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Caution: Robots at Work

Sunday, May 31, 2015
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Creating artificially intelligent machines may be the biggest event in human history. According to Stephen Hawking, “it might also be the last.” And we’re getting closer to that day. From Watson and Siri to the driverless car, machines are getting progressively smarter. The next step: creating truly intelligent machines that learn, not by being programmed for a task, but by trial and error. The potential benefits—and the potential risks—are enormous. With leaders in the fields of artificial intelligence, quantum engineering, and neuroscience, this salon probed the technical, economic, and philosophical impact of the AI revolution.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premier public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and well-informed members of the general public.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

Photograph: Jon Smith 


Artur EkertQuantum Physicist

Artur Ekert is a Professor of Quantum Physics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, and a Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professor at the National University of Singapore. He’s also the director for the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT).

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Christof KochNeuroscientist

Born in the American Midwest, Christof Koch grew up in Holland, Germany, Canada, and Morocco. He studied Physics and Philosophy and was awarded his Ph.D. in Biophysics. In 1987, Koch joined the California Institute of Technology as a Professor in Biology and Engineering.

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Seth LloydQuantum Mechanical Engineer, MIT

Seth Lloyd was the first person to develop a realizable model for quantum computation and is working with a variety of groups to construct and operate quantum computers and quantum …

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Masoud MohseniQuantum Physicist

Masoud Mohseni is a senior research scientist at Google Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he develops machine-learning algorithms that fundamentally rely on quantum dynamics.

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Alan PetersRoboticist

Alan Peters is the principal architect of Neocortex. He’s also an associate professor of electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University where he supervises research on a humanoid robot, ISAC, in the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory. He has over fifty publications and has secured research funding in excess of $4 million.

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