Before The Flood


This film was directed by Fisher Stevens, I remembered him from the movie Short Circuit. Leonardo DiCaprio narrates and travels the world speaking to experts and speaking before large audiences about climate  change. It is a very powerful deliverance of the dangers of ignoring this disaster. There is continuously stunning footage how the world is slowing warming and offers strong evidence and scientific data to back up these claims. DiCaprio is admirably using his celebrity status to promote awareness for this cause. I found the film informative and captivating, even for someone who is painfully aware of what is happening there is more too see here.

Krauss had a great conversation with Fisher Stevens following the film. It is very obvious that bringing awareness to climate change is something both Stevens and DiCaprio believe in wholeheartedly and that they are not in this for the fame or the glory but for the good of mankind.

And as always Professor Krauss was warm, friendly and enthusiastic after the event at the book signing. I am out of books for him to sign but he did sign my program and graciously took a photo with me.19401891_10214004907145158_2225545743545626441_o

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Great Debate: the Future of Artificial Intelligence, Who’s In Control


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Eric Horvitz is managing director of Microsoft Research’s main Redmond Lab, an American computer scientist, and technical fellow at Microsoft. Horvitz received his PhD and MD degrees at Stanford University, and has continued his research and work in areas that span theoretical and practical challenges of machine learning and inference, human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and more. He is a fellow of numerous associations and academies, has received numerous awards, given both technical lectures and presentations for diverse audiences, and been featured in the New York Times and Technology Review.

Jaan Tallinn is co-founder of Skype, Estonian programmer, investor and physicist. He is partner and co-founder of the development company Bluemoon, Board of Sponsors member of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and one of the founders of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and the Future of Life Institute. He strongly promotes the study of existential risk and artificial intelligence, and the long-term planning and mitigation of potential challenges.

Kathleen Fisher is a professor in and the chair of the Computer Science Department at Tufts University. Previously, she was a program manager at DARPA where she started and managed the HACMS and PPAML programs, a consulting faculty member in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University, and a principal member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Labs Research. Kathleen’s research focuses on advancing the theory and practice of programming languages and on applying ideas from the programming language community to the problem of ad hoc data management.

Subbarao Kambhampati is a professor of Computer Science at ASU, and is the current president of the Association for the Advancement of AI (AAAI). His research focuses on automated planning and decision making, especially in the context of human-aware AI systems. He is an award-winning teacher and spends significant time pondering the public perceptions and societal impacts of AI. He was an NSF young investigator, and is a fellow of AAAI. He received his bachelor’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and his PhD from University of Maryland, College Park.

Lawrence Krauss is an author, professor, physicist, public intellectual and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, where he is also Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Department of Physics.

The Origins Panel will bring rich, enthusiastic, and perhaps surprising perspectives to these questions of vital importance for our future having to do with the challenges and benefits of upcoming developments as AI changes our world.

This public event is associated with a closed scientific workshop that will be held to spark discussions, asking participants to envision and address potential adverse outcomes of artificial intelligence.

Lawrence Krauss and Noam Chomsky


March 22, 2015 I attended my first Origins Project Dialogue with Lawrence Krauss.

I have never been a big fan of Chomsky. I have been a huge fan of Krauss since I first watched a debate with Michael Shermer against D’Souza and another Christian Apologist. He has been my ‘patron saint’ of science and non-belief ever since. I admittedly was somewhat surprised to learn that Krauss had such reverence for Chomsky, for starters Krauss makes no secret about his opinion of philosophy; it is anything but favorable and sometimes he finds it intolerable even as much so as religion at times. Not because Chomsky is unworthy or respect or even reverence but because he is in my opinion a pacifist more than an activist; I would even go so far as to call him an apathetic complainer, even anti-American. His disdain for the U.S. government and it’s institutions borders on Right Wing Conservatism even Tea Party politics, if he wasn’t an atheist who condemns religious scripture. What he doesn’t condemn is the Church or it’s institutions. In fact he often praises them for the good they do in the world with the poor, the sick and the hungry. Support of the Catholic Church let alone religion in general is not something Krauss has ever shown. Ever.

Outside of that, the impact on politics and government; the difference he has made in communities, society and academia is volumes. He is the most cited living scholar in history and has authored over 100 books. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 at the age of 16, and went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. as a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1951-1955, earning a degree in Linguistics, Philosophy, and Mathematics.

His activism over the course of history has landed him in jail several times. He even landed on Nixon’s enemy of the state’s list. His protests of the Viet Nam war to his condemnation of religion he has never held his tongue.

Krauss in his truly reverent and heart felt introduction he even said that where most people might ask ‘What would Jesus do?’ I ask ‘What would Noam do?’. That in my mind was one of the most sincerely reverent statement I have ever heard. He went so far as to call Chomsky his Mentor; he was one of Krauss’ instructors at MIT.

I won’t say I was disappointed by the dialogue but I most definitely was not impressed by Chomsky, I was however more that awestruck by Krauss. He was everything I expected and more. Not only in his ability to have such an inspiring and informative conversation with Chomsky but by how approachable he was afterwards when they were signing books. I unfortunately didn’t get a book signed, the line was at least 500 people long. What I did manage to do was go up to the side of the table he was on; it seemed everyone was waiting for Chomsky, and I loudly said ‘Professor Krauss’ and when he turned around I told him I had a gift for him, then I gave him a copy of ‘Los Alamos Place Names’. It is not only my home town but my family legacy is there in the ‘X Lovato Field’ which is a softball field named after my dad in 1975. He was very receptive.

A couple of weeks later I tweeted him; ‘I hope you enjoy the Los Alamos Place Names book I gave you’. To my absolute surprise he tweeted me back the same day’ Thank you very much. I was pleasantly surprised. From that moment on I have attended every local event here in the Phoenix area but one. I have even gone to the smaller talks on campus at ASU in the Marston Theatre inside the Tech 4 Building where Krauss office is.

https://origins.asu.edu

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