What does it mean to be human in an era of such rapid technological change? And are some of the machines we’ve created better at being human than we are? These are just some of the big questions that Brian Christian set out to answer. In the process he challenged some of the best human like machines and won the prize for being ‘The Most Human Human’!
The driving force behind modern computers, Alan Turing was born a hundred years ago. He launched the digital age, founded the fields of computer science and artificial intelligence, and helped the British win WWII by cracking the Nazi "Enigma" codes. He was persecuted by British authorities for the crime of being homosexual, and committed suicide at age 41. His life ended tragically, but his brilliance lives in the computers we use every day. We celebrate the Alan Turing Year.
Author Brian Christian will talk on the subject of his debut book The Most Human Human a superbly engaging re-evaluation of what it means to be human in the light of breathtaking advances in artificial intelligence.
Brian Christian is an Author and Poet. He holds a dual degree in computer science and philosophy and an MFA in poetry.
MIND VS. MACHINE
In the race to build computers that can think like humans, the proving ground is the Turing
Test—an annual battle between the world’s most advanced artificial-intelligence programs
and ordinary people. The objective? To find out whether a computer can act “more human”
than a person. In his own quest to beat the machines, the author discovers that the march
of technology isn’t just changing how we live, it’s raising new questions about what it
means to be human.
By Brian Christian
Copyright © 2011 by The Atlantic
Read by David Erdody