May Kabbalat Shabbat: Artificial Intelligence

Top Pick May 18, 2018 Boston $12.00
(Photo: MF3d/iStock)
(Photo: MF3d/iStock)

For centuries, people have imagined smart machines inhabiting the earth in fictional stories. Computer systems now communicate in speech and text, learn, negotiate and work in teams (with people and other systems). These intelligent-systems capabilities raise questions about the effects of such systems on people, their communities and societies at large.

This talk will describe some basic AI techniques in the context of (science) fiction imaginings and examine their strengths and weaknesses, with the goal of illustrating ways to distinguish fact from fiction. The talk will also discuss ethical challenges these technologies pose, and examine the roles of design and policy in increasing benefit and reducing potential negative impacts.

Join HOH this May to explore the challenges surrounding artificial intelligence with Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University Barbara Grosz. She has made many contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through her pioneering research in natural language processing and in theories of multi-agent collaboration and their application to human-computer interaction.

She was founding dean of science and then dean of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and she is known for her role in the establishment and leadership of interdisciplinary institutions and for her contributions to the advancement of women in science. Professor Grosz currently chairs the Standing Committee for Stanford’s One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence and serves on the boards of several scientific, scholarly and academic institutions.

Schedule of Events:
6:30 p.m.: Appetizers and Schmoozing
7:00 p.m.: Shabbat Services
8:15 p.m.: Featured Speaker
8:45 p.m.: Shabbat Dinner and Schmoozing

Vilna and Havurah on the Hill will never turn anyone away for inability to pay. If you would like to attend but finances are of concern, please email Director of Communications and Community Outreach Lynne Krasker Schultz at

Parking information:
The Vilna Shul offers free parking with validation for Havurah on the Hill Friday night services. Parking validation is only good for the garage at the Charles River Plaza/Cambridge Street Garage at 165 Cambridge St. This garage is between the Charles River Plaza Shopping Center (Whole Foods) and Au Bon Pain, and across from the Starbucks, near the intersection of Blosson Street and Cambridge Street. Do not enter the Whole Foods lot – the Vilna does not validate for that lot. You will receive a green ticket upon entry. Any other color tickets cannot be validated. Please visit our “Getting Here” page for more information on parking and transportation.

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Fact Sheet
Friday, May 18, 2018, 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
The Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture
18 Phillips St
Boston, MA 02114
$12.00 Per person

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