind cannot be reduced to brain activity, but that cognitive action may also include systemic or environmental elements. Check out the original 1998 paper here.

We are also studying the idea of the social singularity. The singularity hypothesis was presented originally by I.J. Good and supported most vocally lately by Ray Kurzweil. It dictates that at some point in the future, technological evolution will become so rapid that we cannot predict what happens. In an influential paper on the singularity, the mathematician and scifi author Vernor Vinge postulated a competitive singularity hypothesis to that of Good’s and Kurzweil’s: a singularity that consists not of a network of computers, but of a network of people. This is the social singularity. Check out Vinge’s original 1993 paper here.

Right now we are set to address these three interlinked questions:

  1. What is the extended mind?
  2. What is the social singularity?
  3. What kind of EM / SS technology could we build?

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