Stephen Thaler earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Missouri-Columbia, his thesis research dealing with radiation damage in silicon. In conducting this research, he simulated such damage in computational lattice models, forerunners of modern-day artificial neural networks. Following his 15-year career at McDonnell Douglas, he set out on his own, filing patents that by no accident dealt with purposely and gainfully damaging neural nets. He is currently President and CEO of Imagination Engines, Inc., a company specializing in computational creativity and catering primarily to DoD. He is also known for his forays into both human and machine consciousness, actively publishing and lecturing on these topics.