The featured speaker at the Oct. 13 lunch meeting of Friends of Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be Bruce MacLennan, associate professor at the University of Tennessee’s Electrical and Computer Science Department. His topic will be: “Can a Robot Have a Mind?”
Here’s an abstract from MacLennan: “Suppose we could make a robot with the intelligence of a human. Would it be conscious? Feel emotions? Have free will? How could you tell? In this talk I will explore these questions and discuss how they could be answered scientifically. In particular, I will address the problem of machine consciousness, which is an instance of what philosophers call the Hard Problem of consciousness: the task of explaining the relation between conscious experience and the physical processes associated with it. In addition to its relevance to artificial intelligence, this question provides a sharp test-case for our theories of the human mind, and investigating it will foster a deeper understanding of our own humanity.”
MacLennan has a Ph.D. in computer science from Purdue. He’s been working on new approaches to robotic artificial intelligence since the mid-1980s.
The FORNL meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the UT Resource Center in Oak Ridge, 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike. It begins around 11 a.m. with social time, followed by lunch ($8) at 11:30 and the lecture at noon.
A feature on Atomic City Underground allows readers to sign up for email updates and receive a notice each time new information is posted on the news blog. Just put your email address in the box on the lower right of the blog’s front page and follow instructions. Thanks to all loyal readers.