Science and Religion Conference on “Mind & World for Humans & Machines”

May 4, 2019
Cambridge Muslim College

Cambridge
United Kingdom

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Sponsor(s):

  • John Templeton Foundation

Organisers:

Cambridge Muslim College

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“Mind & World for Humans & Machines”

Cambridge Muslim College is pleased to announce the 2019 Religion & Science conference supported by the John Templeton Foundation on “Mind & World for Humans & Machines”.

The conference will be an excellent opportunity to present current research and new scientific perspectives alongside theological and philosophical views on human and machine intelligence, and follows on from two earlier conferences on the themes of intelligence and consciousness. The forthcoming conference will continue to focus on scientific, philosophical and theological perspectives on intelligence and will further aim to address how scientific developments are informing our understanding of how humans and machines represent and make epistemic contact with the world, as well as the nature of autonomy, agency and action for humans and machines.

In the past year, artificial intelligence and deep learning have continued to advance rapidly yielding notable developments in key areas such as machine learning, natural language processing and machine vision, which has renewed ambitions of attempting to develop artificial general intelligence. AI systems are now capable of significantly surpassing human capabilities in increasingly complex domains and are having a substantial impact on the nature of research in the physical sciences and humanities. In addition, there has been progress in designing systems that outperform highly ranked players in challenging games that require long-term planning, strategic decision making, and reasoning based on imperfect knowledge of the microworld of the game.

However, artificial agents are not intended to remain confined to the virtual microworlds in which they are gestated and trained, and their activities are gradually being transposed into the physical world. In concert with this is the transposition of human activity and presence into the digital world of artificial agents and machine forms of intelligence. This new informational environment is viewed as subsuming both cyber and physical space into a unified artificially constructed virtual world that is better suited to the capacities of machines than humans. The intersection of humans and machines in the shared space of the “information sphere” entails what Luciano Floridi has described as a “re-ontologization of our environment and of ourselves.

This conference will therefore consider issues arising from the reconstruction of mind and world and how broader developments in science and technology, of which AI constitutes a major part, are transforming our understanding of the intrinsic nature of mind and world. We invite papers that discuss scientific, philosophical and theological perspectives on human nature, the nature, role and function of the human intellect, the nature of the world we inhabit, and the reality we perceive and experience.

We welcome papers that discuss the critical role of the intellect and the relation of humans to the world according to religious traditions, as well as papers that discuss new understandings of intelligence and artificial general intelligence that are being developed in AI research, and the brain and mind sciences.

Scientists, engineers, philosophers and theologians interested in Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, Psychology, Neuroscience, Artificial General Intelligence, Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Science are invited to address issues in any of the following areas or others.

Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Cognitive Science and Cognitive Theories

Philosophy of Mind and AI

Perception and Sentience in Humans and Machines

Human and Machine Vision

Natural Language Processing, Speech Recognition and Synthesis

Intention and Action

Mental Representation and Intentionality

AI Ethics

AI and Metaphysics

Cyberspace, Virtual, Augmented and Extended Reality

Conference Details

Venue:   

The conference will be held in Cambridge and will be hosted by the Cambridge Muslim College.

Date:

Saturday 4th May 2019 from 10 am to 6 pm and will include a hot lunch and refreshments provided by the College.

Format:

Papers are invited for talks of between 20 to 25 minutes and each talk will be followed by time for questions and discussion.

Submission of Abstracts: 

Please submit a title and abstract of approximately 500 words to:

research@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 

Wednesday 13h March 2019. Notification of accepted submissions will be given by Friday 15th March 2019.

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