Past Meetup

Memes and Tremes: From biology to the future of Artificial Intelligence

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Alright guys, get HYPED for October's talk!

We're coming at you NEXT WEEK with an amazing speaker all the way from the US! Susan Blackmore is here for the Skeptics Convention in Sydney - and she's heading down to Canberra for one night to talk to us! Just in case you're lucky enough to be heading to Sydney this weekend, Dr Blackmore will be doing a different talk for us here in Canberra, so come get yourself a double helping of brilliance!

ALSO we will be holding our AGM in November.
We'd love to see you there and putting your hand up for our wonderful committee!
We want to hear your ideas for the future of Canberra Skeptics!
There will be positions opening up for nominations and we'd love to welcome new blood and new ideas!

"Memes and Tremes: From biology to the future of Artificial Intelligence
Speaker: Susan Blackmore
When: October 15, 6.30 pm
Where: Ainslie Football Club

Universal Darwinism is the principle that when any kind of information is copied with variation and selection an evolutionary process inevitably begins. Genes are Earth’s best-known replicator, giving rise to biological evolution, but there may be others. Dawkins coined the term ‘meme’ to apply to a second replicator that emerged when our ancestors became capable of imitation. Their memes – the sounds, actions and ways of doing things that they copied - spread and evolved, competing to use human bodies and brains, and creating human culture in the process. We became meme machines. Memetics differs from other theories of cultural evolution in being based on two selfish replicators not one and, arguably, can better understand our fast-changing culture. Could a third replicator emerge from the culture created by the second? I believe that this is already happening. Digital information is now being copied, varied and selected ever faster by the silicon-based technology that we have provided for it. I will end with speculation that this means that a third replicator, tremes, is already emerging, is evolving new types of intelligence, and we need to consider how our own role is inevitably changing.

Susan Blackmore is a psychologist, lecturer, writer and a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth (UK). She researches consciousness, memes, and anomalous experiences. She is best known forThe Meme Machine (1999). In her 2008 TED-talk she introduced the idea that aside from genes and memes we are now witnessing the dawn of a third replicator: tremes. Her latest publications are Seeing Myself. The new science of out of body experiences (2017) and Consciousness: An Introduction, 3rd Edition (2018).