In the past year, the world’s leading technologists, innovators and scientists like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk have begun warning about the dangers of artificial intelligence. Hawking wrote, “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last.” Are these warnings warranted, or is this science-fiction paranoia? Could the “Terminator” become reality, or will such fears prevent the next technological revolution? On Wednesday, March 9, America’s debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. continues its tenth anniversary with a live debate co-presented with the 92nd Street Y on the motion “Artificial Intelligence: The Risks Could Outweigh the Rewards.”

Arguing for the motion are Jaron Lanier, named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, and Andrew Keen. Arguing against the motion are Martine Rothblatt, the highest-paid female CEO in the U.S. who has created a cyborg of her wife, and James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

The debate will be a featured program during 92nd Street Y’s 7 Days of Genius festival. It will stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Intelligence Squared U.S.” This event is co-presented with 92nd Street Y, a world-class cultural and community center where people all over the world connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation. On March 9, online viewers can tune in here (http://bit.ly/IQ2USAI) or via IQ2’s app (http://shorefi.re/VTwKwx)

WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Don’t Trust the Promise of Aificial Intelligence”

WHEN: Wed, March 9, 2015 / Debate 7:00-8:45 PM

WHERE: 92nd Street Y / Kaufmann Concert Hall / 1395 Lexington Avenue / New York, NY 10128

TICKETS: $15-$42 (50% off for ages 35 and under). To purchase, visit http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/

Arguing for the motion:

* Andrew Keen: Internet Entrepreneur & Author, The Internet Is Not the Answer

Andrew Keen, a renowned commentator on the digital revolution, believes 21st century machine intelligence may be the greatest challenge to the human species in history. Keen explores the current state and forecasts the future of artificial intelligence (AI), laying out the long-term economic implications of smart machines, particularly on human jobs. Keen is the author of three books: Cult of the Amateur (2007), Digital Vertigo (2012), and The Internet Is Not The Answer (2015) which the Washington Post called “an enormously useful primer for those of us concerned that online life isn’t as shiny as our digital avatars would like us to believe.” Keen is executive director of the Silicon Valley innovation salon FutureCast, the host of the popular Internet chat show Keen On, a senior fellow at CALinnovates, a columnist for CNN, and a much acclaimed public speaker around the world. In 2015, he was named by GQ magazine in their list of the “100 Most Connected Men.”

* Jaron Lanier: Computer Scientist & Author, Who Owns the Future?

Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, author, and composer, best known for his work in virtual reality research, a term he coined and popularized. A widely celebrated technology writer, Lanier has charted a humanistic approach to technology appreciation and criticism. He is the author of the award-winning, international bestseller Who Owns the Future?, as well as You Are Not a Gadget. He writes and speaks on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technological practices, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism. Included on Encyclopedia Britannica’s list of history’s 300 or so greatest inventors, Lanier has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, one of the 100 top public intellectuals by Foreign Policy, one of the top 50 World Thinkers by Prospect.

Arguing against the motion:

* James Hughes: Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

James Hughes, PhD, is the executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. A bioethicist and sociologist, he serves as the associate provost for institutional research, assessment, and planning for the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future, and is working on a second book tentatively titled Cyborg Buddha. From 1999 to 2011, Hughes produced the syndicated weekly radio program, Changesurfer Radio. A fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is also a member of Humanity+, the Neuroethics Society, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, and the Working Group on Ethics and Technology at Yale University. He speaks on medical ethics, health care policy and future studies worldwide.

* Martine Rothblatt: Transhumanist, Entrepreneur & Author, Virtually Human

Martine Rothblatt is the chairman and CEO of United Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, and the author of Virtually Human: The Promise – and Peril – of Digital Immortality. The highest-paid female CEO in the U.S., Rothblatt is a transhumanist, well known for creating BINA48, a cyborg of her wife. Previously, as an attorney-entrepreneur, she was responsible for launching several satellite communications companies, including SiriusXM, where she served as chairman and CEO. In the 1990s, she entered the life sciences field by leading the International Bar Association’s project to develop a draft Human Genome Treaty for the UN, and by founding United Therapeutics. Rothblatt’s inventions transcend information technology and medicine, and most recently include an Alzheimer’s cognitive enabler that uses mindware to process mindfiles so that a mindclone of a person’s consciousness results. The potential and ethics of this technology is described in her latest book, Virtually Human.

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