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April 2017

Risk & the Culture of Science (Invitation only workshop)

April 29 - April 30
Trinity College, Cambridge,
Cambridge , CB2 1TQ United Kingdom
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Many scientists have expressed concern about potential catastrophic risks associated with powerful new technologies. But expressing concern is one thing, identifying serious candidates another. By definition, such risks will be novel, rare and difficult to study; data will be scarce, speculation necessary. This pushes us to the fringes of science, the realm of ‘mavericks’ and the unconventional – often a hostile and uncomfortable place. Scientists value consensus, at least about the big issues. Catastrophic risk is both a big issue and…

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Responsibility and Inequality in a Risky World w/ Prof Heather Douglas

April 29 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College
Cambridge, CB2 1TQ United Kingdom
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We live in a world full of emerging risk.  We generate new capacities with the potential to reorder our world and we discover new risks from old practices. What responsibilities come with doing this work? How should we manage the attendant risks?  I will describe the nature and boundaries of responsibility for the new in a risky world, and I will argue  that the responsibility to think through the risks that come with our knowledge production can never be fully…

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May 2017

Deep Learning: Artificial Intelligence Meets Human Intelligence w/Prof Terrence Sejnowski

May 2 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
TBC,

Deep learning is based on technical advances made by the neural network revolution in the 1980's.  Why did it take so long for neural networks to recognise speech and objects in images at human levels? What were the breakthroughs that made deep learning possible? Which industries will deep learning disrupt and how will deep learning change your life? These are some of the issues that this public lecture will explore. About the speaker Dr Terrence Sejnowski received his PhD in physics from Princeton University. He was a…

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Collective awareness: A vision of a new economics and how it could reduce risk w/Prof Doyne Farmer

May 8 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College
Cambridge, CB2 1TQ United Kingdom
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Science gives us a collective awareness that turns unknown unknowns into probabilities and helps us deal with risks and avoid catastrophic scenarios.  It is worth distinguishing three levels of collective awareness, that involve understanding the external environment, our effect on the environment, and our collective effect on ourselves.  This lecture will focus on the hardest of these — our collective effect on ourselves — and on economics in particular.   The economy underpins almost everything we do, and economic fluctuations cost the…

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Climate Ethics and Climate Economics: Risk, Uncertainty and Catastrophe Scenarios (Invitation only workshop)

May 9 @ 8:00 am - May 10 @ 5:00 pm
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Scholars have warned that there is an uncertain chance of runaway climate change that could devastate the planet. At least since Hans Jonas’s The Imperative of Responsibility, some have argued that even low-probability existential risks should be treated in a fundamentally different way. How should we act when we believe that there is a chance of a catastrophe, but cannot make reliable probability estimates? How much should we worry about worst-case scenarios? What should we do when experts disagree about…

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Overpopulation: A driver of climate change? w/ Prof Hilary Greaves

May 10 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College
Cambridge, CB2 1TQ United Kingdom
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It is often remarked that the significant drivers of climate change include not only high and rising levels of fossil fuel use per person, but also high and rising human population size. The logic behind this remark appears at first sight to be simple: climate change is driven by emissions, and total emissions are equal to per-capita emissions multiplied by population, so of course (one might think) higher population will lead to more climate change. I will argue that given…

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