2020 Worldcon (CoNZealand) is just around the corner! They’ve had some scheduling and related issues, but it looks like most of those issues have gotten sorted out, through lots of behind-the-scenes help from the Hugo finalist crew and other volunteers. Here’s my final lineup!
- Escape Artists fan event
CDT Tue 6/28 4pm = NZST Weds 7/29 9am
This event belongs to Alasdair and Marguerite, co-owners of Escape Artists, but I’ll show up for sure to say hi to Escape Pod fans!
- Panel: Cyborgs and Society
CDT Tue 7/28 6pm = NZST Weds 7/29 11am
Brain-machine interfaces are currently in early clinical trials, and they’ve proven the ability to let a human brain control a robotic limb. Sometime in the coming years, this technology will move from the laboratory to the public. How might society respond to the option of becoming a cyborg, and the presence of cyborgs among us? Many factors will influence this, including media, fiction, aesthetics, and what kinds of organizations drive the rollout. What responses do we expect, and how will these responses vary in different cultures and communities?
Panelists: Benjamin C. Kinney (M), SL Huang, SB Divya, Errick Nunnally
- Literary Beer / Kaffeeklatsch
CDT Tue 7/28 9pm = NZST Weds 7/29 2pm (may be rescheduled)
Coffee time for New Zealand’s timezone, beer for me in the US. Have any questions about Escape Pod, or want to discuss a bit of neuroscience for your fiction and/or curioisity? Come hang out!
- Academic Panel: Is Capitalism Stifling Research?
CDT Thu 7/30 7pm = NZST Fri 7/31 12pm
Is corporate control of research and the drive for short-term profit crippling scientific innovation and basic research? Do established companies always feel threatened by new technology and lobby for legislation to restrict it?
Panelists: Benjamin C. Kinney (M), Raymond Sheh, Keith Kato, Diane Kelly
- Panel: Universal Rights in the Age of AI
CDT Thu 7/30 11pm = NZST Fri 7/31 4pm
Human rights are a contentious issue – while many nations signed the UN Declaration on Human Rights, that consensus only formed because the Declaration doesn’t specify where rights come from. How can the definition and origin of “universal” rights grapple with the rise of general artificial intelligence? What rights are inherent to people made of small, sub-sentient devices scattered across an asteroid belt, or to algorithms of commercial origin? Will the AIs think we deserve rights, or will they resent slow meatbrained humans passing judgment on them?
Panelists: Dr. Hirotaka Osawa, L.J. Kendall, Barbara Howe, Mikko Rauhala (M), Benjamin C. Kinney
- Panel: Thalience and Sentience
CDT Sat 7/31 8pm = NZST Sun 8/2 1pm
Thalience and sentience. Is there really a difference? How do we tease it out?
Panelists: Karl Schroeder (M), Benjamin C. Kinney, Eli K.P. William, SB Divya