Will Computers Teach Us to Be Human?

Lauren Evanow from Loving AI talks about how her counterintuitive research shows that people actually can and will relate to a robot in a way that actually makes them feel better. So that brings up the question “What is it about interacting with another human being that shuts us down”? Our theory is that people judge, she comments.

Evanow explains the electromagnetic nature of our bodies and talks about the research happening to determine if our thoughts effect our biofield.

Evanow talks about her early research into the question of why do people get sick and others don’t. Why do some people heal and others don’t? Why do some recover?

In addition to the Loving AI project, she lends her genius to the Consciousness and Healing Initiative. Here she poses another epic, elemental question to humanity: What is necessary for a healing environment?  How does the mind affect the biofield?

See the full transcript of this fascinating interview below:


Guest: Lauren Evanow
From: Consciousness and Healing Initiative and Loving AI
Host: Zenka

Important Links:
Consciousness and Healing Initiative
Loving AI
LIA Love Intelligence Awakening
Dr. Shamini Jain
Hanson Robotics
Candace Pert
Molecules of Emotion
Beverly Rubik
Ben Goertzel
Transformational Tech Community
Sofia University



Lauren Evanow: Well I’d say basically for the last 20 plus years I’ve been looking at consciousness and how it relates to health and healing and actually society and sustainability.

We hear the comment all the time that Einstein supposedly said “You can’t solve the problem with the same brain that created it.” It’s really the same consciousness that created it.

What is consciousness?

And who are the consciousness leaders of talking about that and can we have consensus what consciousness is? We don’t even have that.

For the last 20 years I’ve been looking at ancient modalities and ideas around consciousness as well as modern ones. And in that trying to find solutions using technology to create that “other brain” or that other conscious or other level of awareness to solve for future generations and a sustainable possibility.

I realized in modeling the human body on computers we were missing something, which I would call soul or spirit — and how to measure that is also another question.

It took years to find scientists and researchers and institutes that are interested in examining what that might be, defining what that might be, and then actually building technology that could influence that and have that adopted into a medical or more scientific endeavor or and or background or have some impact — you know in medicine.

I found Dr. Shamini Jain who is a psychoneuroimmunologist and clinical psychologist who was also interested in starting something and building something that helped to help humanity understand what it is to be human, from a much more energetic point of view. In other words – our skin does not end that our skin. We actually are, energy. And how can we measure that?

So we created something called Consciousness and Healing Initiative to start looking at ways to measure that and the impact on a person. Not just on themselves and their biology but other people’s biology.

And to take some of the woo woo out of some of the devices that we know of that are not FDA approved in and or have any kind of rigorous science to them to help people understand whether or not you know a magnet actually effects of tissues or not or a pulse electromagnetic machine actually does what it says it does.

There’s not a lot of scientific rigor for that and we go all the way into ancient modalities like a ayurvetic healing and acupuncture so we have experts and professors that have been studying that their whole life and looking at the academic rigor that’s there.

The problem is there isn’t a lot of publications around this for the general public to understand because it’s very difficult to replicate so much of this is influenced by how a person’s feeling and thinking it’s hard to measure it. And we don’t really have devices that truly measure it.

There’s a lot more work that’s necessary in the Consciousness and Healing Initiative to build technology to measure the biofield – what we call a biofield which was defined by Beverly Rubik from Berkeley many years ago. She coined that phrase but we still don’t have devices that truly measure that.

But we have devices that we say influence it, but we really don’t know. So that was the initiative around consciousness and healing and why we’ve formed that and we have a great number of scientists and institutes that are helping us with that.

Then beyond the biofield I realized that technology could be used to measure and help us understand how we’re feeling and thinking and how that influences the next moment and how awareness plays a role in that.

And so there’s something called the Transformational Tech Community up here in Palo Alto to Sofia University got involved with them and we’re looking at devices that are measuring things from brain waves to heart waves and energy from the heart. HeartMath and those kinds of people and trying to look at how we can build technology to help people evolve their understanding of what it is to be human.

So that that’s also happening and then I got involved with building technology that uses the breath as a means to measure how a person’s feeling and thinking through frequency and mapping that out both in visual and sound feedback. We call it physio feedback so people could actually control in real time how they’re feeling and thinking and have that feedback re basically, iterated so you could learn from it.

And then it got through me into something called artificial intelligence. And I am now the current CEO of a company called LIA Love Intelligence Awakening which was spawned out of the research done by Dr. Julia Mossbridge a whole group of PHD’s looking at whether or not a human being would relate to a robot and feel love, unconditional love or not.

 And we did that through Sophia the robot which is done by Hanson Robotics out of Hong Kong and SingularityNET at an OpenCog saw our experiments showed that people actually can and will relate to a robot in a way that actually makes them feel better. 

So that research is really interesting because it wasn’t what we thought it was counterintuitive. We thought that devices or especially a robot would actually turn people off. But in fact it’s the opposite. 

And the Department of Defense knows this as well they’re using it for PTSD and veterans with a vis-a-vi an avatar called Ellie. And they’re having very good success with treating people with veterans with PTSD. They’d rather talk to a device and a therapist an avatar therapist then another human being.

So that brings up the question “What is it about interacting with another human being that shuts us down”?

And also what do we need to do as a human being relating to another human being -which we are social. How do we actually increase are feeling of connectedness as opposed to the increase in loneliness we’re now experiencing and seen in the data with especially with younger people from the ages of 18-24 we’ve seen a tripling of the effects of the incidence of loneliness which drives things like depression, anxiety, addictions and even leading to suicide.

So we have we’re looking at ways of addressing that through this company we’re just newly formed as a startup to bring the technology that we built to the Loving AI project to the public and the masses to see if we can actually solve for loneliness.

Zenka: That’s fascinating. What is your gut feeling? Do people feel shame with other people? Or do people want to be private why is the robot better for a person with PTSD?

Lauren Evanow: Yeah, it’s an avatar. But, yes we did robots, then we built avatars.

Our theory is that people judge. And as you know right out of the gate as infants we watch how our parents or our caretakers are reacting to that moment and we are looking at facial expressions and body cues to whether we’re loved or not.

It’s a conditioning. So this is a theory – but I think that people are not as open and willing to listen to another person to actually love or basically listen unconditionally – to actually sit with a person not judge – and allow them to be who they are without throwing in their biases.

We can program and build technologies that are non biased and nonjudgmental and actually mirror another human being through their their eye movements and their facial expressions. 

We can actually know how they’re feeling and thinking this is already being done by in a more commercially oriented way to sell us stuff and where we’re looking at how people can actually increase their feelings of self-love and worthiness through a device as opposed to selling them something. So we’re using the same type of ideologies and technology to do that.

Zenka: Tell us a little bit about the SingularityNET and OpenCog – and what they’re doing at Hansen Robotics and how you see that infrastructure developing for…

Lauren Evanow: So SingularityNET and OpenCog created by Ben Goertzel brilliant human being and very loving, loves humanity.

I don’t know a heck of a lot because I’m fairly new to the organization but my understanding and my work with them so far is that everything’s open sourced and we can use and build technology that actually helps us build artificial general awareness and contribute to that.

I think it’s important for people that have that capacity and willingness to share a compassionate code coding practice to build something that actually isn’t built for the demise of the human race which some science authors or sci-fi authors want us to believe. 

You know Hollywood wants us to believe that AI is not great for us and in some cases they’re correct. I mean we’re not using it for good. We’re using it to commercial purposes and to actually manipulate and and to cause somebody make a decision based on an emotional cue that’s built within the AI code to do something namely buy something.

So the idea of OpenCog and SingularityNET is to come together as a as a as in the capacity of coding to build something that’s a little bit different more loving and more compassion and more sustainable than that.

Zenka: I wanted to ask you – back to the biofield. Can you explain a little bit about how our bodies are made up of energy and how we are influenced by other energies — or in a room — or cell phone noise — you know the other energies breakdown since we can’t see it. I learned a lot about energy in school. What can you tell us about the energy of our bodies and the energy of how it mixes with other things.

Lauren Evanow: You could say that everything is energy and that’s why I like to say that we’re actually electromagnetic dirt walking around in a body governed by a consciousness. And in fact you know it’s we really are dirt. There’s no denying that.

But it’s electromagnetic in nature. So our heart is electromagnetic.  Our brain response the heart- in fact the heart informs the brain before the brain actually makes a decision. There’s actually the vagus nerve and things like that are a more direct line you can get into  biophotons and talk about light how we’re actually light as well and water carrying the messages of that light more than our nervous system.

But these are things that are not well understood. Acupuncture is not well understood and the vedic sciences are not well understood in the Western mind. But our belief is that where we go beyond our skin there’s a field generated as a result of the electromagnetic influences of the heart and there seems to us like HeartMath spent a fair amount of time and money and research hours looking at that and measuring that.

There are probably more the experts to talk about that in Consciousness and Healing Initiative we have biophysicist looking at ways of measuring this and are experts at looking at different devices that influence our fields and usually electromagnetic in nature.

There’s no denying that electromagnetic because we have medical devices that measure that brain wave technology, heart technology that measures our heart beats and measures our the pulses of the heart that’s all electromagnetic and the biggest force in the body, in fact and the biggest field in the body.

That’s pretty well – the basics of it, the physics of it, is that we are electromagnetic — and whether or not we can influence that with our thoughts is where we’re curious. 

We believe we can because we see a cascade of biology that happens in our neurophysiology that happens neurotransmitters that happen when we see a image or somebody tells a joke. Our whole physiology changes as a result of wave forms, or you know basically light or sound. How we interpret that actually influences our biology.

How we’re thinking and it affects our biology as well. If we can measure that — that’s what we’re trying to do, is measure that influence and and see if we can actually control for or be a little bit more aware of what that does to us on a day to day basis, because it is energy.

Zenka: You talk about this moment this quantum moment where you may be able to short take choice in your life and the moment between now and the moment between the next moment. What do you feel like – aside from the technology – aside from the research – how do you get there how do people understand that opportunity that happens and what is that idea?

Lauren Evanow: I think you’re referring to the stillness that one can find, when we manage our thoughts. So, meditation techniques – things like that. I think that’s what you’re referring to.

And in that moment of nothingness of stillness – all potential is there. And it’s an awareness in some regards. When you start then employing the brain and grey matter to make a decision making a choice in that moment of stillness you you realize there’s nothing and you either go one way or the other and that’s the dualistic sort of aspect of the mind.

But we’re moving more towards a triune understanding of neutrality. There is right and wrong, there is black and white and then there just is. And getting to that isness state is what meditation can help us with, or forms of meditation forms of dance, or ecstatic dance, forms of yoga.

There’s different methodologies, ancient methodologies, to get a sense of those states of awareness where we’re actually realize we’re at choice point or zero point at all times and we’re making choices not based on our condition but rather based on our level of consciousness or awareness. 

Getting there is you know what it’s gurus aspired and end up – that’s why they’re called gurus. They can come to that place where they can manifest or create from that place of possibility, infinite possibility. Getting there is very, can be arduous. But there are methodologies that are being explored scientifically to do that in a faster way.

Zenka: So you’ve devoted your entire life to trying to quantify as you said this connection between — it’s interesting that you’re connecting healing with consciousness because if we I guess you’re making that conclusion if we know who we are, then we make better choices, I guess.

Lauren Evanow: Well what’s true is it’s. Thank you for the compliment I’m actually really old so it’s not my whole life but earlier in my academic endeavors I was a physiologist and looking at the question of why people get sick and others don’t.

And back in those days we didn’t even understand that there were actually some people that don’t get sick. We didn’t have the genome mapped yet. So the idea that there was a genome and that we were, you know, not much more complicated than earthworm – that was revolutionary. 

But it was more the question of why do people get sick and others don’t? And when people do get sick why do they heal and others don’t? Why do some recover? 

And so looking at that took me off into an exploration of what it is to be human and we were was missing the piece of psychoneuroimmunology which was just being born at that time and it was a woman named Candace Pert that really inspired me. She wrote the book, Molecules of Emotion which she had just discovered the endorphin receptors.

And this was fascinating to me to realize that we have to have receptors in order for neurotransmitters to be integrated into the cell and influence the cell through the cell membrane and that the idea that these molecules of emotion you know sort of cascade effect throughout the body.

And this was new. And in fact it was the Scottish that discovered in. They call them enkephalins, but Americans want to call them endorphins typical academic race to who found what first named what first – is typical. But that’s that’s sort of why I got curious.

But in that time I had experiences as an athlete- college level all American where I would have experiences where I would not feel like I was in my body. And I got curious about how performance actually was affected by my mental state.

Not just you know I’m going to run my run my fastest or perform to my best but moreover not actually having a sense of pain in my body. And during performance and how that happened was totally by fluke I happened to teach myself meditation almost kid and by accident.

And I learned how to control my heart rate vis-a-vis pulling my ear back on my pillow. And I still do that today and I like to muck around with any kind of technology that wants to measure my heart rate because I can control it. And I didn’t know that that was a form of meditation. It took me years to figure that out.

And I was curious about how people, why people get sick and what that look like physiological point of view not just all of the biochemistry of it. But if they could influence their state of being such that they could get better.

And what that led me into was a study of various traditions, ancient traditions, and which mind matter interactions became pretty apparent.

We hadn’t really gone there yet in terms of the yoga movement in North America. And meditation movement that’s fully underway and the idea of mindfulness which is clear, clearly employable as a means to bring ourselves to a state of ease and grace.

Zenka: Yeah the ancient piece is so interesting so it’s as if we refined it in practice in ancient times. We forgot about it, and now we are baby stepping our way in to re-learning it and then trying to measure it somehow, in a quantitative way.

Lauren Evanow: Science makes me laugh. All we are doing is discovering what already exists. We cannot create a blade of grass. We can work with it. We can manipulate it. We can transform it, but we cannot create it. We work with the tools that are made available vis-a-vis this physical reality but we don’t create anything – we create from it but we don’t create something new. 

We just we’re just measuring something that already exists and so we’re very in a rudimentary stage around the biofield measuring the field effect of the body and how thoughts affect our body and how feelings affect our body and how we met manage that. 

We’re very much in the very beginning stages of measuring it but once we understand that that actually has a huge influence on us. Stress is a great example. You know, over time you’re in a stressful situation we do know the body does break down. So it’s pretty straightforward, but how do you manage that, and how do you measure that? That’s where we’re interested in going with the Consciousness and Healing Initiative.

Zenka: That’s fascinating. So the way we think about being sick in our emotion that we give to it is affecting our physical but possibly the ability to heal.

Lauren Evanow: Yes the ability to heal. What are the what are the components necessary for a healing environment? I mean there’s one thing to cure, it’s another thing to heal.

So in allopathic medicine I have no problem if I broke my arm, the first thing I’m going to do is go to an emergency ward and ask them to set it in. And you know brilliant brilliant, medical means to solve for acute situation but chronic is a whole other set of problems and not just chronic and physical ailments but also mental ailments.

How does chronic stress affect our bodies? How does chronic pain affect our sense of being and our sense of wellness and how and how well we are able to function as a human being and not only just individually but socially?

My belief is that if you were in a flood and you were warring with your neighbor for many many years and their dog peed in your yard or you whatever your hate was for your neighbor.

If you were in a dire situation in which there was a flood or an earthquake or something in which that was life threatening and you were safe but your neighbor was floating by in a river on top of his roof or whatever drowning you would hand. You would put your hand out you would automatically put your hand up you would not let that person perish no matter your hatred no matter your your your ideology around how they’re wrong and your right to whatever the human really is a social animal, does care, but we’ve forgotten all of that.

And I’m hoping to uncover that basic love we have for each other and the basic need we have for each other and to remember that in a day to day moment to moment basis and not wait for a crisis not wait for the moment in which you know somebody is suffering greatly such that they could perish and unnecessarily. But that’s where we are right now.

We have such disparity. I’m hoping to to rekindle that understanding of what it is to be human which is actually to love, to care, to be compassionate, to be kind, to be gentle with each other and forget all the hatred we have absorbed through thousands of years or thousands of years of ideology and dogma and actually to come fundamentally to what it is to be human which is simply love.

Zenka: Very interesting. Thank you for joining us today. How can people find you and how can they help you in your endeavors in any way or support you in the research that you’re doing?

Lauren Evanow: Thank you for asking. Consciousness and Healing Initiative is http://www.Chi.is it is so you can see it’s a nonprofit that is dedicated to understanding them biofield in mind matter interaction.

And if you’re interested in the artificial intelligence component of what we’re building through the Loving AI project that http://www.lovingai.org and you can read about how you Sophia the robot to interact with human beings and see if we could we can elicit a feeling of love, unconditional love, with a device.

Zenka: Thank you so much.

Lauren Evanow: Thank you.

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