Science Study Break - Machines Gone Wild

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2010-03-24

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University of Texas at Austin

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About Science Study Break: Take a break from the books and join UT researchers for cookies, chips, and chat about popular movies and TV shows that deal with science topics.

Many viewers uncritically accept scientific information presented in movies or on TV. That may be good in the case of a medical organization broadening viewers’ knowledge by using entertainment-education—for example, embedding information about breast cancer in the storyline of a telenovela. But that may be bad when “science” unconsciously absorbed from popular programming affects citizens’ considerations of public policy issues.

In each program of this occasional series, you’ll hear faculty members discuss realms of scientific possibility, evaluate presentations of science in popular culture, or mercilessly mock bad science and worse screenwriting. You’ll also sharpen your Bad Science Detector and discover library resources you can use to check the facts.

Science Study Break occurs twice each semester.

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Location: Wheeler Lecture Hall, RLM 4.102 -- Speaker: Dr. Risto Miikkulainen, Department of Computer Science -- Dr. Miikkulainen used scenes from popular shows and movies that show computers playing games, demonstrating humor, and exhibiting emotions to discuss the actual capacity of computers today and to speculate on their future ability to achieve sentience, transcend their programming, and go wild.

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