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Brian Christian & Michio Kaku

Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 9:00pm

Every year there is a contest to see how well computer programs can imitate human conversations. Conceived decades earlier by the legendary scientist Alan Turing, this battle between “meat and math” involves judges communicating blindly with either a computer or a human via a keyboard. Tonight’s guest BRIAN CHRISTIAN, writer, philosopher, computer scientist and poet was chosen to represent humanity in one such battle. But in order to do his best for his species, he needed to discover what makes human conversation “human”? For over a decade now, there have existed computer programs that convincingly imitate psychotherapists, people from other countries, and flirting strangers. But in the end, there is still something subtle and unique about human-to-human speaking. What is it? Tune in tonight for a humorous and insightful conversation about, well, conversation. Brian Christian’s important and enjoyable new book is titled THE MOST HUMAN HUMAN: WHAT TALKING WITH COMPUTERS TEACHES US ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ALIVE.

What will life be like for humanity in the year 2100? Will it be all jet packs and renegade androids? Tonight on Inquiry, we speak with writer and Professor of Theoretical Physics at City University, New York MICHIO KAKU. Based on interviews and visits with over 300 top scientists and being sure to stay within the known laws of physics, Professor Kaku makes a serious attempt to predict where technology will bring us in a century. His results are nothing short of mind blowing, yet still based on discoveries that are occurring now. Tune in and discover quantum computing; nanobot surgery, fusion reactors and the possibility of shape-shifting, programmable matter. “By 2100, our destiny is to become like the gods we once worshipped and feared”. Professor Kaku’s mind-blowing new book is PHYSICS OF THE FUTURE: HOW SCIENCE WILL SHAPE HUMAN DESTINY AND OUR DAILY LIVES BY THE YEAR 2100.

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Underwriter of the Week

Announcing the 60th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival.

August 1st through 3rd in Newport, RI.

Tickets on sale now at