Dec 2016 – Review of the year and looking forward to 2017

Weds 14 Dec

We would like to use the December meeting of THINK to look back over our first full year of meetings, to look forward to our meetings in 2017 and as a general get together.

We suggest meeting a little bit earlier than usual (say 18:30) so that those who would would like to can take advantage of the Heart cafe Christmas menu.

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Oct 2016 – Journey – how have you ended up where you are?

Weds 12 Oct – Journey – how have you ended up where you are? – introduced by Noush

Looking back on your life, is there a single event that if it were changed, could have taken you down a different path?

Do you think that there is an event in the future that could dramatically change your life?

This meeting of THINK is part of the Headingley Festival of Ideas taster events during October 2016 (the idea for THINK started at an event that was part of the 2015 Headingley Festival of Ideas).

See also https://www.facebook.com/events/1580056702288047/

Aug 2016 – Would we benefit from a female-led society?

Weds 10 August – ‘Would we benefit from a female-led society?’ – introduced by Noush

Events have recently led to a new female Prime Minister and it’s possible the US will vote in its first female President this November. Will this lead to a difference in our politics and society?

See also http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/10/grayson-perry-rise-and-fall-default-man, suggested by Niamh

Jun 2016 – European and national identity

Weds 8 June – ‘European and national identity’ – introduced by Niamh

The EU referendum has been the headline news for some weeks now and looks set to dominate the proceedings for the weeks to come. They say if you can’t beat them, join them (or not!) so in this month’s THINK, the topic will be on European identity. Are we different from our European neighbours? And what does national identity mean?

April 2016 – The future for artificial intelligence?

Weds 13 April – ‘The future for artificial intelligence?’ – introduced by Noush

There was recently a story in the news about Tay, an artificial intelligence created by Microsoft to interact via Twitter, and to learn from conversations with people:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35890188

Unfortunately what Tay learnt wasn’t very pleasant and it had to be taken offline after tweeting racist and sexist remarks.

Is this the result of the ‘online disinhibition effect’, where people act differently as a result of perceived anonymity? Did people decide that because Tay wasn’t ‘real’, they didn’t need to interact with it in the same way as they would with other people? Does this mean that future artificial intelligence will need to have limits placed on their ability to learn?

March 2016 – Ethical issues at the beginning of life

Weds 9 March 2016 – Ethical issues at the beginning of life – introduced by Robert

A range of ethical issues arise especially at the beginning of life. Some are of long standing.  Others have arisen more recently as a result of scientific advances.  We might think of the issues under three headings, relating to conception, to genetics and to personal development.

For an example related to conception – if we are in a position to choose, how many children should we have? Is it wrong to restrict the number? Is it wrong not to restrict the number?