Upcoming Event

John Brockman

presents

Possible Minds:
Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI

featuring lightning talks from twelve experts

Tickets on sale now

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
21
Thursday
February 21, 2019
6:00 PM
(Doors at 5:30)

Location

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

$29.75 (book included) - On Sale Now $6.00 (general entrance) - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store welcomes one of the nation’s leading science editors JOHN BROCKMAN—founder of The Edge Foundation, Inc. and editor of Know This, This Idea Must Die, This Explains Everything, and other volumes—for a presentation of his latest book, Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI.

This event will be a 90-minute program, featuring lightning talks from twelve experts—MARY CATHERINE BATESON, GEORGE CHURCH, KATE DARLING, PETER GALISON, NEIL GERSHENFELD, CAROLINE JONES, DAVID KAISER, SETH LLOYD, HANS ULRICH OBRIST, ALEX PENTLAND, STEVEN PINKER, and STEPHEN WOLFRAM—each offering a different perspective on the topic of artificial intelligence.

About Possible Minds

"Artificial intelligence is today's story—the story behind all other stories. It is the Second Coming and the Apocalypse at the same time: Good AI versus evil AI."  —John Brockman

More than sixty years ago, mathematician-philosopher Norbert Wiener published a book on the place of machines in society that ended with a warning: "We shall never receive the right answers to our questions unless we ask the right questions . . . The hour is very late, and the choice of good and evil knocks at our door." 

In the wake of advances in unsupervised, self-improving machine learning, a small but influential community of thinkers is considering Wiener's words again. In Possible Minds, John Brockman gathers their disparate visions of where AI might be taking us.

The fruit of the long history of Brockman's profound engagement with the most important scientific minds who have been thinking about AI—from Alison Gopnik and David Deutsch to Frank Wilczek and Stephen Wolfram—Possible Minds is an ideal introduction to the landscape of crucial issues AI presents. The collision between opposing perspectives is salutary and exhilarating; some of these figures, such as computer scientist Stuart Russell, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and physicist Max Tegmark, are deeply concerned with the threat of AI, including the existential one, while others, notably robotics entrepreneur Rodney Brooks, philosopher Daniel Dennett, and bestselling author Steven Pinker, have a very different view. Serious, searching, and authoritative, Possible Minds lays out the intellectual landscape of one of the most important topics of our time.

Praise

“While the [Possible Minds] authors disagree on the answers, they agree on the major question: what dangers might AI present to humankind? Within that framework, the essays offer a host of novel ideas . . . Enlightening, entertaining, and exciting reading.” —Publishers Weekly

John Brockman
John Brockman

John Brockman

John Brockman is a cultural impresario whose career has encompassed the avant-garde art world, science, books, software, and the Internet. The founder and publisher of the online salon Edge (www.edge.org), he is the editor of the Edge Question book series, which includes This Idea is Brilliant, Know This, This Idea Must Die, This Explains Everything, This Will Make You Smarter, and other volumes. His other books include The Third Culture and By the Late John Brockman. He is the founder of the international literary and software agency Brockman, Inc. and lives in New York City.

Photo Credit: Tobias Everke

Tickets are available online only at harvard.com and harvardbookstore.eventbrite.com. All tickets for this event include a $5 coupon for use in the bookstore. Pre-sale tickets include a copy of Possible Minds. Books bundled with pre-sale tickets may only be picked up at the venue the night of the event, and cannot be picked up in-store beforehand.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes

As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

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