In robots we trust

What issues do intelligent machines raise about our control over our personal information, our capacity for decision-making and our ideas about companionships

Spotlight Lecture Series—Professor Nicholas Agar and Dr Cherie Lacey

December 2017

In 1950, Alan Turing wondered about a future in which machine minds were indistinguishable from their human counterparts, proposing his famous Turing Test as a way of gauging when artificial intelligence had become truly human-like. Seventy years on, some of the biggest companies in the world are pushing Turing’s ideas to new extremes, blurring the lines between human and machine—not only in terms of 'pure' intelligence, but in terms of emotional intelligence as well. From smart-home devices to social robots and Apple’s machine assistant Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, emotionally intelligent machines are no longer the stuff of science fiction.

Victoria’s Professor Nicholas Agar (School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations) and Dr Cherie Lacey (School of English, Film, Theatre, and Media Studies) discuss the latest developments in artificial intelligence and what they mean for our society. In particular, what issues do these newly intelligent machines raise regarding our control over our personal information, our capacity for effective decision-making and even our ideas about companionship?

The Victoria University Spotlight Lecture Series is an opportunity to sample the research undertaken by Victoria academics, in bite-sized lunchtime lectures. The Spotlight Series will take place regularly between 12.30–1.15pm in the Wellington CBD.

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