Do People Still Google in the 23rd Century? #StarbaseIndy

Do People Still Google in the 23rd Century? #StarbaseIndy November 4, 2021

It’s official: I will be presenting at Starbase Indy this year. Here is the brief description of my talk:

Do People Google in the 23rd Century?
Indianapolis Mariott East, Salon B, November 28th 11:30am – 12:30pm

On Star Trek the Enterprise computer is full of answers from Starfleet’s records. Star Wars has its Jedi archives. Babylon 5 had access to records and Doctor Who had the Matrix long before The Matrix. But all of these are more like an encyclopedia than a library, even if Cmd. Data could read all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories using the ship’s computer. But rarely has science fiction envisaged a future with something like Google, with separate publications, bloggers, competing claims, and even misinformation. Join Prof. James F. McGrath of Butler University as he explores whether this difference indicates a lack of imagination on the part of modern sci-fi writers, a vision of a better future beyond our current information bubble dystopia, or something else entirely.

I will also be speaking at an online conference being hosted by the Islamic Seminary in Qom, Iran. The conference is about artificial intelligence and theism and will span a range of dates and seminars. I’ll be exploring how AI and theistic ethical reasoning relate to one another. I’ll share more about that when I can. In the meantime here is the poster:

I will also soon be able to share details about the inclusion of a novelette I wrote about the intersection of near-future AI technology and religion in an anthology of science fiction. The coinciding of the two makes me particularly excited and enthusiastic to have these opportunities to talk about this topic to interested audiences.

If you live in the vicinity of Indianapolis come hear me talk and at the same time seize the opportunity to buy a signed copy of one of my books. The edited volume Religion and Science Fiction has a long chapter by me on AI and religion, looking to the more distant future. There is discussion of the topic in Theology and Science Fiction as well.

In other news, I’ve seen the new Dune and loved it, I’ve been watching Foundation and enjoying it very much as well, and have seen the first episode of Jodie Whittaker’s final season as the Doctor on Doctor Who. In the latter, I’m intrigued by the setup of a storyline that is designed to explore the period in the Doctor’s life that she does not remember, but this season’s key nemesis does. Many questions remain, some of which are explored in a piece by Paul Driscoll.

See also:

Regulating AI before it’s too late

Eric Schwitzgebel asks, “Would You Shut Off a Robot That *Might* Be Conscious? The Near Future of A.I. Rights”

AI Generates Hypotheses Humans Have Not Thought Of

The anthropocene and alien invasions

Do futurists have their heads in the clouds?

Cooperative perception and autonomous vehicles

Robots as skyscraper window-washers

The influence of Dune

The Two Cities podcast reviews Dune

Information about a science and religion summer school to take place in 2022

AIs and art history

Finally, here’s a poster for my talk and book signing at Starbase Indy. Please do come, and whether you’re able to attend or not, please pass this along and help spread the word!

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