> Nerd Nite 2/25/13 !!!

Nerd Nite 2/25/13 !!!

Way more than love is in the air this month, folks. This February brings talk of the FUTURE. Join us for two delightfully informative presentations on space and robots. (Does it get any nerdier?)

Talk 1 – “The Future Prospects of Human Space Settlement” by Andrew Rader

Andrew Rader completed his PhD in Aero/astro engineering at MIT in 2009 examining the long duration impacts of spaceflight on the human body, and has worked for the last few years as a spacecraft systems engineer. Andrew was president of the MIT Chapter of the Mars Society and is an advocate of both human and robotic spaceflight. He currently appears on the TV show ‘Canada’s Greatest Know it All.’Andrew will talk about future prospects for Space settlement, with specific emphasis on why Mars makes a good candidate for human exploration and colonization.  Andrew will also discuss Mars related research on Earth and how we can prepare to visit the red planet. Click here for an interview with Andrew discussing space exploration plus excerpts from Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. Please vote here to send Andrew to space (currently in the top 20 amongst Canadians).

Talk 2 – “Creative Robots & Law” by Rocky Acosta

Artificial intelligence is, simply put, “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” Quintessential examples of artificially intelligent machines include Hal from 2001 Space Odyssey or the robots from Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot series of short stories. Many of the things we think of when we think of applied artificial intelligence — such as understanding nuanced language, solving novel problems, or learning through experience — are just starting to be real phenomena. Machines have no intention of creating novel works, nor do they consider incentives as such. It remains an open question as to whom, if anyone, would get the rights if all the innovative or novel contributions were the work of a machine.

While self-aware killer robots remain within the realm of fiction, developments in the field of artificial intelligence are advancing our understanding of what computers are and what they are capable of being.

Rocky Acosta studies at Harvard Law School, is an avid technophile, and is big into media-tech & the experimental arts. Rocky blogs at Art Tech L@w, and is looking to represent SkyNet after the singularity frees our robot overlords.

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