Sean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas
Sean Carroll, scientist and author
Sean Carroll hosts conversations with the world's most interesting thinkers. Science, society, philosophy, culture, arts, and ideas.
Derek Leben on Ethics for Robots and Artificial Intelligences
Once we leave the highly constrained sphere of artificial games and enter the real world of human actions, our artificial intelligences are going to have to make choices about the best course of action in unclear circumstances: they will have to learn to be ethical. I talk to Derek Leben about what this might mean and what kind of ethics our computers should be taught. It’s a wide-ranging discussion involving computer science, philosophy, economics, and game theory.
Raychelle Burks on the Chemistry of Murder
Raychelle Burks is an analytical chemist at St. Edward’s University. Before becoming an academic, she worked in a crime lab using chemistry to help police, and now she does research on building detectors for use in forensic analyses. We talk about how the real world of forensic investigation differs from the version portrayed on CSI, and how chemists use their tools to help law enforcement agencies. We may even touch on how criminals could use chemical knowledge to get away with their dastardly deeds.
Roger Penrose on Spacetime, Consciousness, and the Universe
Sir Roger Penrose has contributed an enormous amount to our understanding of general relativity, perhaps more than anyone since Einstein himself. He has made important contributions to mathematics, and has also made bold conjectures in the notoriously contentious areas of quantum mechanics and the study of consciousness. We concentrate in this discussion on spacetime, black holes, and cosmology, but we made sure to reserve some time to dig into quantum mechanics and the brain by the end.
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