"Can Computers Reason and Enjoy Sex?" by Matthew Dickerson

Date: January 24, 2012
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: BB 2.06.04 (University Room)

"Can Computers Reason and Enjoy Sex?"
by Dr. Matthew Dickerson, Middlebury College


ABSTRACT: What are computers really capable of doing—not just now, but at any time in the future? Can they reason? Can they have real relationships? Are they spiritual? And what are the implications of this to an understanding of our own human nature? Although these questions require some understanding of what computation is, they are ultimately rooted in philosophical ideas rather than in any technological developments—and in an understanding of reason itself. In addressing these questions, this talk explore implications of the philosophy of naturalism espoused by philosophers such as Daniel Dennett (Consciousness Explained) and scientists like Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), as well as whether the promises of futurists such as Raymond Kurzweil (they key figure in the Singularity movement and the author of The Age of Spiritual Machines) really make sense.


BIO: Matthew Dickerson is a professor of computer science and environmental studies at Middlebury College in Vermont and the author of numerous books including, most recently, The Mind and the Machine: what it Means to be Human and Why it Matters. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University.


This talk has been jointly sponsored by UTSA Housing & Residence Life and by the Department of Computer Science.