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At the peak of WWII, two disruptive inventions that could impact the whole world emerged and changed humanity forever. One had thousands of scientists involved, while the other had just one man. One was atomic technology, and the other was LSD. In 1943, Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman discovered the mind-expanding properties of LSD, the most powerful psychedelic substance to be synthesized up until that time. In contrast with the destructive power of the atomic bomb, the so-called classic psychedelics — psilocybin, mescaline, DMT, and LSD — pushed the limits of the human mind and imagination, triggering other scientific advancements. For instance, there are at least 2 Nobel Prize winners(1,2) who admitted to being influenced by LSD when they had their prize-winning idea.
Psychedelics walk hand in hand with other technologies, and one of the most groundbreaking innovations of our time is AI. In this article, we discuss the intersections between AI and Psychedelics. Let’s have a look at how they contribute to more meaningful trips that we can integrate into our lives.
Bridging the Gap
Depression, anxiety, and PTSD are just a few examples of issues that psychedelics are helping to alleviate in recent research. The mystical experience has been linked to improvement in life satisfaction and seems to trigger a lifelong process of integrating. Nevertheless, navigating the invisible worlds of the psychedelic experience can be extremely challenging. Understanding the psychedelic experience is hard. This is heightened by the fact that the experience itself seems almost impossible to describe with words. AI researchers are trying to use machine learning technology to bridge the gap between altered states of consciousness. This helps us get a better grip on the “other side.”
AI For Discovering New Psychedelic Drugs
Companies like Mindstate are betting on AI to help them develop new psychedelic drugs. AI produces novel compounds tailored to the effects and side effects that they need. When creating new molecules, understanding the effects and adverse effects is mostly a trial-and-error which can be quite time-consuming. By analyzing a myriad of known protein structures and rearranging them in novel ways, biotech companies are using AI to create new compounds that act predictably.
This technology allows humans to produce compounds that would take decades to produce otherwise. By being able to design our compounds, we have a better grip on the effects of the psychedelic experience and can tailor the psychedelic experience to the patient’s needs.
AI To Visualise Psychedelic Hallucinations
Image generation using AI has given the broad public the power to create powerfully complex images with just a click of a button. Scientists have pushed this tool further by using it to generate images that simulate the visual hallucinations of a classic psychedelic, DMT. Using deep neural networks to illustrate how psychedelics act on the human brain can help us have a richer view of the mechanisms behind the mystical experience and psychedelic integration.
Being able to generate images that mimic common hallucinations during a psychedelic ceremony can be a great way for beginners to prepare and manage their expectations. For scientists, having software that can simulate a brain state during a psychotic episode or a psychedelic ceremony can help us conceptualize the neuroscience behind these events.
Generated Playlist For The Trip
Music can serve as a safety net during a psychedelic ceremony. A melody is a guide and guardian, this is why choosing the music is a key process of preparation. Companies like Wavepaths specialize in producing AI-generated playlists that are adapted to guide the psychonaut from pre-onset until the return from the ceremony. This allows for a dynamic control of the environment of the ceremony via subtle changes in the music.
Every ceremony journey is different. AI can help us trip better by generating music and playlists that evoke a subjective feeling, emotion, or psychedelic theme. With this control, the psychonaut can navigate the mental landscape to whatever objective they have with the help of music.
Mapping The Psychedelic Experience and Human Mind
The Internet is a great tool for psychonauts to share their psychedelic experiences. Reading trip reports can be a great way to prepare for our ceremonies, giving us a good idea of what to expect from the substance. The research analyzed over 6 thousand trip reports posted on Erowid.org and connected each experience reported to their corresponding types of receptors in different areas of the brain. The result was a complex map of the most common subjective psychedelic occurrences and their influence on different areas of the brain.
The Future of AI and Psychedelics
As the synergy between AI and psychedelics continues to evolve, the known limits of mental health treatment expand along. The union of these two technologies guides us to a future where humans can tailor therapeutic experiences to each patient. Beyond offering us greater control over the effects of new drugs, AI is helping us have therapeutic and meaningful experiences.
Much like the way psychedelics have historically pushed the horizons of human consciousness, recent advancements in machine-learning algorithms have illuminated the path to decoding, understanding, and enhancing our mental landscapes. From AI-generated music guiding ceremonial journeys to comprehensive mappings of subjective psychedelic occurrences, the synergy between artificial intelligence and psychedelics promises a future that allows for therapeutic breakthroughs and a deeper understanding and integration of the human mind. As both fields continue to expand, the potential for transformative impact on mental health remains a rich avenue for exploration and discovery.
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