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Clockwork Ducks & AI Mind Tricks

This venue has a ramp available for step-free access. There are accessible toilets.
Past event - 2024
14 May Doors 7pm
Event 7.30-9.30pm
The Winchester, 206 Archway Road,
London N6 5BA
Sold Out!
Quack up with Miranda as she unveils the world of the 18th century robot, the Digesting Duck, and its ties to modern AI. Then delve into the quirky mindscape of natural decision-making with Noor, a theoretical neuroscientist. Dive into the world of artificial intelligence, where past meets present in a fascinating exploration of technological advancement!

A Sensational 18th Century Robot Duck, and Modern AI

Dr Miranda Mowbray (Honorary Lecturer at the University of Bristol)
Recent developments in generative AI have been associated with jaw-dropping technical advances, wildly exuberant predictions, and controversies about the nature of life itself. This atmosphere has occurred before. My talk will be about the Digesting Duck, a clockwork-driven robot duck, which was a sensation across Europe in the 18th Century. I’ll describe some links between the Digesting Duck and modern AI, both in terms of technological development, and of the philosophical questions raised in discussions about them. What can we learn from the Duck that might be applicable to modern AI?
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Acting like us: Training artificial agents to behave like humans

Dr Noor Sajid (Postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics)
Imagine machines learning from the world in the same intuitive way humans do: mastering tasks from walking to puzzle-solving with the same fluid adaptability that defines us. This vision is rapidly becoming a reality, marking a new era in our technological journey. In my talk, I’ll delve into how we're guiding artificial agents to emulate the complex decision-making of biological entities like us, employing generative models as our tool. This approach does more than push the boundaries of artificial intelligence; it offers us a mirror to better understand our own neural processes.
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