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Stubbornly Persistent Illusion: Part 1

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All that we see or seem
is but a dream within dream
                                       – Edger Allen Poe

Consciousness, you might have heard this heavy word somewhere. Conciousness is a primary quality of reality. And it can be considered primarily in two distinct ways. The first is capacity of experience, is present in all the things. The second way in which conciousness is the fact that we never directly experience the world around us. All we ever know is the content of conciousness, the thoughts, feelings, perception and sensation that appear in the mind. This one fact leads us to rethinking of the relation between Conciousness and Reality.
We never experience the physical world directly, this idea continues to intrigue many philosophers. The most notable was Eighteenth century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who drew clear distinction between the forms that appeared in the mind- what he called the phenomenon ( a Greek word meaning, “that which appears to be”) – and the world that gives rise this perception, which he called the noumenon ( meaning “that which is apprehended”). All we know, Kant insisted, is the ‘phenomenon’. The noumenon, the “thing in itself “, remains forever beyond our knowing.
Before Kant, one philosopher, John Locke, had argued that all the knowledge is based on the perception, caused by actions of the external objects on the senses. But whereas he thought that perception was passive, the mind is simply reflecting the images received by the senses. A year after Kant proposed that the mind is an active participant in the process, continuously shaping our experience of the world. Reality is something we each construct for ourselves.
Reality is not only reality. We know only our perception and that nothing exist apart from our perceptions, then the difficult questions arises, what happen to the world when no one was perceiving it? There is an underlying reality, but we never know ot directly. All we can ever know is how it appears in our mind as per Kant.
Kant concluded this without any of our current scientific knowledge. Today we know a lot more about how brain constructs its picture of reality.

When you look at your phone like as of now, light reflected from the phone forms an image of phone on retina of your eye. Photo sensitive cells in the retina discharge electron, triggering the electro-chemical impulses that travel down the optic nerve to the visual cortex of your brain. Then data undergoes processing like computer that detects the shapes, patterns, colour and movements. Then your brain (and mine too) integrates this data and create it’s own reconstruction of external world. Finally, an image of your phone appears in your conciousness. How does this neutral activity gives rise to the experience of conciousness ? Is the tough question which we already touched earlier. Even though we have no idea how an image appears, it does happen. The conciousness experience of seeing the phone. Similar things happens with other senses. A vibrating string of guitar creates pressure waves in the air. These waves stimulate minute hairs in the ear, which sends electrical impulse to the brain. The data then analyzed processed and results in the experience of hearing music. Cells in the skin send messages to the brain leads to experience touch, pressure, texture,etc
In short all that we perceive has been reconstructed from sensory data. Famous scientist Erwin Schrödinger have quoted on this beautifully,  “Every man’s world picture is and always remains a construct of his mind and cannot be proved to have any other existence.In our dreams we are aware of sights, sounds and sensations happening around us. We are aware of our body. We think, reason. Feel fear, anger, pleasure, love. Experience other people as separate individuals, speaking ,interacting with us. The dream is appears to be happening out there in the world around us. And when we awaken, we realize that it was all just a dream- a creation of mind.
When we say this all just dream, we are referring to the fact that experience was not based on the physical reality. It was created from memories, hopes, fears and other factors. When we are in the waking state, our image of the world is based on the sensory information drawn from physical surroundings. Truth is, in both the conditions, it is all our creation of mind.

Our impression that we are perceiving the world is mostly very convincing. Visual illusions are good examples to reveal the cracks in our construction of reality. How things occur when brain misinterprets the data and misleading the reality.
Let’s see this hack with simple example. 
The following drawing of a cube we all have seen many times but is it a cube seen from above, or a cube seen from below?


Most people’s first response is from “above”. This is because we are used to seeing rectangular corners from above -tables, boxes, TV sets, computer, etc. Less often do we see such objects from below. But if you put your attention on the top line and bring that forward in your mind’s eye, you can change your perception and turn it into different perspective of cube.
The most fascinating aspect of this illustration is not that you can see it in two different ways, but that, whichever way you see it, you see a three-dimensional cube. You are actually seeing 12 lines on a flat plane. Yet your experience is of an object with depth that is 3D. This depth may appear real but it is actually an interpretation added by your brain.


“Things are not what they seem to be,
nor are they otherwise”

Hope this made you think and scribbled your thoughts a little. Tell us in the comments what twists your brain???. In the next part we will see unknowable reality,like what happens if we are not observing or looking at the world? What is time? What is the distinction between Past, Present and Future ? If not perception, is it an illusion?….I’m having a long ride for you, just pack your seatbelts hold it tight….and ready for the ride???

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Career in artificial intelligence.

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Career in artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI): IT is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. If you consider career in artificial intelligence in India, there are handful of big companies that are currently into it. Artificial Intelligence is a revolutionary technology that’s changing the world by empowering industries with smart solutions.
Artificial intelligence jobs gives many opportunities for the technology and it’s development , you can explore technology and science in artificial intelligence……
In artificial intelligence there are many jobs option and career growth..
• Data Mining Analyst
• Machine Learning Researcher
• Working in the Military
• Robotics Programmer
• Video Game Programmer
• Software Engineer

• Big Data Engineer
• · Business Intelligence Developer
• · Data Scientist
• · Machine Learning Engineer
• · Research Scientist
• · AI Data Analyst
• · Product Manager
• · AI Engineer
Scope of artificial intelligence in different areas

  1. In the field of education
    Educational software can be adapted to student needs
    Artificial intelligence can automate basic activities in education, like grading

Students could get additional support from AI tutors
AI-driven programs can give students and educators helpful feedback
Data powered by AI can change how schools find, teach, and support students.

Institute which offers Artificial Intelligence

  1. Tech stack
  2. IIT
  3. Chandigarh University
  4. Digitech Vidya
  5. National Institute of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence plays an increasingly important role in the functioning of the world around us and continues to advance and improve the quality of life in multiple industrial environments. Anyone seeking a career in this field and willing to strive for a high level of education will be quickly accepted in this constantly growing, high-paying industry.

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Human Evolution: Bionic Eye

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As constantly evolving species humans are redefining their own evolution by interconnecting the natural and synthetic world. Bionic technology is the major pay role that is inter-winding Human-Machine interface. Today let us know about one of the applications of this bionic technology; Visual Prosthesis or Bionic eye.

A visual prosthesis or bionic eye is a medical device that is intended to restore functional vision to those who are suffering from partial and complete blindness. 

eSight is one the visual prosthesis that uses a video camera to capture activities that are happening in front of the user in real time, it also allows the user to control the video processing and then through a series of advanced optics and very high resolution display it presents the video in such a way that the user can see the activities happening in front of him/her. eSight is developed for the people who are legally blind ( the person who’s vision is 20/200 is considered to be legally blind). 

This is Yvonne Felix an eSight 3 user. Her eyes have a blind spot that covers 98% of her visual field. She was 8 years old when doctor realised that Yvonne has a macular degeneration, over the years she lost her vision. But thanks to eSight that helped her to restore her vision

But the product like this is useful for the people that are partially blind or legally blind. 

There are over 39 million people in the world completely blind. Second sight a U.S based medical product company is working in their next generation product called the Orion® Visual Cortical Prosthesis System, an investigational device intended to bring artificial vision to individuals who are blind due to a wide range of causes, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, optic nerve injury or disease, or forms of cancer and trauma. Their previous product Argus® II, approved by the FDA for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, has been implanted in 350+ individuals worldwide, restoring functional, artificial vision by renewing light perception and transforming the daily experience in the majority of individuals.

Orion® Visual Cortical Prosthesis System is goggle shaped with a camera setup. One end of the goggle is connected to a Video Processing Unit (VPU) where the user can adjust parameters like zoom, contrast etc. The processed video signal is sent to the other end of the goggle where a transmitting antenna is attached that transmits the signal as well as power to the implanted or receiving antenna in the brain. 

The signal then reaches an electronic circuit that decodes the signal received from the antenna and sends simulation pulses to the electrode ray which is implanted in the visual cortex between the halves of the brain. Once the implant is in position it requires a thorough and complex calibration which involves making changes in electrodes individually and mapping where the user could perceive vision. After the device is properly setup one will experience flashing lights, but later would experience vision.

The company is working with 6 blind patients to test the prototype. During the calibration of 12 month one of a patient got a seizure, from the result released in June 2019. The product is going through lots of development which may take little longer before entering the market.

The product would be a life-changing for the sightless once entered the market. Evolution of humans hasn’t stop just because we are here, we are changing the evolution by interconnecting natural and synthetic life.

– Abhishek Sharma

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