The Future Is Now: An Interview With Dr. Lily Miller

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by Watson Polkirk, Business and Tech reporter

November 8, 2017

DAILY DOSE: Dr. Miller, you’ve just been awarded the Pfitzer Foundation Prize for Philanthropic Science. Can you tell us a bit about the award?

LILY MILLER: Sure, Watson. And please call me Lily. As you know, democratizing the technology we’ve perfected at Braintune is incredibly important to me. We don’t want these therapies limited to the super-rich—I want to see this technology help refugees, people in prison, people on Medicare. We’ve done a lot of work with those populations, and that’s what prompted the Pfitzer award.

DD: You must be excited to have those efforts recognized. What’s next for Braintune?

LM: We’ve actually just negotiated a deal with a private contractor that will allow us to do even more work with people in need, which is fantastic. We’ll start introducing Braintune treatment in a focus group of prisoners. Once their treatment is successful—and I’m confident it will be—we can start looking at standardizing treatment in the prison sector. Within just a few years, we might be able to help bring about a dramatic decrease in violent crime.

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DD: Is Tom working with you on this project?

LM: He’s involved with many aspects of the company.

DD: But the prison project specifically?

LM: Well, he’s very versatile. It’s been so rewarding to work with these people in desperate need. The changes in their lives are tangible. I’m incredibly lucky in that my work truly feels as though it’s affecting people’s lives for the better and I can see immediate results.

DD: Braintune is the subject of an ongoing Congressional investigation, isn’t that right?

LM: We’re working closely with various government agencies to ensure the highest possible safety standards for our project.

DD: Can you respond to the Congressional investigation?

LM: I can’t comment on an in-progress investigation.

DD: The investigation is looking into whether Braintune’s chips violate privacy regulations—do you think the company is in danger?

LM: The company has never been stronger.

DD: What about the Cranamerican Foundation? There are rumors you’ve hired a security service for personal protection and that your office was firebombed. Are you worried about your safety?

LM: The Cranamerican Foundation is certainly entitled to its religious beliefs. I’m a firm believer in the First Amendment. Obviously, I disagree with their position on technology. Braintune is in the business of helping people expand their lives. Cranamerican’s approach is an example of what’s called the Luddite fallacy—the idea that new technologies will destroy jobs. In fact, what we’re doing at Braintune will be a huge boost to the economy and create thousands of new high-skill, high-paying jobs once the technology is put into production for use in the general population.

DD: That sounds ambitious. Is there any truth to the rumors that the company is running out of money?

LM: Not at all.

DD: The hacker group 4reemachines has also issued public threats to you and your husband. Do you think you’re in danger?

LM: You know, Watson, as Einstein once said, “Great spirits will always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds.” I don’t lose much sleep over what anonymous coders have to say about my life and my work.

DD: Can you comment on the recent incident at your home in New York?

LM: I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

DD: The police were summoned to your residence after you called 911 and said you were afraid for your life. Have you been having problems with your husband, Dr. Miller? Or are there issues with your home security?

LM: That was a misunderstanding.

DD: Between you and your husband?

LM: With the police. There’s really nothing to worry about in terms of my personal safety, but I appreciate your concern. Thanks so much for your time, Watson. It’s been a pleasure.

DD: Thank you, Dr. Miller.

EDIT: November 8, 2017

The Daily Dose has obtained a copy of the Police Report from the night of the domestic altercation at the home of Dr. Lily Miller. 

Photo via Karramba Production/Shutterstock