About Mindfire

The Mindfire Foundation is a Swiss non-profit organization which focuses on understanding the principles of human intelligence, and applying those principles to the development of artificially intelligent systems. In collaboration with its academic and private partners, the Mindfire Foundation implements the Global Robotics and AI Lab (GRAIL). GRAIL is a global research initiative that unites the best researchers to collaborate in both physical and virtual spaces and labs. GRAIL’s mission control has been established at the University of Zurich. The Mindfire Foundation is tasked to enable GRAIL to deliver tangible prototypes embodying latest insights, culminating in the development of an augmented scientist: a system that increases research performance and efficiency in science, ultimately becoming an automated research tool – a human-level artificial scientist.

The Mindfire Foundation was established in July 2017 in Switzerland and officially launched in November 2017 at ETH Zurich. In May 2018, the Mindfire Foundation selected 50 talents and experts out of more than 1000 applications worldwide to meet in Davos for Mindfire Mission-1 to understand the principles that govern human intelligence. Building on the learnings from Mission-1, the Mindfire Foundation decided to implement permanent and virtual labs, the Global Robotics and AI Labs (GRAIL).

 

MindFire Founders

Pascal Kaufmann

Pascal Kaufmann

Founder and President of the Foundation, Head of the AI board

Neuroscientist, tech-entrepreneur and the visionary behind Mindfire, is determined to unite the best talents worldwide to tackle the mind code. Kaufmann connected living brains to machines at Northwestern University, IL, USA and built one of the first cyborgs, feeding information directly into brain tissue. He takes a sceptical view on the current state of AI and is convinced that Human like Artificial Intelligence can and must be created by and for the people as an answer to the challenges of the 21st century.

Christoph von der Malsberg

Christoph von der Malsberg

Foundation Board Member, Head of the Neuroscience Board

Prof. Christoph von der Malsburg has devoted his life to the elucidation of the function of the brain. He did research at CERN in Geneva and the Max-Planck-Institute for Neuroscience and he was appointed as professor of computer science and systems biophysics in Los Angeles, USA and Bochum, Germany. He has co-founded two successful companies based on his theory of the visual system and received numerous international awards. Von der Malsburg headed the European Neural Network Society and is one of the fathers of self-organizing neural networks and their application to vision. He has been appointed recently as strategic and technical adviser to the European Human Brain Project.

Lukas Sieber

Lukas Sieber

Foundation Board Member

Lukas Sieber worked at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C., USA and was responsible for all public diplomacy activities and programs for the Swiss government throughout the United States. With a background in political sciences from University of Zurich and postgraduate studies at Georgetown University, USA, he now acts as Executive Director North America of Greater Zurich Area (GZA), the official investment support agency of Zurich and surrounding areas. Additionally, he advises a number of blockchain-related initiatives and US and Swiss/European based businesses.

Mindfire Ethics Board

The Mindfire ethics board is constituted to guide and support the board of directors at Mindfire. They are no substitute for the statutory boards of directors. They are free to concentrate their energies on their core role, namely to complement the main board by providing specialist experience, knowledge and contacts not readily available elsewhere.

It is the goal of the Ethics Board to advise the Mindfire foundation on how the strategy and challenges out of the missions are ethically aligned. The members provide expert guidance to the foundation, paying particular attention to the possible social impact of the findings and the research program as such.

 

Ethics Board Members

Joanna J. Bryson

Joanna J. Bryson

Ethics Board Member

Prof. Dr. Joanna Bryson has a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, where she worked with Rodney Brooks and other pioneers in the field of AI. Joanna Bryson focuses on understanding natural intelligence by artificial intelligence. Joanna Bryson’s research covers topics ranging from AI, robot ethics, on to human cooperation. Bryson’s first degree is in Behavioural Science from Chicago, holding an MSc in AI and an MPhil in Psychology from Edinburgh. She has held various visiting academic positions such as with Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy and the Department of Anthropology in Oxford. Joanna Bryson is one of the global leaders in robot ethics and a frequent speaker and adviser to various organizations.

Prof. Dr. Luciano Floridi

Prof. Dr. Luciano Floridi

Ethics Board Member

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, Dr. Prof. Luciano Floridi has joined Mindfire as a member of the Ethics Board. He is also the Director of the Digital Ethics Lab at Oxford (UK). His most notable works include the books, Augmented Intelligence, Philosophy and Computing, The Philosophy of Information, and many more. With his extensive knowledge on the ethics of information in the digital space, we are sure that Mindfire will always remain on the right track of making sure our research and findings are shared in the most ethical manner.