Worcester Business Journal
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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.