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Man-Made Minds: Living with Thinking Machines

Saturday, June 4, 2011
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

In recent years, machines have grown increasingly capable of listening, communicating, and learning—transforming the way they collaborate with us, and significantly impacting our economy, health, and daily routines. Who, or what, are these thinking machines? As we teach them to become more sophisticated, how will they complement our lives? What will separate their ways of thinking from ours? And what happens when these machines understand data, concepts, and behaviors too big or impenetrable for humans to grasp? We were joined by IBM’s WATSON, the computer Jeopardy! champion, along with leading roboticists and computer scientists, to explore the thinking machines of today and the possibilities to come in the not-too-distant future.


Faith SalieAuthor, Journalist, Comedian

Faith Salie is a three-time Emmy-winning contributor to CBS Sunday Morning and a regular on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! She’s hosted five seasons of PBS’s Science Goes to the Movies and is a storyteller for The Moth. She hosts the new podcast “One Plus One,” from Wondery.

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Rodney BrooksRoboticist

Recently retired from his position as Panasonic Professor of Robotics at MIT, Rodney Brooks’ latest startup, Heartland Robotics, aims to revitalize American manufacturing by providing workers with new robotic tools. During his employment at MIT, Brooks served as director of the institution’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and its Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory—MIT’s largest lab.

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David FerrucciComputer Scientist

David Ferrucci is the lead researcher and principal investigator for the Watson/Jeopardy! project. He has been a Research Staff Member at IBM’s T.J. Watson’s Research Center since 1995 where he heads up the Semantic Analysis and Integration department.

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Eric HorvitzComputer Scientist, Microsoft

Eric Horvitz serves as Microsoft’s Chief Scientific Officer. He is known for his contributions to AI theory and practice, with a focus on principles and applications of AI amidst the …

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Hod LipsonRoboticist

Hod Lipson is a roboticist who works in the areas of artificial intelligence and digital manufacturing. An award-winning researcher, teacher, and communicator, Lipson enjoys sharing the beauty of robotics though his books, essays, public lectures, and radio and television appearances.

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