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Program Information
Robert Kowalski - Chicago Society Keynote Lecture
Robert Kowalski
 Dale Lehman/WZRD  Contact Contributor
May 3, 2015, 9:55 p.m.
Robert Kowalski spoke at the student organized event on Technology and Society. His presentation is for a general audience. He talked about the role of thinking machines (artificial intelligence) in humanity's future. Currently, we are without the ability to fully understand the machines being created, what they know and what they may do as they learn on their own. We are on a dangerous path, but this can be corrected, he said, through the unification of programing languages and the development of a language that is also understandable by humans. He describes current programing languages as a "tower of Babel". He speaks about the "goals" and "beliefs" that structure communication and the necessity for logical thinking if the machines are to benefit and serve mankind [the possibility of the opposite has already been realized with the application of predictive analytics to people contesting State policy].

He recounts how, as an undergraduate, his early success in math but failure in English composition lead to his research into language and
logic. In the Q&A he is asked to expand on his challenge to an aspect of Noam Chomsky's theory with respect to "understanding of natural language."

His keynote at the Chicago Society Conference on the trending evolution of human beings and technology in the near and distant future. Machines, especially computers, are dominating the modern world. They shape the infrastructure of human society. Machines are normalized in a positive frame as helping to model and make decisions of great importance, linking human beings to each other. But the fact that such relations are increasingly less democratic, equitable, or just and accrue benefit to those who control the machines is subsumed by the techno boosterism of business. The complexity of the networks and vastness of the data landscape is promoting autonomous decision making. Professor Kowolski, expresses his concern about humans loosing control of their creation on the current path he see us on. Physicist Max Tegmark , in presentation elsewhere, warns that Artificial Intelligence is increasing the Risk of Accidental Nuclear War.
Chicago Society -
International House - University of Chicago
Dr. Kowalskiis is Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Research Fellow, Imperial College London; Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. He works in the area of Logic and Artificial Intelligence and has received the IJCAI Research Excellence Award "for his contributions to logic for knowledge representation and problem solving, including his pioneering work on automated theorem proving and logic programing".

Computational Logic and Human Thinking: How to be Artificially Intelligent

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00:49:02 1 May 2, 2015
International House, University of Chicago
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