FRIDAY AT NASA AMES: EXPLORING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
What is the nature of Artificial Intelligence? How does it compare with
biological intelligence? What do Earth analogues tell us? If SETI is successful,
will we be able to tell which kind of extraterrestrial intelligence we have
encountered? Would it matter? What might an AI civilization be like? Would
it be antagonistic, compatible or even synergistic with ours? These, and
many other provocative questions, will be the focus of the daylong Ames
Seminar, organized by NASA AI specialist Michael Sims. Marvin Minsky, founder
of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and award-winning science fiction
writer and physicist Greg Benford will join a constellation of leading edge
scholars in the 2000 Ames Seminar. (See the schedule below for the full
KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT FRIDAY NIGHT BANQUET: OCTAVIA BUTLER
Octavia E. Butler, winner of two Hugos and a Nebula, has published more
than 10 novels and many shorter works, in science fiction and outside the
genre. Wild Seed won the James Tiptree Award, and The Parable of the Sower
was a Nebula finalist and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. In
1995, Octavia was awarded the MacArthur Foundation's "genius"
grant, which rewards creative people who push the boundaries of their fields.
SIMULATIONS: Two this year! COTI HI and COTI AI
Springboarding from our NASA/Ames seminar, we will present COTI AI,
a SETI scenario in which humans will encounter representatives of a civilization
of artificial intelligences. The goal: Attempt to create a credible contact
exercise invoking some problems and possibilities initiated at Friday's
session and to "reality-check" a protocol to be demonstrated on
the final day of CONTACT. Writer/astronomer Dave Brin and Jim Moore, coordinator
of our simSETI simulation, will act as advisors.Others team members are
Poul Anderson, Barbara Joans, Seth Shostak, Michael Sims, Allen Tough, Jim
Funaro and Joel Hagen.
The COTI Hi teachers, Carol Anderson, Sharyl Backues, Michael Buchanan,
Ted Clark, Rachael Gwinnup, Julie Stelman, Dave Tamori and Larry Payne,
will oversee a contact simulation based on our Cultures of the Imagination
design. The teams will bring together high school students from the US and
Argentina. Don't miss the real-time, unrehearsed meeting of aliens at the
climax of the conference on Sunday -- Contact!
EDUCATION FOR THE FUTURE - coordinator Don Scott of NASA
Collaborating with CONTACT and NASA, a group of high school teachers
from Oroville, California, will present a progress report on a two-year
COTI HI curriculum they are developing for secondary education, and lead
a contact simulation based on our Cultures of the Imagination
design. Don't miss the real-time, unrehearsed meeting of aliens at the climax
of the conference on Sunday afternoon-- Contact!
SETI Australia and the SETI Institute have collaborated on introducing
the SETI educational materials into Australian high schools. Science writer
and CONTACT listserve majordomo Carol Oliver will give us a report (via
Edna Devore) from Down Under.
Our nationally recognized Solar
System Simulation, a pioneer in distance learning, will offer its 10th iteration.
Originator Reed Riner of Northern Arizona University will discuss the past,
present and future of this international, multicampus computer simulation. In
an on-line demonstration, conference attendees can visit a space city, walk
on the moon and talk to Martians.
The director of the Academy
for Mars, Gabriel Rshaid, reports from Argentina on his project. Richard
Zimmer will discuss his universiy Mars colony. And Kathy Scavone will tell us
about a grade school COTI curriculum.
Seth Shostak of the SETI Institiute will convene a symposium of experts
to consider the yesterday, today and tomorrow of the new millennium, to
kick off the next thousand years of human future history. After the talks,
the panel will discuss emergent implications with the audience.
There will also be several other sessions of professional papers dealing
with the problems and possibilities of humanity's future. See the schedule
below for details.
Our art gallery will this year feature fine artists of time and space, organized
by Joel Hagen. See also the art of Epona,
our 3-year project in world building which Larry Niven called the biggest playground
he'd ever seen. And maybe the Epona team will unveil a brand new planet! Grand
opening: Friday evening.
There will be opportunities to purchase books to be signed by the authors
at CONTACT 2000. Other CONTACT publications and paraphenalia -- including
our new millennium T-shirt -- will also be available for sale
in the Consonance dealer's room.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR CONTACT 2000
8-6 EXPLORING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE - Michael Sims & Chris McKay
Marvin Minsky - Relevance of Society of Minds
John Searle - Philosophical Realism: Nature of Consciousness
Bill Clancey - Higher Order of Consciousness
Jim Funaro - The Human Partnership: Machines R Us
Panel with Minsky, Searle, Clancey, Funaro and Raybeck led by Chris
Greg Benford - Insights from Inventing Machine Civilizations
Pat Hayes - Recognizing Extraterrestrial Cyborgs
Doug Lenat - Common Sense as a Universal Principle of Intelligence
Seth Shostak -How Might We Find Machine Civilizations?
Panel of Benford, Hayes, Lenat, Shostak, Tough led by Michael Sims
7:30-9:30 BANQUET - Octavia Butler
9-11 EDUCATION FOR THE FUTURE - Don Scott
Carol Anderson & Larry Payne - COTI Hi: a Curriculum Collaboration
between CONTACT, NASA amd Oroville High School
Reed Riner - Past, present and future of the Solar System Simulation
Carol Oliver (presented by Edna Devore) - SETI in High Schools Down
Richard Zimmer - Mars Colony: The 3rd Year of a University Proect
Kathy Scavone - An Elementary School COTI Curriculum
11-12 CONTACT AND CULTURE
Barbara Joans - Fantasy and the American Woman (Graves and Campbell
Lara Battles - Object Constancy and the Welcomed Alien: Contact and
1-2:30 THE MILLENNIUM: A PANEL - Seth Shostak
Greg Benford, Jim Funaro, Doug Raybeck, Paul Saffo & Seth Shostak
2:30-4 CONTACT - Doug Raybeck
Doug Raybeck - Problems with Extraterrestial Communication
H. Paul Shuch - Microwave SETI: Still A Viable First Contact Scenario
Allen Tough - Six Paths Toward Contact
4-5:30 CULTURE, SOCIETY AND THE SPACE AGE - Al Harrison
Mark Lupisella - Can the Search for ET life Tell Us if the Universe
Al Harrison - The Societal Implications of Astrobiology
Michael Martin-Smith - Lessons for Society from the Space Age
7-8 SCIENCE IN ART · ART IN SCIENCE
Art by Joel Hagen, poetry by Jim Funaro and filksongs by Karen Anderson
& Jordin Kare
9:30-10:30 COTI HI - The Teachers and Students of Oroville High, with
10:30-12:30 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TODAY & TOMORROW - Bruce Damer
Bruce Damer - Contact Consortium: Contact Made! In Digital Space
Gerald Nordley - On the Socioeconomic Impact of Smart Self-Replicating
Charles Ostman - Integrated Operational Ecology of Human and Non-Human
Entities as a Prerequisite for Co-Evolutionary Adaptation with Non-Terrestrial
1:30-2 COTI AI - Poul Anderson, David Brin, Barbara Joans, Jim Moore,
Seth Shostak, Michael Sims, Allen Tough, Jim Funaro, Joel Hagen, et al.
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