Quantum to Cosmos Festival
Activity recorded from neurons in the brain often looks random or chaotic. How do we make sense of the world and produce precisely controlled responses when so much of the activity in our brains is chaotic? This talk will show how brain circuits can switch between chaotic and well-controlled patterns of activity, illustrating these points with computer demonstrations of network models. This talk will also discuss how chaotic activity may be useful for a healthy brain function and demonstrate what goes wrong when activity is insufficiently chaotic.
How will robotics change us and our lives? Will AI driven robots put us on and accelerated evolutionary path? Why would we want a more heavily robotized society? Do we have choice in the matter? Be part of the live studio audience for this special edition of TVO's Agenda with Steve Paikin.
The Internet promises the realization of two of humanity's noblest dreams: universal access to all human knowledge and the capacity to form and coordinate groups at virtually no cost. As great as this sounds, it's bad news for certain kinds of top-heavy organizations and the kinds of companies that got rich on exclusion from information. From the UN to shady back-room "plurilateral" treaty negotiations, from the blogosphere to staid standards-committees, the fight over the future rages, with diplomacy and activism at its core.
Are we ready to come face to face with our innermost genetic secrets? Will this knowledge help us make wise choices? Can we trust ourselves and others with safeguarding this most potent knowledge? Be part of the live studio audience for this special edition of TVO's Agenda with Steve Paikin.
The search for the origins of species has entailed a series of great adventures over the past 200 years. This talk will chronicle the exploits of a group of explorers who walked where no one had walked, saw what no one had seen, and thought what no one else had thought. Their achievements sparked a revolution that changed, profoundly and forever, our perception of the living world and our place within it.
With studies suggesting the vocabularies of young people today are shrinking and some university professors claiming the essay is hardly worth assigning anymore due to shortened attention spans, some wonder whether technology has done more harm to our kids than good. Our panel of experts will debate the issue.
In our lifetime we have seen a broad transformation in the way we interact with technology in our daily lives. And further developments in technology promise a continued impact. Are we comfortable living in a world that never shuts off? How has this technology affected us, our thinking, our relationships and the way our work works? Is technological progress always for the better? Be part of the live studio audience for this special edition of TVO's Agenda with Steve Paikin.
Computer science has served to isolate programs and programmers from knowledge of the mechanisms used to manipulate information, however this fiction is increasingly hard to maintain as devices scale down in size and systems scale up in complexity. This talk will explore the consequences of exposing rather than hiding this underlying physical reality, in areas including logic automata, interdevice internetworking, intelligent infrastructure, digital fabrication and programmable matter.
Commitment to space travel has ebbed and flowed. Physicist Stephen Hawking believes the way to ensure human survival is to continue space exploration. Critics of space travel argue that Planet Earth is in dire need of our attention and resources right now. Is there a trade-off between going to space and fighting climate change, overpopulation and other earthly concerns? Be part of the live studio audience for this special edition of TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
Over the last decade our picture of the universe has changed almost as much as it had in the preceding century. As a result, our picture of the future, both of the universe, and life within it, has dramatically altered as well. This talk will begin by reviewing the recent revolutionary developments in cosmology, and then address several fascinating questions that have arisen as a result of our discovery that the dominant energy of the universe resides in empty space: Can life be eternal in an eternally expanding universe,? Are the laws of physics tailored for the existence of life?