Fall Symposium Series 2014

AAAI Fall Symposium, November 13-15, 2014
on
The Nature of Humans and Machines: A Multidisciplinary Discourse

Recent advances in artificial intelligence – such as enhancing human capabilities, introducing technological products that replace the need for some human activities, and enabling machines to exhibit characteristics of human intelligent behavior – are challenging traditional definitions of what it means to be human. This symposium will comprise in-depth research-based treatments of the relevant areas of AI and will also address speculative aspects and have the input from neuroscience, AI-related sciences, and technology areas. The symposium will include strong philosophical, ethical, and policy perspectives from professionals in those areas. The symposium will address big questions about the role and impact of AI on individuals and society including:

  • What are the inherent limitations, if any, on AI technologies?
  • Will AI developments evoke a new evolutionary trend that co-involves AI-enhanced humans and artificially intelligent machines?
  • Can brain-mapping data be used to reverse-engineer neural networks – or a “brain system” – in silico that acquires consciousness?
  • What social, legal and/or moral status might be conferred upon such a system (or entity)?
  • What effect would radical longevity have on the conduct of human social, economic, political, and spiritual life?

Program

Thursday, November 13

9:00 am – 10:30 am: Symposium Overview

Session Chair: Larry Medsker, Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence
“The Nature of Humans and Machines: The Big Questions”

Session Co-Chair: James Giordano, Georgetown University Neuroethics Studies Program and Department of Neurology
“Conscious machines? Trajectories, Possibilities, and Neuroethical Considerations”

Discussion

10:30 am – 11:00 am, Coffee Break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm Prospects for an Artificial Mind

Session Chair: James Reggia, Department of Computer Science & UMIACS, University of Maryland
“Mind, Brain and Machine: The AI Perspective”

Panelists
Giorgio Ascoli, George Mason University
“The Mind-Brain Relationship as a Mathematical Problem”
Byoung-Tak Zhang, Cognitive Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Group (CRAIG), Seoul National University
“Ontogenesis of Agency in Machines”
James Reggia
“The Computational Explanatory Gap”

Discussion

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm: AI Enhanced Humans and Transhumanism

Session Chair: Ilia Delio, Georgetown University “Brains, Bodies; Minds and Selves”

Panelists
Jon Doyle, Department of Computer Science, North Carolina State University
“Metaphysical Conservatism and Mechanical Characteristics of Human Nature”
Noreen Herzfeld, Computer Science Department, The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University
“Empathetic Computers: the Problem of Confusing Persons and Things”
Mark Waser, Digital Wisdom Institute
“What does it mean to create a self?”

Discussion

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm: Coffee Break

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Philosophy, Neuroethics, and Policy

Session Chair: James Giordano, Neuroethics Studies Program and Department of Neurology, Georgetown University

Panelists
Carey Balaban, Neurobiology, Communication Sciences & Disorders and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh
“Cognitive enhancement technologies: Implications for determination of causality, responsibility and liability in human-machine cognitive systems”
Justin Brody, Mathematics and Computer Science, Goucher College
“Neural Networks, Human Perception and Modern Buddhism”
Andrew Porter, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
“A Theologian Looks at AI”

Discussion

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Reception

Friday, November 14

9:00 am – 10:30 am: Radical Longevity

Session Chair: David Gobel, Methuselah Foundation

Panelists
Carey Balaban, Neurobiology, Communication Sciences & Disorders and Bioengineering University of Pittsburgh
Noreen Herzfeld, Computer Science Department, The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University Discussion

10:30 am – 11:00 am: Coffee Break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Impacts of Autonomous Systems

Session Chair: Larry Medsker, Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Keynote: Ronald Arkin, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology “Lethal Autonomous Systems and the Plight of the Noncombatant”

Panelists
Carey Balaban, Neurobiology, Communication Sciences & Disorders and Bioengineering University of Pittsburgh
Noreen Herzfeld, Computer Science Department, The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

Discussion

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm: Consciousness Research and Technology

Session Chair: Giorgio Ascoli, George Mason University
“The Mind-Brain Relationship as a Mathematical Problem”

Panelists
Kenneth M’Bale, Department of Computer Science, Bowie State University
“Emulating a Brain System”
Donald Perlis, Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland “Imagination, Human and Artificial”

Discussion

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm: Coffee Break

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Hybrid Humans and Machines — Cooperative Systems

Session Chair: Larry Medsker, Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Panelists
David Gobel, Methuselah Foundation
Cindy Mason, University of California, Berkeley
“The Multi-Disciplinary Case for Human Sciences in Technology Design”
Byoung-Tak Zhang, Cognitive Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Group (CRAIG), Seoul National University

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Plenary Session

Saturday, November 15

9:00 am – 10:30 am: Summary of Positions

Session Chair: James Giordano, Neuroethics Studies Program and Department of Neurology, Georgetown University

Panelists
Ronald Arkin, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
Giorgio Ascoli, George Mason University
Noreen Herzfeld, The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University
Larry Medsker, Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Mark Waser, Digital Wisdom Institute
Feedback and Discussion

10:30 am – 11:00 am: Coffee Break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Planning for Dissemination of Symposium Results

Session Chair: Larry Medsker, Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Outreach: Planning for Education, Media Communications, and Publications

Symposium Concludes at 12:30 pm

The overarching goal of the symposium is to foster dialogue and understanding among scientists, humanities scholars, and policy makers about the role of AI research on humans and society. Specific topics include, but are not limited to the following:
Identification of “big questions” related to growth of AI-related technology with focus on impacts on individuals and society.

Discourse among speakers, panelists, and participants from two perspectives:

  • The latest technical knowledge about AI – with focus on AI research and development most relevant to the big questions and realistic forecasts for the AI-related technologies;
  • Philosophical, ethical and theological perspectives on human nature and the potential impacts that AI-related sciences and technologies incur in current and future society.

Analysis of opportunities to improve meaningful communication

  • Undergraduate and graduate courses and pedagogical approaches
  • Forums for scientists, scholars in the humanities and social sciences, the public, and policy makers.
  • Planning for ways to sustain dialectical momentum beyond the symposium

Format

Experts will present the AI technical foundation for emerging research and applications, philosophical and social science perspectives, and the ethical and policy issues that will impact society. Activities will feature interactive small group discussions as well as panel discussions and invited speakers, including congressional and federal agency representatives.

Main Contact

Larry Medsker, Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Send questions, comments, manuscript, and abstracts to lmedsker@siena.edu. Phone number: +1 (802) 488-4708.

Organizing Committee

  • Ilia Delio (Georgetown University, id72@georgetown.edu)
  • David Gelernter (Yale University, david.gelernter@gmail.com)
  • James Giordano (Georgetown University Center for Clinical Bioethics, jg353@georgetown.edu)
  • Cindy Mason (MIT Media Lab, cindymason@media.mit.edu)
  • Paul Werbos (NSF, pwerbos@nsf.gov).

Submission Requirements

Interested participants should submit symposium papers (8 pages maximum) in AAAI-style via EasyChair no later than midnight EST, May 21, 2014. We welcome papers describing completed work, work-in-progress, interesting ideas even though they may not be completely worked through, and discussion pieces. Authors shall be notified by June 18, 2014.

For more information, please see the supplemental symposium Website at www.value.dot.com/humac/FSS-14 (will be working by end of this week)

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