Human Cognition and the AI Revolution

Moderated by Steve Paulson
Executive Producer, To the Best of Our Knowledge

Roger Antonsen, PhD
University of Oslo

Barbara J. Grosz, PhD
Harvard University

Einstein once remarked, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” Indeed, discovering the true nature of reality may ultimately hinge on grasping the nature and essence of human understanding. What are the fundamental elements or building blocks of human understanding? And how will superintelligent machines challenge our ideas about cognition, reality, and the limits of human understanding?

The 21st century has seen rapid advancements in the realm of artificial intelligence, or AI, which aims to generate a synthetic capacity to mimic and even surpass human knowledge. But beyond the creation of programs that detect statistical patterns in vast data sets, it remains to be seen whether AI can formalize the basic elements of human understanding into a system of rules that could then be applied in computer programs. Such “knowledge engineering” would constitute a significant breakthrough, enabling machines to share some of our cognitive abilities rather than merely imitating the results of our thinking. These advancements in AI may ultimately force us to confront more profound questions about what it means to be human.

Logician/mathematician Roger Antonsen and computer science pioneer Barbara J. Grosz join Steve Paulson to break down the fundamental elements of human understanding and analyze what lies ahead on the horizon of AI.

Date:
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Time:
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Reception to Follow
Location:
The New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich Street, 40th Floor
Tickets:
This event is part of the Conversations on the Nature of Reality series, which brings together leading scientists and thinkers to explore the fundamental nature of reality through the lens of scientific inquiry and personal experience.
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