Interview, Discussie

AI, Consciousness, and Purpose: A Deep Dive

Dr. Federico Faggin, Regina Luttge, Hans Busstra, Maarten Steinbuch
Dinsdag 4 juni 2024, 19:30 - 21:15
Blauwe Zaal, Auditorium
Prijs: Gratis (Student) Gratis (Anderen)

Will AI surpass humanity? Not according to Dr. Federico Faggin, the visionary pioneer who invented the world's first commercial microprocessor. He strongly disagrees with the popular notion that the human mind is essentially an advanced computer.

Can computers achieve human intelligence and develop consciousness, and even feelings, as science fiction often predicts? This is a question that has long fascinated Federico Faggin. While working on artificial neural networks at his company, Synaptics, he began to wonder if it would be possible to build a conscious computer. This turned into a lifelong personal and scientific quest, resulting in a new theory of consciousness based on the latest findings in physics. He argues that consciousness is not "computable" as an algorithm, but that our inner life has more in common with quantum mechanics. 

In a panel discussion with experts from various fields, Faggin will explore the implications of AI for understanding consciousness and the search for purpose and meaning in a technologically advanced society. Tonight is your chance to hear from one of the most influential figures in technology and scientific research. Dive into the depths of technology's potential and explore the philosophical questions that shape our future and our understanding of the universe. Faggin's concepts and ideas could be seen as a prelude to a fascinating paradigm shift to come.

Dr. Federico Faggin is an Italian-born physicist with a renowned track record in physics, engineering, and innovation. Shortly after joining Fairchild Semiconductor in Palo Alto, he designed the world's first commercial microprocessor, a turning point for the electronics industry. It became the universal building block of digital electronic systems, significantly impacting the global economy and people's daily lives. In later years, Faggin turned to the profound questions of consciousness and reality, establishing the Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation to support scientific research in these areas. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation. This June, his book Irreducible will be published in English, in which he argues that consciousness is ultimately not scientifically reducible. This may be bad news for those hoping that AIs can truly come to life, but it is good news for those who fear a technological takeover of humanity.

Dr. ir. Regina Luttge is an Associate Professor in the Microsystems Department and Chair of Neuro-Nanoscale Engineering at TU/e. Her research focuses on growing brain cells in so-called brain-on-chip devices. She is currently working on leveraging her expertise in nanoengineering for biology and medicine gained through many multidisciplinary projects, like CONNECT, in the BayesBrain project: a hybrid AI computer with brain cells working together with silicon-based microprocessors to create an extremely energy-efficient computing device. 

Hans Busstra studied history and international relations at the University of Groningen and has a BA in documentary filmmaking from the Dutch Film Academy. As a programmer he worked for the NPO 2DOC, De Keuringsdienst van Waarde and produced several investigative journalistic documentaries for VPRO Tegenlicht in the fields of technology, religion and consciousness. Since 2023 he is fully associated with the Essentia Foundation, where he works as a science journalist and filmmaker on the latest scientific and philosophical findings on consciousness.

Prof. dr. ir. Maarten Steinbuch is a Distinguished University Professor in Systems and Control at TU/e and a serial tech entrepreneur. He is best known for his work in the field of advanced motion control and robotics for high-precision surgery. He is a key opinion leader on the impact of emerging technologies such as robotics, big data and advanced biotechnology on humanity.

The evening will be moderated by Dr. Barry Fitzgerald.

This event is organized in cooperation with the Essentia Foundation.

Ticket reservation recommended
To be assured of a seat, we recommend reserving a ticket (black "order" button).

SG & USE/ITEC registration 
Please register for SG & USE/ITEC by scanning your student ID at the venue prior to the start of the program.
More information about SG & USE/ITEC can be found here

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