• 12/18
Susan Schneider

Using biotechnology, scientists can potentially edit the part of our brain genome that prevents cognitive decline. But what if in the process, they permanently change your personality?

Neuroscience and neurotechnology are advancing our knowledge of the brain and how it works. Yet, “brain monitoring and modifying technology is racing ahead and challenging our ability to keep up with the ethical issues these advances raise, as well as what it means to be human,” said Randy Blakely, Ph.D., executive director FAU’s Brain Institute and professor of biomedical science in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

To tackle those questions, FAU’s Brain Institute in collaboration with the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, launched the new Center for the Future Mind under the leadership of founding director, Susan Schneider, Ph.D., the William F. Dietrich distinguished professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Letters. The new Center for the Future Mind brings philosophical and social considerations together with scientific innovations “to help humans better navigate our brave new world,” Schneider said. Schneider comes to FAU from the University of Connecticut where she was a professor of philosophy and cognitive science and the director of the AI, Mind and Society Research Group. She is also the NASA-Baruch S. Blumburg chair and a distinguished scholar chair at the Library of Congress. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American, Smithsonian, the History Channel, and others. She also recently published a book that explores the abilities of AI and the human mind.

“The proper use of AI technology isn’t just a matter of what we can do, it’s a matter of what we should do,” she said, adding that’s the goal behind building the new interdisciplinary center. The center will consider both the science and social impact of emerging technologies with an emphasis on classic philosophical issues.