Lectures

 
Anarchy And Chaos
Anarchy And Chaos
The care of human life and happiness, said Thomas Jefferson, is the first and only object of good government. As such, governments – and the political institutions, legal structures, and economic infrastructures that support them – seek to apply all of the resources around them to further their reach and their control. This is especially true of technology: in every industrialized age, governments have used technology to tax their citizens, to protect their borders and their economic interests, to communicate and shape opinion, and to monitor their activities. The continual challenge, of course, is how governments use such technology in the care of human life and happiness balanced against the tyranny and subterfuge that this same technology makes possible.

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Belief Among The Bits
Belief Among The Bits
No matter your individual position on the matter, it is a reality that faith is a powerful element of the human experience, and so it comes as no surprise that computing intersects with the story of belief in many profound ways. In this lecture, Grady examines several of these stories, leading to an understanding in how different faith traditions have reacted to and in some ways contributed to the advance of computing. From Pope Benedict’s blessing via Twitter to the growth of the Digital Sabbath movement, from the technology-driven exegesis of the Dead Sea Scrolls to the rise of the virtual church, computing has impacted the ways we believe and the means by which some make their faith manifest.

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I Think, Therefore I Am
I Think, Therefore I Am
In this lecture, Grady explores the development of intelligent computers as projections of what we both dream and what we fear. We examine what it means to be intelligent, and take a journey through past and future approaches to building sentient software-intensive systems. Some such as Minsky believe the mind to be computable; others such as Penrose do not. In the end, we are compelled to consider the question of what it means to be human: producing even the illusion of the mind raises profound questions as to their personhood and our relationship to these machines.

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Woven on the Loom of Sorrow
Woven on the Loom of Sorrow
In this lecture, Grady explores the tangled web that connects both computing and conflict. How would computing have evolved without war as a clear and present force upon it? How will nations adjust to the ways in which computing has radically altered the very nature of warfare? “Woven on the Loom of Sorrow” investigates this rich yet tragic connection between computing and conflict and considers the implications in the future of war.

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