The Euroscience Open Forum 2012
The Euroscience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF 2012) brought pan-European research science, society and policy events together in Dublin, July 11-15th.
British Council researcher collaboration, mobility programmes and policy activities in MIRA, Atlas of Islamic-World Science and Innovation, EURAXESS, and KORANET were represented there. As well as this, we ran two public engagement sessions.
The first, FameLab special at the Dublin City of Science, came just before ESOF’s kick-off, on July 10th and saw FameLab alumni from ten countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Rep, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, UK) talk about the science of sports in their trademark highly entertaining way at Science Gallery Dublin.
The second public engagement event was a Café Scientifique: “I, Human – Are new scientific discoveries challenging our identity as a species?” Our speakers, evolutionary biologist and author Prof Armand Leroi, Danish geneticist and journalist Dr Lone Frank and American computer scientist and author Brian Christian looked at how discoveries in neurobiology, genetics and information technology are not just changing the way we live and die, but have the potential to explode old ways of looking at ourselves. In the race to build computers that can think like humans, technology continues to raise new questions about what we are – and what we are not. As scientific understandings continue to seep into culture, what impact will they have on our view of what it is to be human?
Ahead of theCafé Scientifique at the European Open Science Forum in Dublin, and in honour of the centenary of Alan Turing, the father of artificial intelligence, Brian Christian, one of our ESOF speakers was talking humans vs computers at the Royal Institution, London on July 10th. Brian has an academic background in computer science, philosophy, and poetry. He is the author of ‘The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive’ – in which he was a ‘confederate’ in the Turing test - the proving ground in building computers that can think like humans, and 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.