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September 4, 2012

Our Inevitable Future - Science and Technology As Global Game Changers



virtual humans
Image Source: ICT

 The Singularity
David Brin and Paul Rosenbloom join host Mat Kaplan in the Crawford Family Forum to talk about our cyber future. Will humanity survive and even thrive when the Singularity arrives?
Science and technology are converging to change the global game; and nowhere is that change more clear than in the words of scientist and futurist David Brin, and the work of Paul Rosenbloom, a lead researcher on artificial intelligence.

From Isaac Asimov to Brin's new novel, "Existence," science fiction has often looked at whether AI will outpace the human brain and lead us into a brave new world, or has it already? In this premiere edition of the series, “NEXT: People | Science | Tomorrow,“ Brin and Rosenbloom join host Mat Kaplan in the Crawford Family Forum to talk about our cyber future. Will humanity survive and even thrive when the Singularity arrives?

The panel in the discussion is led by Mat Kaplan, host of Planetary Radio and feature  Brin, scientist, futurist and award-winning science fiction write and Rosenbloom, professor in the Computer Science Department in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering; project leader at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) and author of On Computing: The Fourth Great Scientific Domain.

In On Computing, Rosenbloom proposes that computing is a great scientific domain on a par with the physical, life, and social sciences. Rosenbloom introduces a relational approach for understanding computing, conceptualizing it in terms of forms of interaction and implementation, to reveal the hidden structures and connections among its disciplines. He argues for the continuing vitality of computing, surveying the leading edge in computing's combination with other domains, from biocomputing and brain-computer interfaces to crowdsourcing and virtual humans to robots and the intermingling of the real and the virtual.



Rosenbloom draws on his work with Virtual Humans at ICT as he explores forms of higher order coherence, or macrostructures, over complex computing topics and organizations, such as computing's role in the pursuit of science and the structure of academic computing. Finally, he examines the very notion of a great scientific domain in philosophical terms, honing his argument that computing should be considered the fourth great scientific domain. Rosenbloom's proposal may prove to be controversial, but the intent is to initiate a long overdue conversation about the nature and future of a field in search of its soul.

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The Story of the Chessboard


The classic parable of how the inventor of the game of chess used his knowledge of exponential growth to trick an emperor is commonly used to explain the staggering and accelerating growth of technology. The 33rd square on the chessboards represents the first step into the second half of the chessboard, where exponential growth takes off.

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