Science Week 2023: Exploring what it means to be Human

14 November 2023

This year’s Science Week, taking place from November 12th to 19th, presents an engaging theme titled ‘Human?’, challenging people to ponder what it means to be human in the modern world. The focus is on how current decisions will shape the future of humanity and the world. As part of the week-long programme of events, ADAPT academics and researchers will share their expertise in Artificial Intelligence, a field of research that focuses on developing AI technologies akin to human intelligence so that human capabilities can be augmented in the future.

Science Week 2023 encourages public involvement in the discussions, especially considering the implications for future generations. Critical issues like the climate emergency, social interactions, and the rise of artificial intelligence are at the heart of this discussion.

ADAPT researchers are actively participating in several events throughout the week. Professor Robert Ross will join a panel of experts for a special edition of Newstalk’s Futureproof with Jonathan McCrea on November 15th in a live broadcast in Dublin.  Interested parties can register for a ticket online. The show will explore what the final days of humanity might look like? Will it end with a volcanic eruption, meteors or a rogue AI?  

On November 15th, a screening of her (2013) will take place in UCD Cinema followed by a panel discussion on A.I. ethics and interfaces with Dr. Harvey O’Brien, UCD Head of Film, Dr Marguerite Barry, ADAPT academic and UCD School of Information and Communication Studies, Prof. Owen Conlan, ADAPT academic in the  School of Computer Science and Statistics, TCD and Dr Sharae Deckard, UCD. Further info available here.

In addition, ADAPT will continue to host the Ethics Studio until November 19th at the Digital Hub. This event aims to foster a dialogue about the ethical dimensions of technology and its impact on society.

Another collaboration will see an ‘Art or AI?’ social campaign, featuring contributions from ADAPT. Cathy Ennis will also be penning an insightful article on generative AI for, providing a deeper understanding of this groundbreaking technology.

Towards the weekend ADAPT’s Education and Public Engagement team, led by Laura Grehan, will be journeying to Cavan-Monaghan for the Science Festival on November 18th. Here, she will present the Art or AI?’ Museum of Very Modern Art which challenges you to spot if its artworks have been created by a human hand or generated by artificial intelligence.  In addition, on the 17th, Laura will conduct AI in My Life (AIML) workshops in two schools in Monaghan, fostering interest and knowledge among students in these cutting-edge fields.

Finally, on Sunday 19th November, Marguerite Barry will join a discussion panel for the SFI film screening in the Lighthouse Cinema on the documentary ‘Father of Cyborgs’. The documentary examines the ethics of self-experimentation and the unintended consequences of a future where technology and human brains combine. Tickets are available here.

Science Week 2023, with its focus on the future of humanity and the role of science in shaping it, promises to be a week filled with learning, discovery, and forward-thinking discussions. The ADAPT Centre’s participation highlights its commitment to advancing understanding in this crucial area, engaging the public in meaningful conversations about our collective future.