Popular science talk at Fantasticon 2009

Thore Husfeldt will give a popular science talk at the Copenhagen Science Fiction convention Fantasticon 2009 on Sunday, 30 August, at 12.

From the abstract:

[...] as a technologically curious person, you want to understand the role played by computation in current society:

  • Why do Google, genome sequencing, and car navigation systems work? These are computationally feasible tasks with astounding consequences for society.

  • Why can’t I use natural language to talk to my computer, like in Star Trek? This computational task is routinely solved by our brains, but we don’t seem to be able to automate it, to our great annoyance.
  • Why can’t my neighbour break my home banking cryptosystem? A seemingly computationally infeasible task, to our great pleasure.

[...] as a consumer of speculative fiction, you want to understand the questions that permeate your genre. In general, the nature of our computational world determines the possibility of strong artificial intelligence, a trope of Science Fiction. In particular, writers such as Charles Stross make the transition between these computational worlds a central world-building or plot element. [...]

Charles Stross is Guest of Honour at Fantasticon.

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