Guest AuthorPavan Soni

Inflexion Point, July 2023

By | Dr Pavan Soni | IIM-B Innovation Evangelist

Sharing another edition of Inflexion Point. Here, we look at how brain waves sync when people interact, the way AI is transforming both science and creativity, the power of mental models, and how the sleep-onset period is the sweet-spot of creativity.

Hope you find it useful.
Collective neuroscience is a rapidly growing field of research which states that when people converse or share an experience, their brain waves synchronize. Neurons in corresponding locations of the different brains fire at the same time, creating matching patterns, as seen among students in a class, listeners in a music concern, or lovers. But the mechanics aren’t totally clear. But it’s evident that without synchrony and the deeper forms of connection that lie beyond it, we may be at greater risk of mental instability and poor physical health. (Source: Scientific American)
Nvidia is building an AI-powered digital twin, called Earth-2, that will predict the next two weeks of weather tens of thousands of times faster and more accurately than current forecasting methods. The US Food and Drug Administration has already cleared 523 devices that use AI—75% of them for use in radiology. In each of the steps of scientific discoveries — conduct background research, identify a hypothesis, test it through experimentation, analyze the collected data, and reach a conclusion — AI can play a critical role. The future would see ‘self-driving labs’, freeing up your time to collaborate. (Source: MIT Tech Review)
While democratizing innovation or open innovation has a lot of merit in bringing fresh and a large number of ideas on the table, often there are challenges around how to marshall such ideas to productive outcomes. AI can play an important role in the following five ways: 1) encourage divergent thinking by generating unusual combinations; 2) challenge expertise bias, such as design fixation and functional fixedness; 3) assist in idea evaluation on dimensions like novelty, feasibility, specificity, impact, and workability; 4) support idea refinement and 5) facilitate collaboration with and among users. (Source: HBR)
Mental models are simpler means by which we understand the complexity around us. The more models you have—the bigger your toolbox—the more likely you are to have the right models to see reality. As an expert in one domain, for you to understand stuff in other domains, you need a latticework of mental models. In this article, you come across over 100 important mental models in fields ranging from business, physics, chemistry, biology, economics to systems thinking and numeracy. (Source: Farnam Street)
The legend has it that to generate creative ideas Edison would nap in an armchair while holding a steel ball. As he started to fall asleep and his muscles relaxed, the ball would strike the floor, waking him with insights into his problems. The sleep-onset period is a transitional phase where we are not quite awake, but also not deeply asleep, and is the sweet spot of creativity. The creative boosting phase is the moderate levels of brain waves at a slow frequency known as alpha, associated with relaxation, and low levels of delta waves, a hallmark of deep sleep. (Source: Science)
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