Psyched 2020

This is is part of my live-learning series! I will be updating this post as I continue through my journey. I apologize for any grammatical errors or incoherent thoughts. This is a practice to help me share things that are valuable without falling apart from the pressure of perfection. 

Anyone involved in psychedelics understands that things are quickly changing.

Research has ramped up to a global scale. Enthusiasm is at an all-time high, while misinformation runs rampant.

Creators, artists, and activists are all finding that who is considered a part of the psychedelics community is rapidly changing.

Hundreds of millions of dollars of capital are being deployed into a market that is still founded on the nonprofit, academic model.

What does the psychedelics ecosystem look like today? How will it change over the coming decade?

What does a healthy future look like? What steps can we take today to make it happen?

This conference seeks to answer these questions through presentations from the leading experts in psychedelics. Researchers, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, indigenous community leaders, and nonprofit directors will all be contributing their own perspectives.

Here is my talk from the event below:

Technology for Good

Hello and welcome to psyched the show where we explore psychedelics through social, economic and political perspectives. Alright, let’s introduce our next speaker. We have Tyler Bride and who will be talking on technology for good technology to improve psychedelic research, therapy and knowledge mobilization. Tyler Brighton is a passionate psychedelics advocate and speaker that works in technology, marketing and mental health. He started his entrepreneurship journey after several profound personal healing experiences with plant medicine Tyler and the team at sessions AI extract meaningful insights from personal

journals and recorded sessions to help improve psychedelic research therapy and knowledge mobilization. Tyler personally supports Maps, Canada and other organizations in the space. He also started the Forest City psychedelic community in London ON to bring together people to inform inspire anhil Tyler. Thank you so much for joining us and welcome to psyched. OK, well thank you so much for having me here. It is truly very humbling experience to be following some of the speakers here today,

here yesterday in an amazing diversity in the audience that we actually had. And you know, I’m hoping that I can make this 20 minutes worthwhile. Did a little practice yesterday and I went 40 minutes so I’m going to speed through this and hopefully I can do do a good job representing. We’re actually trying to accomplish, you know, I think as a community here with, you know, so many people just trying to work together to build a happier and healthier world. And there’s been a couple of people have talked about this lonely did a great job of, you know, not just as the care delivery such an important piece.

It’s also the technology in the infrastructure that’s needed to be built to administer care in an effective way. So today I’m going to try to look at basically technology for good. And you know, how can we actually use technology to improve psychedelic research therapy? And knowledge mobilization and I’ll touch on the term knowledge mobilization a little bit later, but the idea that knowledge knowledge mobilization can be exchanged with knowledge sharing, communication, and even maybe a dirty word. But marketing of how can we get this information to the right? People who actually are capable of making decisions? And that’s something you know. I know. I’m very excited about,

and many people in this community are. So first I wanted to start with. This is a quote from a Maps article that I dugout from 2018 from 2008. An Alex Alexander did sort of analysis of psychedelics and technology and I won’t read. The whole quote, but I like this idea.

It’s problematic because psychedelics are a technology much is an automobile brings view from A to queue. So two dozen entheogenic sacrament bring you from one state of awareness to another. And that’s something that you know I’m thinking about consistently. You know, psychedelics psilocybin any of these substances seem to be sort of this natural technology that can amplifier intelligence and really get us in touch with ourselves and the larger consciousness in world. And so that’s something I’m exploring.

And then. Keeping into, you know, taking into consideration. Can you know technology actually be used for good? and I don’t usually do this. This is exciting for me. I’ve got a little bit of list of some of the content that I want to talk about today, and when we talk about technology I think you know there’s a lot of opportunities, but I think we’ve also got to address some of the risks as well.

To an first. For some people, this is actually the first time that anyone’s actually maybe maybe heard of me of what I’m doing, and so I just wanted to do a little bit of an introduction to just show you. You know where I’m actually coming from and why I’m looking at. You know how you know how I can contribute and how the team that we have can contribute to the psychedelic community and and hopefully that will sort of illuminate a little bit of what I’m actually thinking and how I’m viewing this. So just going to take you back a little bit.

That’s my sisters hand. She took this picture last night. I grew up on a farm and one thing that has become really clear to you know. I think many of us is, you know, there’s of course there’s power in Technology, but you can’t replace the actual power of nature, you can’t. You know it’s so compelling and it’s so beautiful and such an important part of our actual healing process, and I was lucky enough to actually grow up on a farm surrounded by nature. And that was such a big part of my understanding of, you know the routes that we have, and I take this into consideration with everything that I’m doing. I’m just how important nature actually is, and one of the questions that I’m asking myself is how can we sort of combine nature, natural intelligence and then merge that with technology,

artificial intelligence and some of the things that. We’re working on, but many people are actually working on as well to just a little bit of a background. This was me as a hockey player. 2000 two 2003. I have my stick under that guise skate.

He is going to fall. I’m going to get a penalty and I deserved that penalty so I was always a little bit mischevious. Always, always up to something, and hockey was a big part of my life. And So what I wanted to highlight here today, this was actually the final night of my career. An amazing moment in some ways and not in the other. And we actually want to championship on that day, and you can sort of see the people celebrating the background,

some cameras and stuff and. Here’s my mom. She looks like she’s about to cry. And then here’s me actually hugging my dad as well to an hockey was always a very communal thing for us. But at this time in my life there was. My parents were separated and we actually went through a really difficult,

tumultuous childhood. My dad struggled with alcoholism, and Shlomi touched on it. Some adverse effects in our events in your child who can really lead to damaging upbringing or as you get later in life. And that’s what happened to me at in the last night. When we won this game, instead of this joy that I expected to feel 15 years of work dedication, I sort of felt completely empty, empty, and I lost all meaning.

And here’s a picture of later that night I’ve got beers in my hand. This was this was part of the culture. I don’t know why my pants are unbuckled. There’s something going on there, but this was the first night of, really, a noxious summer of partying that was fostered by the culture and then the success of that game and really led me into sort of a downward spiral, and. You know the difficult part for me here is, you know, I actually came across psychedelic substances during this time. So psilocybin mushrooms it came into my life and instead of the partying, the hard partying that was going on with my friends,

I started to navigate through some of those actual experiences an. I was having all these revelations but I didn’t understand and this is where you know the knowledge mobilization, the education pieces. So actual important here. I didn’t understand a doe should set and setting it understand what integration was and I understand the power of these substances and so as it was using these substances, these medicines I was having revelations and I wasn’t integrating them properly. And at 21 a couple days after my 21st birthday, my dad actually ended up having a heart attack and he lived.

But because of the relationship as. Going through childhood, there was a lot of things that came to the surface for me, and really, this led to, you know me sort of spiraling out of control and I ended up as an in patient in the hospital is a very dark time in my life and realistically I there was not. There was barely seconds that could go by where I couldn’t stop thinking of you know how I didn’t deserve to be here and the only way was to not be here anymore and so I literally had to be an end patient in the hospital and Canada gets a lot of love for our health care system. But anyone who’s actually been. Through, it knows that there is still a lot of problems, and it’s not necessarily the best place to actually heal, and so that’s where for myself, the importance the need of self healing actually came into place, and you know, how did you know the question started to emerge for me is how can I recover and you know, as I allude to a little bit later here, I did recover and still a lot of work to do, but those are the questions I have, what worked and what didn’t? The knowledge that not everyone has access to a treatment to treatment in a supportive community. You know, I love to talk about Accessibility of this treatment, and as you’re having those experiences, who can you talk to to actually work through the experiences you’re having? How can you process that information? How are other people healing themselves?

We healed. We hear this idea of like the holistic approach to well being. I think that’s something really powerful and important here as well too. And then for myself, what emerged was the power of self documenting the power of self reflection and self awareness which many people in this community care deeply about. You know, as I sort of dug into this, this was my process. I was constantly writing text notes.

I was recording audio notes of the recording videos. There’s just writing on scraps of paper, really trying to integrate those experiences that I have. And you know, basically what I started to find was how powerful that was. Actually, in my own healing journey, and that this this process was actually sort of validated in some other places as well too. And this was a great sort of research paper showing how people who journaled through dramatic offense actually showed positive change so. This started to conceptualize for me a process not just for example, technology that I could work with, but also a process and methodology,

and that’s what I’m working on a little bit today and will continue to share. This is a picture of me a little bit through my healing journey. You can see you can see me on the screen right now, but this was mad about 280 pounds after my hockey career. And so when you swap out one vice, we know that another vice comes in for me that was eating us 280 pounds at this point, and although I looked happy in this picture, I started to document a little bit of the work I was doing. You were still a lot of work to do and still a lot of suffering, and I think many of us have come from some sort of background where we’ve had this experience and we don’t want to see people go through the same struggles again, and I wanted to touch. You know, I’m talking about technology today, but I wanted to touch on one thing here, which is, you know, we can have all the technology in the world,

but that doesn’t change the connection to nature. That doesn’t change the connection to community, and so this has been a huge part of my life. This is an office called Innovation Works, not off. It’s the coworking space in a community out of London on. And I was lucky enough to be one of the founding members here.

And you know, this community has changed the trajectory of London as a city. We, you know, we did a lot of work for social enterprises and nonprofits and I think the same way that there was a community built here. I think that’s what many of us are trying to do in this space and something I’m so excited and privileged to be be apart of now. Smart one shift a little bit into the actual sort of technology that that we’re seeing, and there are some things to think about here, but these are. These are some trends that are not just going to affect sort of psychedelics, but there are affecting mental health and I think just the world in general. And before I can sort of touch on you know,

maybe some of the opportunities. I think it’s really important to actually acknowledge the risks as well too so you know monopolization, wealth inequality and need for growth that comes from, you know, just. A need for exponential growth with technology and we’re going to continue to see that there’s big companies who maybe not participating in this space right now. But as it becomes more accessible as it grows, they’re going to come into the space. And that’s something that we need to consider. And you know, as that next point, this idea of the techno technological elite and the black box of Technology,

we don’t know how a lot of this stuff is actually working sometimes. So how are we going to interface with that technology here? No privacy and security issues. This is undoubtedly. An issue that we have to consider. You know people are going to be at some of the most vulnerable states of their life as they sort of go through this healing as they go through this process. And how can we respect that privacy and help them heal in a proper way and then on top of that that medicines like this are actually still a

legal in many places. So there’s also an even increased risk there. I’m going to add like the amount of identifying information and voice your face and digital data is incredible and I’m going to breakdown a little bit of. How people are looking at voice and extracting information out of that. But these are fingerprints to who we are and there’s a lot of risk in providing that information and how we need to actually protect that. Steph did an amazing job talking yesterday, like the bias of people developing this technology.

This Is This Is This is something I’ve seen. I’ve seen inherent shortcomings in the technology. Not only that, we’re building that other people are building and most of the technology has been built with some purpose in the mind and it won’t be built if there wasn’t some sort of you know, and motivation of profit to begin with. So we have to consider that when we’re actually looking at technology and bringing that technology to treat people going through psychedelic assisted therapy. But just mental health in general and then. Lastly, decisions made on inaccurate information and this is something that I will touch on as well too, but if we’re trying to Automate some of the analysis or Automate some of the diagnosis of people going through therapy, we could actually have improper information that we’re actually trying to make assessments on and that could be very,

very dangerous. So I just wanted to touch on this quickly when I was really, you know, investigating this. You know this space and trying to figure out like where could. Is there anything I can do to contribute as anything I can actually do to help you know this story came out an for many of us in the community. I think this was a warning of the potential that could come here and many of us want to see this technology in this treatment, and this modality scale and reach out reach a larger audience in the world, so we can actually treat people and have a healthier and happier world. But there’s inherent risk in that,

and people with the best intentions can be corrupted very quickly with with a couple of things that can happen here. So it’s something we need to be considered oven. I think the work that they do not to or in front at the North star pledges something that you know we should consider here in the space, because we all want to see it grow and we have to have some checks on ourselves as we actually move forward. So I do want to talk about a little bit of what is actually happening. Again, these are trends, not just in a second, but this is mental health technology in general and will have an impact on.

People within this community. So data pass oil for the world’s most valuable resource. I think that’s something that we do need to consider. People want data, and it enables us to learn. It enables us to make good decisions in some of the best research that we’ve had and Jay are just talked about. It comes from collecting data properly and then being able to communicate that to people. So how can we take that into consideration?

There’s more AI machine learning services and applications you can go to Amazon. You can touch into cognitive services and automatically get facial recognition. You can automatically start to transcribe things. There’s a much more democratized way to access technologies that no one could even get before, so we need to think about that and then ability to do multi modal analysis. So this is something that I’m touching on here and in the past we would look very simplistic. Simplistically at just the words,

for example. And now we’re looking at the brain. We’re looking at the linguistics, linguistics, side of voice looking at the acoustic side and we’re looking at facial expressions as Micro Expressions and things that we can actually extract from just small amounts of information. And you know. Last point on that I think is just there’s a ton of progress towards with all this information trying to be predictive. An Shlomi touched on that this is the work is can you stop someone from suffering before before they actually go down that path and that’s something I’m thinking about a lot as well too.

So I wanted to take a look. This is a company in in Toronto called winter light labs and this is actually how they would look at their focused on Alzheimer’s dementia. But this is them taking a look at basically and audio recording and how they would actually extract information out of that. So you can see little things like a word level. Repetition might show that someone struggling with memory and that’s an indicator that they’re actually progressing towards Alzheimer dementia, so something that might be just taken for granted is all the sudden, a very powerful indicator of,

uh. Illness, or in this case Alzheimer and dementia. Now what I wanted to take a look at is the limitations when you actually have technology that’s only not necessarily doing enough of a holistic analysis, so I can take, you know, I’ll show you an example here. This is a little bit of the technology that we’ve built, and this was a great great video by Academy Wellness Center and they were taking a look at this guy and he sort of did a testimonial after he actually went through kinda mean treatment and for example were doing. Some sentiment analysis, not even necessarily motion analysis. And he says, granted, I wasn’t as miserable as ahead, been at the same time there weren’t the joys either. And if we were just to look at the words here,

you can see that indicator of sentiment here. There’s actually a limitation, and so this is where I think a lot of companies are trying to get get over and at the same time not trying to make decisions based on false positives or things, because to me this actually isn’t as positive as our as negative as it needs to be, so something that we’re considering their back to the. Presentation you know this is another thing that we’re seeing emerge very, very quickly, which is virtual care and monitoring. Part of this was obviously accelerated by covid. You know, I’m seeing some cada mean clinics and and just treatment clinics.

Just about 30% of the sessions are now virtual. More than that, at pecan we don’t know exactly where that’s going to stay, but it’s going to continue this large. Companies like mine strong and talk space and two chairs who are not necessarily an focused on psychedelics, but they’re focusing on improving the methodology of treatment. Across mental health in general, and I think these companies again once this is becomes more accessible are going to come into the space and they’re going to have big budgets. They’re going to have a development team and there’s going to be a lot of power as they try to also operate in this space. Cada mean clinic, seeing reduced number of patients I was talking to some network only say about 5 to 10 of their actual patient load that they were getting before

then. We’re already seeing mine Bloomfield trip. Ronin was just on there there there are administering a virtual treatment. Mindbloom is actually giving Academy pills and then Field Trip is doing breathing assisted. Treatment sessions was a lot actually happening in terms of virtual care, and I think that is going to be a trend that we see continue here and I think the goal is to improve Accessibility and Karen decrease costs, but at the same time there’s a lot of those things that we talked about with the risk that we need to be careful of. So how can we actually take care of people privately and securely and make them feel safe? And with that last note? Now, how does monitoring recording actually impact treatment? If you’re aware, for example, data session is being recorded or clinical trial is being recorded. How does that actually impact your recovery? How does that actually impact your treatment? and I think this is something that we want to think about as well to let me touch on this a little bit,

but this stuff I actually find extremely fascinating and it was really absolutist words so. What are absolute’s words are basically once we get past the state of we can no longer see temporarily. We can only look into. We see everything as permanent. So because Covid came the world is this way and it’s always going to be this way or I’m a loser and I’m depressed and I’m always going to be this way. These are signs early indicators that we are trending down, a negative direction, anxiety, depression,

suicidal, ideations and can we detect those signals early so that we can actually stop people from. Having a negative experience and trending down and this is something that when I look back on my own life, I question you know, if I had known these indicators if I had had a self monitoring tool or technology like some of the people in this community are looking at what I have been able to avoid some of the suffering that I had. And you know, just as an example, this is from a plant medicine. This is a look into my own life and how I’m actually using some of my own system. What you know what I’m doing is recording an early little intention setting. For myself, I’m extracting the key words out of it and what I’m trying to understand are what are the keywords of psychedelics you know? What are these indicators that someone’s going to have a positive experience versus a negative experience?

And we’ve heard things about a mystical experience and Michael Pollan’s term ineffable. But what are these early indicators for us here that we can actually detect and help people early? But then he’ll, as they actually go through the process, and this is something that I’m spending a lot of time on, and for example, seeing you know, here where I’m talking about experience, the four times that I’ve said it and then being able to instantly navigate through to those. Instances search the transcripts and things like that to get a much better understanding and quicker, sort of efficient navigation through this. And Lastly, I’ll just add the power of that for me to sort of look back at my own reflection. My own healing has been truly incredible and valuable, and something that has helped me along the way and I hope that with some of the community here watching today that we can bind together and see if there’s some other ways that we can improve this kind of technology in way that we’re looking at it to help people actually self heal as well too. And then you know, last time that I just wanted to touch on is sort of like real time analysis and feedback and this is something that I’m,

you know, this is exciting stuff. As you can see my face right now. Or if you can I’m I’m very, very excited about this because the question is an, you know, an unscientific way. But like how can we raise our vibrations in real time? How can we use tools and technology to help ourselves understand ourselves at that moment and then improve? And, you know, we’ve seen some examples of that. I think breast scape is.

Amazing application where it actually monitors your breathing and then builds music off of that and to think of that interaction that computer human interaction that we actually have. It’s it’s an amazing thing and it’s amazing actual opportunity and along that line what we can actually do is setup contextual triggers to actually help people. So just to give you an example of what a real time sort of analysis would look like. So say I’m I’m happy and it’s always nervous to see you know. Type in real time I am having the best day ever.

I love you all. This is. Great community, right? So that’s charting out my sentiment in real time. Of course, there needs to be more work done in this, but if I know in real time that these indicators are popping up, what could we do to add contextual triggers to help people to interject to intervene to? Could we communicate this to a patient provider? A treatment provider? What can we actually do with this information? And that’s again where I’m continuously connecting with the community and with some amazing people who are actually helping us validate these signals and then actually help people. I know I had one last thing that I think is very cool around the sound, you know, sort of the real time piece. This is sort of if I’m transcribing in real time, So what can I do?

Happy. Sad. Angry. Magic mushrooms, that’s just for fun, but the idea here is. Those contextual moments where I’m just triggering with words there. But imagine we could trigger off audio. Imagine we could trigger off tonality. Imagine we could trigger off all those things and literally give people Ambion experiences, help them heal, and just like mental kayleen is doing with sound, what can we use these real time signals of ourselves to actually improve the healing? Coming out of ending my time here and I hope you enjoy it a little bit of a look at that into, you know some of the technology in the space and then what’s going on in this mind here and some of our team here, but I wanted to quickly touch on sort of this idea of knowledge, mobilization and knowledge mobilization for me, again, can be communication knowledge,

sharing and use an academic sense. But like, how is all this amazing work that we’re doing? We’re bringing this community together, but how can we get that out to the larger public? And we’ve seen instances like that fantastic fungi which brought. You know to me you know brought communities together and brought families together where the the most people would be scared to bring. You know someone to a screen or talk about these substances, but to bring it to a movie like this with Animations and great storytelling out is so absolutely powerful for making this actually happen. One thing to note, there’s a lot of non profits in the space and there’s a little bit of controversy here. I know Maps doesn’t use Google,

but there’s an amazing program called Google grants for nonprofit. It gives you $10,000 USD a month and free ads to sort of amplify your message based off what people are searching for. That’s something to consider if you are a non profit in the space and are trying to figure out what to do with a limited budget. Maps Canada and Canadian Psychedelic Association. I’ve helped set them up with that program and we’ve seen a lot of maybe 100 people extra day on the website which is really helping.

I’ll add there that they are working right now. Want to criminalize nature Canada petition? I’ll drop a link in the chat after this. I think you know for many of us here we do want to see we want to make the healing potential of psychedelics our reality and to do that we need to affect public policy. We need to affect sentiment. And you know, we need to get this information in the right hands of the right people who can actually have the power to make these changes.

So that’s sort of what I wanted to talk about today. and I do again appreciate you being here. Anyone who tuned into this this. This means a lot. If you want to connect with me, here are some options and very happy to chat with anyone in the community with some names.

Speaker atco. We’ve also got sessions dot AI and doing some really interesting stuff with tac. We’d love to accelerate that development and just. To help contribute to this community so thank you very much for everything. This was a little bit of a look at technology for good and how we can use technology to prove psychedelic research therapy and knowledge mobilization. Thank you very much.

Tyler, thanks so much really appreciated it. Love to hear from you and hear hear you present on all of these topics. I wanted to kick it off and just ask a couple questions. One of the conversations we were on this research at a few weeks back with Tonya and one of the things that I was personally interested in was seeing. You know, how can we actually do analysis of community based dynamics interpersonal dynamics with speak I sessions I type software. Um, could you, uh, could you give, you know, a little bit of a picture,

maybe paint, paint something for us that could describe how interpersonal communication might be informed also by these tools. Now, this is actually really fascinating. This was out of this was not for psychedelics for where I saw this, but what we were looking at was a simulation center at a Hospital in London ON and what they were doing with simulating treatment session and what they were actually looking for was communication breakdowns between the doctors who are administrating the therapy and for us they actually had sort of validated keywords or signals that showed that there was breakdowns in that communication. I think that there’s things that we could identify from. So the conceptual level really easily, but I think we could also look, you know, as people go through,

for example psychedelic experiences. I think there’s a lot that we could actually identify from that interpersonal level. So that’s work that I don’t think has been done. I think that’s very interesting stuff, and you know the communal healing of psychedelics and psychedelic therapy. And treatment is so important, so maybe something very interesting to actually look at. The other question I wanted to ask you was, you know, oftentimes people say that there’s there’s often times.

There’s not much of a need you know for us to rebuild old technologies again for new industries. I was wondering, you know, are there a lot of things that currently exist in in health care in terms of digital tech that can be very easily migrated over to the psychedelic space? Or are we really just uncovering a completely new process that really just needs a whole new set of tools that we just have never been able to build before? Because we’ve never really been able to go this deep. Yeah, I think I think there’s two pieces of that and no show me actually did a good job like the the administration of psychedelic assisted therapy is very unique compared to some of the other ways that therapy is being done right now. But at the same time I touched on a couple examples like talk space, two chairs, mind strong, just raise 101 hundred $1,000,000 USD and their well prepared and position to come in aid in the space one should actually comes to light actually is something that I want to touch on there quickly with mine strong and just in general this is. The idea of active input versus passive input, so active input is something like we’re doing here, where someone is actually responsible for basically opening up an application or recording a node or writing a note.

Something like that, but where mine strong is putting a lot of work into is passive data collection. So if you’re going through Academy treatment treatment resistant depression, you might be at the last straw in your life and to ask someone to be compliant to, for example, doing journals each day or something like that might be a really difficult thing, so I think there’s a lot of work going on the space to help. Data from so this passive collection that is going to come into the space and maybe from big companies like mine strong. Beautiful, well thank you so much for sharing Tyler really appreciate it. Always love having you on and yeah will continue the chat offline.

Thanks again beautiful. Z. 

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