Varad Srivastava

M.Sc. Student (2020-2022)


I completed Masters in Computer Science (specialization in AI) from BHU

Cognition to me is

It’s everything I think, and nothing I do.

I want to study Cognitive Science because

While attending a Human-Computer Interaction conference, I was lucky to have met and interacted with some cognitive scientists, and that was when I came to know a bit about the field. At the time, I was working a bit with Spiking Neural Networks in a quest for energy-efficient A.I. to be deployed on edge computing devices like the Nvidia Jetson Nano, but my interest in the workings of the mind spiked. Later, I got the opportunity to work on neural correlates of mentalizing and theory of mind and learned how the findings from the same could be instrumental in devising treatments for disorders like autism. I knew this is where my heart lies, and I’ve been studying Cog Sci ever since, hoping to be able to make people’s lives better, one day!

Any specific domain of interest in Cognitive Science 

Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, Brain-Computer Interface, Brain-inspired A.I., Neurotechnology, Biological Cybernetics

In future I see Cognitive Science

Transforming all aspects of life and society, as we know it. People will be to able to telepathically convey their feelings, experiences. Neural disorders would be curable through A.I. powered brain implants. Symbiosis of A.I. and neural computations will allow the cognitive functioning in our brain to be more efficient and streamlined. Crimes would be prevented even before they are committed, through implants that also look for suspicious patterns of brain activity. It would become possible to finetune morality in people by stimulating areas within the brain, which could help build a better society, with people looking out for each other, and help the human civilization advance further. I also believe it’d be possible to not only transfer human consciousness (yes, coming straight from ‘Transcendence’!) and live as robotic bodies so that we are no longer limited in the physical bodies, but also ‘create’ consciousness, so that we could have sentient robots, that could work towards saving the environment, natural resources in the way, that humans cannot, towards a global goal of a sustainable future for the Earth.

Research interests or other future plans

“Instead of trying to produce a programme to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child’s?”
Motivated by this idea of Turing, I’ve been researching towards using insights from cognitive development to build intelligent artificial agents, that could learn as a child does, and eventually develop the abilities of an adult’s mind.
I’m also interested in pursuing research in Brain-Computer Interfaces, Neurotechnology and Biological Cybernetics. Developing models of mental simulation or imagination is also something that is very close to me.

In my leisure time, I love

Playing Football (central midfielder), Table tennis, and Badminton.
I also love doing road trips on bike, a fair bit of poetry, watching cricket Test matches, exploring places and meeting new people, learning from them.
Lastly, the most I love is helping people, and making my contributions to help improve women safety in the country.