Our friends at Southern California Public Radio, home of KPCC, begin something new this evening, Thursday, August 16. NEXT: People | Science | Tomorrow is a live event series that I am very honored to host. We will ask how the accelerating pace of scientific discovery and technological innovation are changing society, civilization, and human nature. Each monthly conversation in SCPR’s Crawford Family Forum will consider an aspect of what’s to come for our species. A lot of very smart people are issuing forecasts of an abundant, tech-enabled future, one in which such age-old curses as poverty, famine, war and even mortality become no more than painful memories.
But what new challenges will arise? Will intelligent machines surpass or replace their makers? Or might we merge with our creations in a cyber singularity that spreads throughout the galaxy? We’ll leap into this topic with scientist, futurist and award-winning science fiction author David Brin, and Professor Paul Rosenbloom of USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, where they are building virtual humans.