We face a number of existential threats—threats that could cause our extinction or destroy our civilization: thermonuclear war, runaway global warming, loss of the ozone layer, etc. But according to Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk, the most serious existential threat we face is artificial general intelligence. As Musk tweeted last year, “If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea.” As machines become smarter, they are performing more and more tasks that used to be reserved for humans. such as diagnosing disease, driving cars and caring for the elderly, not to mention manufacturing. But what happens when they become as smart as we are? Must we grant them the same rights that we enjoy? Would destroying a robot with human level of intelligence be an act of murder? What can we do to minimize this threat? We’ll explore these and other issues in an attempt to understand what our relationship should be to the new intelligences that may soon be walking among us.
Dr. Schick is a professor of philosophy at Muhlenberg College, and author of a number of texts including: How to Think about Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age (now in its 7th edition) and Doing Philosophy: an Introduction through Thought Experiments (now in its 5th edition). He has also contributed to a number of volumes in Open Court’s Philosophy and Popular Culture series including: Seinfeld and Philosophy, The Matrix and Philosophy, The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy, Star Trek and Philosophy, Led Zeppelin and Philosophy, Beer and Philosophy, and Cannabis and Philosophy.
Those who wish to stay for lunch after the event can bring their own lunch or partake in a delivery order from a local Italian restaurant (please bring cash if you're interested).
There is no charge for this event, as we strive to make as much of our programming as possible accessible to all. However, donations will be accepted to offset the cost of the lunch as well as our regular ongoing expenses.
Street parking is free on Sundays, but please note there is construction in the area. We suggest arriving early if you've never been to the location. Garage parking is available in the Community Deck accessible from 6th and Walnut Streets (both one way).
522 W Maple St
Allentown, PA 18101
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