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Jan 25, 2018

Meet Kenneth Ford, an incredibly well-read, highly accomplished and fascinating man with such an enormous Kenneth Ford is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) — a not-for-profit research institute located in Pensacola, Florida. IHMC has grown into one of the nation’s premier research organizations with world-class scientists and engineers investigating a broad range of topics related to building technological systems aimed at amplifying and extending human cognition, perception, locomotion and resilience. Richard Florida has described IHMC as “a new model for interdisciplinary research institutes that strive to be both entrepreneurial and academic, firmly grounded and inspiringly ambitious.” IHMC headquarters are in Pensacola with a branch research facility in Ocala, Florida. In 2004 Florida Trend Magazine named Dr. Ford one of Florida’s four most influential citizens working in academia. Dr. Ford is the author of hundreds of scientific papers and six books. Dr. Ford’s research interests include: artificial intelligence, cognitive science, human-centered computing, and entrepreneurship in government and academia. Dr. Ford received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Tulane University. He is Emeritus Editor-in-Chief of AAAI/MIT Press and has been involved in the editing of several journals. Ford is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, a member of the IEEE Computer Society, and a member of the National Association of Scholars. Ford has received many awards and honors including the Doctor Honoris Causas from the University of Bordeaux in 2005 and the 2008 Robert S. Englemore Memorial Award for his work in artificial intelligence (AI). In 2012 Tulane University named Ford its Outstanding Alumnus in the School of Science and Engineering. In 2015, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence named Dr. Ford the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Service Award. Also in 2015, Dr. Ford was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In January 1997, Dr. Ford was asked by NASA to develop and direct its new Center of Excellence in Information Technology at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. He served as Associate Center Director and Director of NASA’s Center of Excellence in Information Technology.

In July 1999, Dr. Ford was awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. That same year, Ford returned to private life and to the IHMC. In October of 2002, President George W. Bush nominated Dr. Ford to serve on the National Science Board (NSB) and the United States Senate confirmed his nomination in March of 2003. The NSB is the governing board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and plays an important role in advising the President and Congress on science policy issues. In 2005, Dr. Ford was appointed and sworn in as a member of the Air Force Science Advisory Board. In 2007, he became a member of the NASA Advisory Council and on October 16, 2008, Dr. Ford was named as Chairman – a capacity in which he served until October 2011. In August 2010, Dr. Ford was awarded NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal – the highest honor the agency confers. In February of 2012, Dr. Ford was named to a two-year term on the Defense Science Board (DSB) and in 2013, he became a member of the Advanced Technology Board (ATB) which supports the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Also, on November 6th I will be inducted into the Florida Inventor’s Hall of Fame bringing the total to 28 members including the likes of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and other luminaries.  Interestingly, 4 of the 28 members are associated with IHMC.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-How Ken is developing an exoskeleton for human performance...[9:17]

-What Ken thinks about the idea that artificial intelligence robots start going down the street and killing people...[14:30 & 17:10]

-How Ken became involved with the ketogenic diet and exogenous ketones, even before ketosis became the latest sexy diet trend...[19:25]

-The amazing research is currently doing on exogenous ketones, including avoidance of age-related loss of muscle mass and function) and anabolic resistance...[22:10]

-How ketones can lower blood sugar even if you still consume glucose...[36:05]

-Ken's best exercise biohacks and moves including, hierarchical sets, blood flow restriction training, and kettlebell bottoms-up training...[41:00 & 52:20]

-Why maintaining your grip strength is one of the most important things you can do...[55:30]

-What Ken has found about maintaining and building muscle by studying muscle loss in space...[58:50]

-The vibration training platform you can "take on a plane"...[63:45] -Ken's thoughts on exercise "mimetic" supplements like acetyl-l-carnitine and SARMS...[66:15]

-Ken's research-based approach to cardiovascular training...[71:40]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode: -The IHMC website -ARXFit machine -Blood flow restriction training bands -GoBStrong (IHMC is 15% discount code) -"Millennials Losing Their Grip" -PowerDot Electrical Muscle Stimulation -Powerplate Vibration Training Platform -My article on SARMS -Thorne Acetyl L Carnitine -Cognitive Orthoses:  Toward Human-Centered AI (pdf download) -Toward the Enhanced Warfighter (pdf download)

Show Sponsors: 

-Human Charger - Go to and use the code BEN20 for 20% off.

-Molekule - Go to and enter promo code BEN for $75 off your order!

-Thrive Market - Go to to get $60 of free organic groceries now!

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Ken or me? Leave your comments at and one of us will reply!