Disbeliever's Dialogue: Artificial Intelligence, Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m.

If you crave casual yet intelligent conversation about important issues with other nonbelievers, then join us at Caribou Coffee on Snelling Avenue North in St. Paul (across from the Har Mar Mall) on Wednesday, May 18th at 7:00 p.m. This Meetup is organized around a topic, and you are invited to share your knowledge and ideas.

This month we're tackling the subject of artificial intelligence. What is it, does it already exist, and when are we getting our robot butlers? The basis for our discussion is a talk by Jeff Hawkins, computer scientist (inventor of the Palm Pilot) and neuroscientist (founder of the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience). His premise is that artificial intelligence must be based in brain science, and he tells (among other things) why computers can't tell cats from dogs, how your neocortex is like a dinner napkin, and how machines can be made to function like brains. The YouTube videos below show one of his presentations in five parts, each about 9 minutes long (45 minutes total):






Other sources of information than this presentation are welcome, but if you skip the video you may feel left out of much of the conversation.

Questions will be provided to spur our meeting of minds, with your host moderating to be sure that everyone gets a chance to voice their opinions. We must limit attendance to no more than 14, so be sure to update your RSVP if your plans change. We have the meeting room until 9:30 p.m.

RSVP now—it's the intelligent thing to do!

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  • John H.

    I see pros and cons. The dialog was stimulating and interesting, but I think the group size is approaching or has surpassed the optimum for an interactive dialog setting, and it seemed that the 4 or so more dominant/vocal personalities overruled the more passive attendees, which turns things more into an observation of a few by the many rather than an open dialog experience.

    May 20, 2011

  • Jack C.

    Great discussion with a nice diversity of backgrounds and interests. Nothing beats talking to smart people about interesting topics.

    May 20, 2011

  • Timothy B.

    I had a stimulating evening with lots to think about afterwards. Thanks to everyone.

    May 19, 2011

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