STEM-Talk: An “Ask Me Anything” episode that covers AI, therapeutic ketosis, and more

STEM-Talk covers a wide array of topics, but there is a theme that our podcast returns to often — the role that mentorship plays in the lives of our guests. And our hosts.

Episode 159 of STEM-Talk — an “Ask Me Anything” episode where listeners ask Ken and Dawn to weigh in on a number of topics — brought up the question from a listener for Dr. Ken Ford, host and IHMC’s founder and CEO, about the mentors who have most profoundly influenced him. The episode is available now on podcast apps, YouTube and on IHMC’s website.

Dozens of STEM-Talk guests have spoken about a teacher, a coach, parent, or professor whose advice and support were critical to their development and career. Ken shared that his parents and his wife, Nancy, are his most profound influences. He also shares a little about another figure whose advice still rings true for him: Arthur Kershaw, legendary wrestling coach at East Greenwich High School, in East Greenwich, R.I.

Wrestling coach Arthur Kershaw

Wrestling coach Arthur Kershaw

“He was in a class by himself as builder of character in young men,” Ken says. “In many ways he was the best teacher of all. His lessons were important and they have lasted a lifetime. Coach Kershaw’s counsel often boomed across the gym in simple language. ‘Don’t be a knucklehead.’ ‘Don’t be a dumbbell.’ Or the classic, ‘Get off your back.'”

“Life gives us each many opportunities to be a knucklehead. Or not. And many opportunities to get off our backs. Or not. Though I had great mentors as a scientist and throughout my life, some of these early experiences shape a person in a way the latter ones really can’t. Some lessons last longer than others. Coach Kershaw’s lessons lasted the longest.”

It’s nice note upon which to close the episode, which covers a lot of ground on topics from AI, chat bots, therapeutic ketosis, kratom, and much more.

Ken, who is Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, answered several questions about the future of AI, Chat GPT, and whether AI might one day be able to do a better job of writing fact-based news stories than humans.

Other questions included:

  • The competing recommendations for the daily intake of protein for healthy aging.
  • The future of therapeutic ketosis.
  • What it means for Chat GPT to “hallucinate.”
  • Whether we’ll discover the existence of other life in the universe in the next 20 to 50 years.
  • The potential of kratom to help relieve joint and arthritic pain.
  • And much, much more.