June 16: Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Become Conscious? A Virtual Conversation with Susan Schneider

Tuesday, June 16, 4 pm ET on Zoom

  • Can robots really be conscious?
  • Can we merge with artificial intelligence as Elon Musk and other tech leaders suggest?
  • Is the mind just a program?

On Tuesday, June 16th, Science Writers in New York invites you to join us on Zoom for a conversation with SWINY co-chair David Levine and Susan Schneider, PhD, author of Artificial You: AI and the Future of the Mind.

Humans may not be Earth’s most intelligent beings for much longer: the world champions of chess, Go, and Jeopardy! are now all AIs. Given the rapid pace of progress in AI, many predict that it could advance to human-level intelligence within the next several decades. From there, it could quickly outpace human intelligence. What do these developments mean for the future of the mind?

In Artificial You, Susan Schneider says that it is inevitable that AI will take intelligence in new directions, but urges that it is up to us to carve out a sensible path forward. As AI technology turns inward, reshaping the brain, as well as outward, potentially creating machine minds, it is crucial to beware. Homo sapiens, as mind designers, will be playing with “tools” they do not understand how to use: the self, the mind, and consciousness. Dr. Schneider argues that an insufficient grasp of the nature of these entities could undermine the use of AI and brain enhancement technology, bringing about the demise or suffering of conscious beings. To flourish, we must grasp the philosophical issues lying beneath the algorithms.

Have a burning question for Susan Schneider that you’d like answered? Submit it here in advance.

About Susan Schneider:

Dr. Susan Schneider is a frequent speaker on the ethics and implications of artificial intelligence and has given a TED talk on the subject. Dr. Schneider writes about the nature of the self and mind, especially from the vantage point of issues in philosophy, AI, cognitive science and astrobiology. In her new book, Artificial You: AI and the Future of the Mind, she brings these topics together in an accessible way, discussing the philosophical implications of AI, and, in particular, the enterprise of “mind design.” Her work in philosophy of AI has now taken her to Washington, where she meets with members of the US Congress and gives presentations on AI at on topics such as data privacy, algorithmic bias, technological unemployment, autonomous weapons, and more.

Dr. Schneider appears frequently on television shows on stations such as PBS and The History Channel as well as keynoting AI ethics conferences at places such as Harvard and Cambridge. She also writes opinion pieces for The New York Times, Scientific American and The Financial Times. Her work has been widely discussed in the media and at venues like The New York Times, Science, Big Think, Nautilus, Discover and Smithsonian.

Watch Dr. Schneider’s TEDx talk, Can A Robot Feel?

If you would like to read her book before the talk you can purchase it here.

Tuesday, June 16
4 to 5 pm ET

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