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Fresh Sheet – March 7, 2020

If you’re a fan of giant butterflies that resemble owl eyes, then this week’s shipment of pupae from Suriname is just what you need.

The Science and Art of Scents

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AI: Something to Fear or Something Else?

by | Sep 23, 2019

Brain Image

Artificial Intelligence. AI.

You hear a lot about it these days; everything from how it’s improving our daily lives to OMG, Skynet’s self-awareness is inevitable and where’s Sarah Connor? The reality is most of us really don’t know much about it nor what the future may hold. But we have an event coming up this month that we hope will help.

This second annual event September 27-28, 2019 is called “Thought Experiments on the Question of Being Human “AI: Machines that Understand.”

“Each year we invite scientists in a particular field, match each one with a playwright, and their conversations lead to short plays exploring where that field might be taking us in terms of what it means to be human,” says David Mills, Artistic Director of Infinity Box Theater Project. “And then the plays become the invitation for the audience to join in that conversation.”

AI in movies is typically portrayed as single, powerful, possibly conscious entities that threaten us in some way. However, it is something much more ordinary–even mundane. But what happens when our daily world is full of things that are “smart?” What happens when our machines “understand?”

This year we’ve also teamed up with the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2). Four AI2 scientists work with four playwrights and the results? Four short plays that will conclude with our usual lively audience conversation, kicked off by one of the scientists from AI2.

We really encourage you to join us. Learn more in the quick PacSci Podcast embedded below along with the resources here. Then make plans for one fascinating event.

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