Science fiction has captivated readers and audiences with apocalyptic futures ruled by machines. Dire predictions of technology run-amok usually draw sideways glances and chuckles, but recent developments in bionic exoskeletons and advanced robotics, for example, have forced many people to think twice.
Today at Purdue University’s Dawn or Doom conference, 20 Purdue faculty experts from all colleges will explore both the optimistic and pessimistic perspectives towards the technology explosion we are experiencing. They will address important issues of innovation and investment for the future, asking questions such as:
- What are the benefits and risks surrounding some of the technologies that are both the most disruptive to current practices and being adopted the fastest.
- Is technology moving too fast for effective governmental legislation?
- What are the risks and benefits associated with technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence, and do we know enough about each science to provide adequate answers?
- Will corporations replace universities and governments as the organizing platform for innovation and progress? If so, what does this mean for citizens?
Additionally, the Dawn or Doom conference will examine ideas presented in James Barrat’s book Our Final Invention, which asks, “Are ‘thinking’ computers the dawn of a bright future or the harbingers of doom for the human race?” All of today’s speakers will examine this question as it relates to such topics as machine intelligence exceeding human intelligence, the growth of nanotechnology, intelligent robotics, and emerging biotechnology.
Purdue will have artists from Ink Factory sitting in on each presentation who will create “graphic recordings” of the information and discussions. We will highlight these interesting summaries through social media following the conference.
Here are some very interesting articles and interviews with a handful of the Purdue faculty presenting at Dawn or Doom:
If you simply can’t make it to campus today, but want to learn more about this compelling discussion about “Dawn or Doom,” visit Purdue’s Document Library for a collection of materials and links to the day’s content.