Automatons! From Ovid to AI Lecture Series, University of King’s College


The University of King’s College presents Automatons! From Ovid to AI, a nine-lecture series examining the history, issues and relationships between humans, robots, and artificial intelligence. The series runs from January 10 to April 4, and features leading scholars, performers and critics from Canada, the US and Britain.

“Drawing from theatre, literature, art, science and philosophy, our 2018 King’s College Lecture Series features leading international authorities exploring our intimate relationships with machines,” says Dr. Gordon McOuat, professor in the King’s History of Science and Technology (HOST) and Contemporary Studies Programs.

Among the featured speakers is leading public intellectual and BBC commentator, Noel Sharkey, Professor of AI and Robotics and Professor of Public Engagement at the University of Sheffield, and an opponent of robot warfare. On March 21, Dr. Sharkey will debate Duncan MacIntosh of Dalhousie University on the ethics of autonomous weapons.

“From the myths of Ovid and the automatons of the early modern period to the rise of robots, cyborgs, AI and artificial living things in the modern world, the 2018 King’s College Lecture Series examines the historical, cultural, scientific and philosophical place of automatons in our lives—and our future,” adds McOuat.

All lectures are open to the public and start at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall at King’s College, except for the March 21 and March 28 events, which will take place at Saint Mary’s and Dalhousie Universities respectively.

See here for a list of the lectures and their dates.

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