‘Machine vs Machine: Should AI be human?’
18th Oct, 19.00-22.00
The Book Club, 100-106 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH
If we continue to develop and research ‘Artificial Intelligence’, humans could eventually create machines that think and feel like we do. If we accept that our thoughts are simply the firing of neurons, then should we also accept that the mind IS the physical brain? Would this also imply that humans are nothing but incredibly sophisticated machines? This might unsettle our self-perception of uniqueness and the very foundations of our moral codes and human rights. Perhaps then, we need to dig even deeper and ask ourselves the question, artificially or not, what does it even mean to possess ‘intelligence’ or ‘consciousness’? How appropriate is the Turing test for comparing and contrasting machine and human qualities or do we need to identify new measures to take it further?
Optimists argue AI could be an utopian symbiotic solution to the world’s greatest needs, a learning system that foresees the future far better than we do. Should we design AI to have human-like qualities or bypass emotional subjectivity to become a more ‘rational’ utilitarian mirror reflecting our interests? Beyond replicating ourselves, what of the potential of AI to evolve?We can imagine artificial intelligences with sensors and intellectual capabilities profoundly different (and potentially greater) than ours, for example seeing far beyond our limited visual spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, or thinking billions of times faster than us.
Yet never far from the surface are worries that unchecked learning could lead to manifold dystopian outcomes, immortalised in sci-fi through the horror classic ‘Frankenstein’, or modernised in recent cinema with the bittersweet ‘Ex Machina’ or the urgently practical moral questions being raised by imminent driverless cars.
Still some £6 early bird tickets, £8 advance and £10 on the door

Get yours now and join us as we decode the hype surrounding A.I., and delve into the philosophical hard problem of consciousness, before discussing the ethics and current applications of artificially intelligent systems.

Read on below to find out more about the stellar speakers we have (plus more to be announced) and follow us as we post more about them on: and related news on the theme on our twitter @JugularArtSci


Prof Murray Shanahan
Professor in Cognitive Robotics, Imperial College

Murray is Professor of Cognitive Robotics in the Dept. of Computing at Imperial College London, where he heads the Neurodynamics Group. Educated at Imperial College and Cambridge University (King’s College), he became a full professor in 2006. His publications span artificial intelligence, robotics, logic, dynamical systems, computational neuroscience, and philosophy of mind. He was scientific advisor to the film Ex Machina, and regularly appears in the media to comment on artificial intelligence and robotics. His books include “Embodiment and the Inner Life” (2010), and “The Technological Singularity” (2015).

Dr Piotr Mirowski
Improviser and research scientist in deep learning

Piotr obtained his Ph.D. in computer science at New York University under the supervision of deep learning pioneer Prof. Yann LeCun. He has a decade-long experience of machine learning in industrial research labs, where he developed solutions for epileptic seizure prediction from EEG, robotic navigation and natural language processing. His passion for performing arts, as a drama student with a 17-year background in improvised theatre, drew him to create HumanMachine, an artistic experiment fusing improv and AI, where Piotr’s alter-ego Albert shares the stage with a computer called A.L.Ex. The show aims at raising questions on communication, spontaneity and automaticity.

Luba Elliott
Creative producer, artist and researcher

Luba is exploring the role of artificial intelligence in the creative industries. Trained as a human-centered designer, she has worked on several projects bridging the gap between the traditional art world and the latest technological innovations. She is currently working to educate and engage the broader public about the latest developments in creative AI.

Dr Yasemin J. Erden
Senior lecturer in Philosophy, St Mary’s University

Yasemin’s main areas of research are within emerging technologies such as intelligent systems, nanotechnology, the internet and social networking. Alongside this she is an independent ethics expert for the European Commission, as well as a committee member of The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB).

Dr Amnon Eden
Computer scientist, Principal of the thinktank
Amnon’s research contributes to artificial intelligence, the philosophy of computer science, the application of disruptive technologies and original thought to interdisciplinary questions. He is co-editor of ‘Singularity Hypotheses’[Chair]

Dr Shama Rahman
Storyteller: Scientist, Musician, Actor

Shama is a storyteller in different media. With an interdisciplinary PhD in the Neuroscience of Creativity, she is the Founder and Artistic Director of Jugular Productions. As a professional musician, she also likes to work at the cross section of music, technology and other art-forms and is about to release her album ‘Truth BeTold’, the world’s first full live album recorded and performed with wearable technology, which was showcased at a special one-off performance with real-time generative visuals and dancers. Her acting highlights include being the lead of South Asia’s first supernatural detective thriller, a BBC drama series shown to over 53 million worldwide.

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