The Miraculous From the Material With Alan Lightman

February 26, 2023 Concord Free
Alan lightman & BINA48
Alan Lightman with android Bina48 in "SEARCHING: Our Quest for Meaning in the Age of Science." (Courtesy: American Public Television)

Can we build an advanced robot that has consciousness? Learn more when you watch Alan Lightman converse with BINA48.

Join Kerem Shalom of Concord member Alan Lightman online for a presentation focusing on the PBS series “SEARCHING: Our Quest for Meaning in the Age of Science,” (which aired last month). The series is based on several of Alan’s books. In his talk, he will explore a few of the large questions considered in the series:

  • What does it mean to be human in a world of increasing science and technology?
  • How can a system made of material atoms and molecules give rise to complex human experiences, like consciousness, falling in love, and awe?
  • Can we create a conscious computer or organism in the lab and, if so, what moral and ethical responsibilities would we have?

Alan will illustrate his talk with video clips from the series. In the clips, he will talk to Jack Szostak, a Nobel-Prize-winning biologist; Ruth Faden, a leading bioethicist at Johns Hopkins; Micah Greenstein, a rabbi in Memphis, Tennessee; the Dalai Lama; and BINA48, the most advanced android created so far.

Alan is a Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at MIT, a novelist and essayist, a distinguished physicist, and social entrepreneur. In 2003 he founded the Harpswell Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower a new generation of women leaders in Southeast Asia. Alan has received numerous accolades and awards for his extensive creative work at the intersection of the sciences and the humanities.

Watch a trailer for the PBS series.

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Fact Sheet
Sunday, February 26, 2023, 10:30 am - 8:00 pm
Kerem Shalom
659 Elm St
Concord, MA 01742
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