Central Colorado Humanists Sunday Science May 5, Artificial Intelligence

Central Colorado Humanists press release for Sunday Science, Sunday, May 5, 2024.

“Artificial Intelligence: Friend or Foe” is the title of the Central Colorado Humanists Sunday Science program for May 5, 2024. Dr Dan Bishop’s talk will address the developing field of artificial intelligence and its potential for good or harm. The program begins at 10:00 AM at the Scout Hut at 210 E Sacket, Salida, CO.

Artificial Intelligence was first recognized as a distinct field in Computer Science in 1956. But progress in AI over the next 60 years followed a tortuous path of fits and starts with lots of hype and frequent disappointments. Only recently has it become a significant factor in our daily lives. This presentation will identify the advances that have taken place in the last few years that have made this change possible.

The talk will also highlight some of the astonishing advances and new applications in AI that are revolutionizing our world at an awesome pace. If you have a computer, you can now use AI to generate short stories, business and academic reports, computer code, cartoons and quality images with a one or two sentence request. You can create short video sequences. AI can now legally guide a vehicle on major highways in California and Nevada and provide limited taxi service in several U.S. cities.

But there are dangers in the rampant proliferation of a new technology that even its developers admit they don’t fully understand. There are respected leaders in the field that fear AI could pose an existential threat to humanity. Should AI be regulated, and, if so, how and to what extent? How can we, as individuals, protect ourselves from fake text and images created with AI? With this presentation, Dan will attempt to show how AI got to where it is today, provide some insight into what the future of AI may bring, and provide details into how we can mitigate the very real dangers posed by AI today.

Dr. Dan Bishop is a retired associate professor of chemistry from Colorado State University (Ft. Collins). During the course of his teaching career, he actively pursued Computer Assisted Instruction in his classes and labs and marketed his programs nationwide. This led to a move to Buena Vista with his wife Ann, where they lived off and on between 1980 and 2000. In Buena Vista, Dan continued to market his programs, and created custom software for several local businesses. He also did a stint as lead programmer in Colorado Springs for Lockheed Martin’s space program. Dan and Ann have resided in Salida since 2012. In retirement, he has devoted his energies to art and writing. He has written and published two novels in a trilogy, The Saturn Accords, and is hoping to finish the third volume this year. One of the trilogy’s main characters is a fully sentient android. Regarding the now-burgeoning field of Artificial Intelligence, he is guardedly optimistic that AI could lead humanity into a new era of prosperity.

Central Colorado Humanists sponsor Sunday Science on the first Sunday of each month. Each presentation is informative and features a science topic that is understandable by both scientists and non-scientists. The doors open at 9:30 a. m. and the talk begins promptly at 10 a. m. Admission is free, and the public is welcome. Please join us.

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