21.2.11

Post Transcendent Man

Responding to Ray Kurzweil’s “Transcendent Man”

The next meeting organised by Humanity+ UK is a panel review and audience discussion on the afternoon of Saturday 9th April 2011.  The subject of the discussion will be the groundbreaking but controversial ideas and projects of Ray Kurzweil, especially as featured in the film Transcendent Man which has its London premier earlier in the same week. 

Ray Kurzweil’s ideas are far-reaching.  They cover many aspects of the ways in which rapidly changing technology is impacting what it means to be human: computers may soon become more intelligent than humans, and humans may soon be able to live indefinitely long.  Biology is merging with technology.  A kind of unpredictable “singularity” in human evolution could be just around the corner.

How credible are these ideas?  What do expert reviewers think about these ideas – and about the way these ideas are portrayed in the film?  What are the highlights – and the lowlights – of the film?  What (if anything) should we do differently, as a result of these ideas?

These (among others) are the questions the panellists are expected to tackle.

Some online reactions to Ray Kurzweil’s life and work

Recommended as useful background reading:
Event logistics

This event will be held in lecture room B34 in the Malet Street building (the main building) of Birkbeck College.  This is located in Torrington Square (which is a pedestrian-only square), London WC1E 7HX.  (Map – PDF)  Torrington Square is about 10 minutes walk from either Russell Square or Goodge St tube stations.

The first speaker will start speaking at 2pm, and the session will close at 4.15pm (although informal discussion is likely to continue for some time in the room afterwards – and subsequently in nearby pubs, for those who wish to explore the ideas further).

Speakers and panellists

The speakers and panellists will represent a range of viewpoints about Ray Kurzweil’s projects and ideas, and a range of different walks of life.

Please check back here later, for more details of the speakers and panellists.

Anybody wishing to join the panel should contact the event organiser, humanityplusuk AT gmail DOT com.

Registration

So that the organisers can keep track of likely attendance, please visit the associated registration site for the event, where you will have an option to:
  • Register as a guest attendee – for zero charge
  • Register as a supporter of the event – for a £10 charge, which will help to cover the costs of room hire and other event organisation.

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