Saturday, January 28, 2023

Sadness, Anger, Joy, Love, and Fear

Sensorium is an experience. An experience that will make you pause, question the norms, evoke senses and blur the growing boundaries between humans and technology. Sensorium is an organism’s perception, where it experiences, perceives, and interprets the emotional status of the brain. It is the product of many nights of questions, lots of paper scribbles, and an ever-growing urge to know why the world functions a certain way. Abhijeet Satani, a neuroscientist has spent years questioning the norms, and relativity of the human brain functioning towards certain emotions at a particular time with science.

In this experiment, he used Electroencephalography (EEG), a sensor that measures electrical activity in the brain, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), MR imaging to measure the tiny changes in blood flow that take place in an active part of the brain. He tracked the movement of various waves in the brain while performing different activities like listening to music, sharing wisdom, exercising, and with drugs.

While processing the raw data and waves, based on the required output of the project, either the brainwaves (a clever idea) are assigned a variable (Colour, shape, or object) or they are compressed into sets and reduced to the dominant emotions. The raw brain data are filtered and processed which gets to 7 dominant emotions – Joy, sadness, anger, love, fear, and surprise.

The emotions are ranked in terms of intensity with a level of confidence based on which the system picks the first 5 emotions and proportionally assigns a unique shade of color to each particle of the system. Around 1, 00,000 particles are released on a projection canvas and their movements are guided by a series of an algorithm to recognize relationships between vast amounts of data that is written on the raw EEG data.

With the help of all this data, Satani created sensorium to bring life to his ambitions of building a community around his research. “There is no better way than creating NFTs based on blockchain technology and creating smart contracts (self-executing programs) around them. Basically, a smart contract works automatically when predetermined conditions are met for e.g. If you insert INR 100 and then press B4 on the vending machine, then the machine dispenses the package of cookies held in the B4 slot,” he adds.  However, the aim is to not monetize them but to make the world a better place by blurring the boundaries between humans and technology. It not only makes the process more transparent but also more accessible at a globally acclaimed level.

We can hope that it can make a difference with these donations and impact lives through sensorium.

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