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Man-Made Minds: Living with Thinking Machines

Date & Time

Saturday, June 4, 2011
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
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The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College

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.

Watch videos from this event now


  • Faith Salie

    Faith Salie is a contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning and a panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. A veteran of public radio, she co-hosts the podcast RelationShow, which often takes an irreverently scientific look at love, sex, and relationships. More »


  • Hod Lipson

    Roboticist The creator of several “self-aware” robots, Hod Lipson’s research in evolutionary robotics focuses primarily on the application of biologically inspired approaches to engineering challenges, such as machine self-replication and programmable self-assembly. He directs the Creative Machines Lab at Cornell University’s School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Computing & Information Science. More »
  • David Ferrucci

    Computer 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. Ferrucci focuses on technologies for automatically discovering valuable knowledge in natural language content and using it to enable better decision-making. More »
  • Eric Horvitz

    Computer Scientist Researching the theoretical and practical impact of computational systems that perceive, learn, reason, and reflect, Eric Horvitz has pursued principles and methods that enable computing systems to reason about their own cognition and to make decisions amidst the complexities and uncertainties of an “open world.” More »
  • Rodney Brooks

    Roboticist 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. More »