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Human Psychology in the High-Tech Era

Poppy Crum's Talk on Tech is Hopeful and Forward-Thinking

— June 20, 2018 — Keynote Trends
Poppy Crum — a neuroscientist and technologist by profession, leverages her understanding of machine learning and sensory data science to deliver a talk on tech that outlines the immense possibilities within the context of the digital age. A chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories and an adjunct professor at Standford University, the speaker implements an interactive and science-specific approach to her keynote.

Poppy Crum's main objective is to create new devices and algorithms that improve human capabilities and understandings, as well as open up emotive pathways of communication internally and externally. During her talk on tech, she seeks to address the common worry that by integrating devices into lifestyles, we lose agency.

The speaker focuses on the unconscious and intuitive responses living beings transmit in their day-to-day lives. By showing a video of a spider responding to audio stimuli and a human pupil dilating and contracting with the influx of information, Poppy Crum exemplifies how we extend ourselves in the world and how that gives a glimpse into our internal states. Both responses are instances where the living organism had no agency over the action. Poppy Crum also conducts a real-time science experiment during her talk on tech by tracking the carbon dioxide exhaled by the audience as a response to another set of videos she plays.

The talk on tech brings to the forefront that devices and digital algorithms can provide insights and make predictions for our mental and physical health, our attraction to one another and so forth. With the hopes that developments in this sphere can help people "bridge the emotional and cognitive divide," Poppy Crum argues that what we would be sacrificing is well-worth the treat.