An exciting announcement from the FreeSWITCH Community!

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Introducing the Penrose Institute

Written By: Abbi Minessale

The FreeSWITCH community is excited to share that James Tagg, a longstanding fixture in the voip community, is a founding member of the Penrose Institute. James Tagg is an inventor and entrepreneur. A pioneer of touchscreen technology, he has founded several companies, including Truphone, the world’s first global mobile network. He holds numerous patents, filed in over a hundred countries. He studied Physics and Computer Science at Manchester University, Design at Lancaster University and Engineering at Cambridge University. He lives with his family on a farm in Kent, England.

Tagg and his team are asking groundbreaking questions in hopes to better understand the universe we live in and to pave the way for new technology. Tagg and his team explain that “the Penrose Institute is inspired by the scientific philosophy and work of Roger Penrose. It seeks to understand the human brain, creativity and the interplay between quantum mechanics and general relativity.” The Penrose Institute is unique because it celebrates the problem solving capabilities of people in different backgrounds working together. The institute will focus on studying consciousness, creativity, and physics.

Photo credit: Are the Androids Dreaming Yet?: Amazing Brain. Human Communication, Creativity & Free Will, James Tagg
Tagg and his team are fascinated by the unknown mechanics of human consciousness. The Penrose Institute plans to explore the boundary between human intelligence and artificial intelligence and if that boundary exists. How can we tell the difference between a creative human being and a machine that simply looks conscious? Tagg and his team plan to find out. In order to answer these questions, the Institute needs a new type of physics. We know that the human mind is not a computer so therefore it must be a more sophisticated machine. In order to understand what goes on inside our heads, the Penrose Institute will try to blend quantum mechanics and general relativity together to see whether there’s an interaction between the two. They are looking to see if they can find a machine that would compute more powerfully than a regular desktop machine and explain how humans are conscious and creative. Tagg and his team find the experience of having a human mind exciting and they are determined to discover what makes it special.

The Ultimate Goal of the Penrose Institute is to build a synthetic neuron by understanding the quantum mechanical mechanisms of neuronal activity. These mechanisms will be programmed for computational operations and non-computable operations. Construction of a programmable computer synthesized from living neurons will provide insight into the operation of the human brain, including consciousness and creativity. If the brain uses new quantum physics to enable consciousness, then a scientific understanding of this physics will influence the design of future computers. The FreeSWITCH team is interested to see what neuron computers will look like, hopefully they won’t be as fickle as some of the human beings we know!

The FreeSWITCH community is eager to keep up with all of the cutting edge research that the Penrose Institute is conducting. We hope to see how this research affects the way future technologies look and how those technologies might affect us in the telephony world!