My name is Ruben Boyd, and I am a second year graduate in the two year Cognitive Science Research track of the Artificial Intelligence Master at the Free University of Amsterdam (VU). My roots lie in Psychology, and in 2014 I obtained my Bachelor of Science at the VU. Before I started with my current graduate track, it took quite a chunk of my gap year to figure out in which direction I would like to pursue my (academic) career. As a part of my Bachelor, I chose the minor Clinical Psychology, which sadly left me unsatisfied with its proposed methodology it uses to view and treat mental disorder. For this reason, a more analytical approach of the workings of the brain seemed reasonable and attractive for me.

My main research interests lie in human (altered) states of consciousness, free will, mental disorder and maladaptive human behaviour  in general. How to tackle mental disorder and dysfunctional human behaviour is an incredibly hard problem in our current age, but even more so in the future, as depression, anxiety and suicide are all on the rise. How all of this manifests within the boundaries and developments of global modern society has received my largest share of attention as of lately.

With the ever increasing influence of data-driven systems on our societies, I am incredibly interested in the ethical and societal implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is of crucial importance to monitor what the actual impact of these new technologies is. Is technology making us more human, more clever, or more dumb and hive-like? How will humanity cope with wide spread automation and possible sentient artificial intelligence? Are we killing human imagination and attention by giving every 8 year old a smartphone and stocking it primarily with entertainment? How do we fight search engine and social network based information bubbles?

The human psyche is the battleground of the 21st centuries cognitive capitalism. It are exactly these philosophical questions that deserve critical answers, as they are shoved under the table by tech-Utopians making a quick buck, undermining our psychological health.

Besides these research interests, I am interested in solving problems in education and society, following (international) politics, economics and occasionally attending a party or two.

Contact me via rubenjulianboyd@gmail.com or leave a reply.


Ruben Boyd

(Click on my CV to see my credentials)


2 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi Ruben Julian,

    Here is Adriana – triggered by what you write about clinical psychology. Only recently I found some studies indicating that in mental hospitals, once you are in, you are regarded as belonging, by the staff at least. Only the “other patients” do utter some doubt from time to time. They seem to recognize what is sane and what is less adequate. I think Laing – wellknowm anti- psychiatrist from the seventies, as you do know, is the inspiration behind these studies. All the best in all your endeavors. Looking forward to your essay on personal development and psychedelica. From what I hear psychedelica are not toys, and some minds get lost. The chemistry of the mind is fragile and synapses are delicate too. Also we know that the mind is going through a lot of changes in adolescence until it settles between 23 and 27/ 29 years of age.
    Do you know Michael Nehls? He writes about keeping the mind healthy, for the elderly, but what he says is very important for youngsters too. Also Laura Huxley, the wife of Aldous, who wrote about optimizing health : Lesson for life and love. Very simple , very adequate, but it only works if it is being d o n e. You might find it somewhere at Boekwinkeltjes. It is completely sold out.
    Laura was a musical prodigy before she met and married Aldous, and later studied mental health and joined the human potential movement. Her recommandations are sound. Love , Adriana

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