Religion is almost as old as humanity itself. But so, some would argue, is technology. How have these two fields grown together, influenced each other, and affected the shape of how human beings relate to the world outside themselves? Digital devices are changing the way we work and relate to each other, and potentially even changing how our brains develop and function. What does that mean for the way we conceive of the Divine? Further, at the core of both religion and technology is the question: what does it mean to be human? If technology is not just something humans create but rather part of who we are, what does this look like with regards to 21st century technologies like Artificial Intelligence? Join religious scholar Karla Suomala and Consciousness Hacking founder Mikey Siegel for this in-depth discussion on the nuanced relationship between technology, spirituality, and humanity.
Karla Suomala has taught courses and conducted research in a wide variety of areas including interfaith engagement, world religions, sacred texts, and the connections between religion and technology throughout history. She has been a Henry Luce Foundation Fellow in religious pluralism, a scholar in residence at Tantur Ecumentical Institute in Jerusalem, and an editor and contributor to a variety of journals and magazines including CrossCurrents, Inter-Religious Studies, and Tikkun. In addition, Suomala presents regularly at conferences and meetings across the country. After 15 years as a professor of religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Suomala moved to the Bay Area and is currently a visiting scholar at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA.
Mikey Siegel is a robotics engineer turned consciousness hacker. He envisions a present and future where science and technology support psychological, emotional and spiritual flourishing. Where our devices not only connect us to information, but also connect us to ourselves and each other, acting as a catalyst for individual and collective awakening. He is currently teaching at Stanford University, founder of Consciousness Hacking, BioFluent Technologies, and the Transformative Technology Conference. He received an MS in robotics from the MIT Media Lab.