VIRTUAL MIKE: chatbot

sounds like a plan_DRP

Michael Persinger was a rare bird that flew high and allowed those of us lucky to fly with him glimpses of his unfettered mind “in pursuit of the unknown.”

Dr. Persinger’s generosity as a scientist, teacher & colleague, and a loyal friend is the stuff of legend. He was an extraordinary person. A witty raconteur. Fearless and funny.

YOUR BUCKS + CHATBOT = VIRTUAL MIKE

I need you to invest in the future of smart people, like yourself,  who would delight in interacting with a VIRTUAL MIKE.

doc at his deskYes — VIRTUAL MIKE.

I’m designing an AI/machine learning/neural network platform — a chatbot — built with Dr. P’s huge inventory of electronic & print media, research papers, hours and hours of conversation I recorded and so forth, including legacy interviews (some dating back to the late 1960s). This was an impossible task a couple years ago, but today there are memorial chatbots and text-based apps commercially available for the phone.  

Given the rapid evolution of machine learning, and its requirement for enormous pools of data (Michael Persinger left behind plenty to work with), the very idea of a VIRTUAL MIKE can be a ‘thing’, right?

If you answered “insufficient data,” then laugh with the memory of The Doc saying as much. But it’s true. I can do this. And it starts with digitizing data — lots and lots and lots of data — compiling transcripts, neural network tags, decision-making trees…

This is a ‘phase one’ one year project with a pragmatic deliverable.

On the way to a VIRTUAL MIKE, your investment also supports the building of an attractive, scalable, legacy website archive available 24/7 on the web; it will include (and not be limited to):

  • Audio & Video files with searchable text-based transcripts.
  • Permalinks to Michael Persinger’s astonishing academic output: inclusive of research papers, journal contributions, academic books, and mainstream media appearances (radio, television, films & photography, newspaper, magazine articles and so forth).
  • Locating more of The Doc’s lecture-recordings (you may have one lurking on an old MP3 recorder? let me know), anything & everything before 2016 .
  • Experimental prototype of a VIRTUAL MIKE ‘synthetic audio’ chatbot.  Yes, an audio chatbot.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE

I’m no spring chicken — I will be 66 soon — but I’m still very much in the game (be sure to check out the ‘liner notes’ link, as well). 

doc smilingYou can make a one-time contribution to my secure PayPal account (listed as Appropriate Entertainment) or better still, please consider a monthly stipend at my Patreon pledge-site (click on either link in this paragraph).  

I’m looking to raise a year’s worth of support (transcript stuff, website stuff, computer stuff, geek stuff, you know the drill), so ten bucks a month… Is that too much or not enough to ask? 

With Dr. P in mind, “please proceed” to the contribution links (above) and plug in some data.

It starts with…

The shock of the new.

That’s me in 1997. I’m in a university neuroscience laboratory. I’m having the temporal lobes of my brain stimulated with experimental rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation). And I experienced a strange ‘sense of presence’ — a synthetic ghost.

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FOR DECADES, I’ve investigated unusual stories and encountered things I could never have imagined, let alone believed, had I not been witness to them…

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I need your help to create KNOW MORE SECRETS, an ‘on demand’ collection of my interviews with MICHAEL PERSINGER – hundreds of hours of eclectic conversation – dating back to the 1990s. I’ve also talked to other people ahead of their time — scientists, artists, you name it — iconoclasts of every sort who visited Dr. Persinger’s neuroscience laboratory at Laurentian University in Canada (where I experienced my ‘ghost’).

I RECORDED THE CONVERSATIONS in a variety of formats (analog reels of magnetic tape, audio cassette, DAT, minidisc, video as well) all of which need to be digitized. Most of it has never been broadcast. With your support, the interviews will be organized into a web-delivered collection (more on this in a moment).

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Lightly-edited, you’ll get the ‘insiders view’ of a great mind at work. You’ll also hear remarkable interviews with other big brain thinkers (listen to the audio links below); the spokes of conversation are all connected to a hub and linked — in one way or another — to Persinger’s disruptive insights and adventures in neuroscience.

THE COLLECTION will also include photographs, videos, scientific papers (some unpublished), my journals & scribbles of memory of events at the lab — all of it needs to be digitally scanned, collated, tagged, and made searchable to complement the interviews. I expect this to take at least six months — over the fall, winter, and into the spring of 2018 — by that time I’ll have a better fix on web-hosting costs, bandwidth expenses, maintenance and so forth. Through it all, I will keep you closely informed with a MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, and send ‘alerts’ as content is added to the collection.

ANOTHER GOAL is to organize a SYMPOSIUM around Persinger’s research in 2018; an off-campus event with lab alumni, scientists, and other talented thinkers influenced by his ideas (please consider the top-tier Patreon reward to make this event happen).

RIGHT NOW your donation will be put toward building KNOW MORE SECRETS, a compendium of challenging conversations and the discovery science of Michael Persinger.  You can make a one-time donation to my secure PayPal account (listed as Appropriate Entertainment) or kindly consider a monthly contribution at my Patreon pledge-site (click on either link, please).

Thanks, in advance, for your support!

CLICK on the links to hear short excerpts from the AUDIO INTERVIEWS (streaming off my legacy website Appropriate Entertainment — if it’s slow, please download the mp3):

FRANCIS HUXLEY (2001) 
was in the Amazon and encountered ayahuasca, the plant-derived psychopharmacology long before it was fashionable to do so. The nephew of Aldous Huxley (the author who left us with Brave New World), and the son of evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley, Francis was no stranger to celebrity, but didn’t seem to be interested in it. In fact, he much preferred to let a book do the talking (even though, as you will hear, he is a splendid raconteur). Huxley had just co-edited Shamans Through Time: 500 Years on the Path to Knowledge. Breaking his own rule, he invited me to visit in the summer of 2001 — a terrific evening of conversation at his home in the New Mexico desert.

MARVIN MINSKY (1999) didn’t suffer fools. And when I asked the co-founder of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory about the huge investments in machine ‘consciousness’ — billions of dollars at the time of our conversation  — well, where was it? The conversation might have ended there, but it didn’t…

MICHAEL PERSINGER (2005) thinks the supernatural is science that has yet to be assigned a measurement. His pioneering research and ideas have explained (rather than explained-away) anomalies of the human central nervous system, the brain, and how we think and feel.

INGO SWANN (2000) was loathe to talk about the ‘remote viewing’ experiments he participated in at Stanford Research International; subsidized by the US military, they went on for over a decade — that’s not what I was interested in discussing. Ingo was an accomplished visual artist (he passed away in 2013), and the editor of an important book about the ‘cosmic art’ created by artists during the first half of the 20th century; in many ways, the book illustrates a key to understanding the “frames of reference,” which Ingo says, are necessary to see beyond the senses.

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