Intelligence Squared U.S. Hosts Artificial Intelligence Debate with Lanier, Rothblatt, and more at NYC's 92Y Genius Festival and Online, March 9

Arguing for the motion are Jaron Lanier, named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, and documentary filmmaker James Barrat, whose most recent book is subtitled Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era.

In the past year, the world's leading technologists, innovators and scientists like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk have begun warning about the dangers of artificial intelligence. Hawking wrote, "Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last." Are these warnings warranted, or is this science-fiction paranoia? Could the "Terminator" become reality, or will such fears prevent the next technological revolution? On Wednesday, March 9, America's debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. continues its tenth anniversary with a live debate co-presented with the 92nd Street Y on the motion "Artificial Intelligence: The Risks Could Outweigh the Rewards."

Arguing for the motion are Jaron Lanier, named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, and documentary filmmaker James Barrat, whose most recent book is subtitled Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era. Arguing against the motion are Martine Rothblatt, the highest-paid female CEO in the U.S. who has created a cyborg of her wife, and James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

The debate will be a featured program during 92nd Street Y's 7 Days of Genius festival. It will stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast "Intelligence Squared U.S." This event is co-presented with 92nd Street Y, a world-class cultural and community center where people all over the world connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation. On March 9, online viewers can tune in here ( or via IQ2's app (

WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "Artificial Intelligence: The Risks Could Outweigh the Rewards"
WHEN: Wed, March 9, 2015 / Debate 7:00-8:45 PM
WHERE: 92nd Street Y / Kaufmann Concert Hall / 1395 Lexington Avenue / New York, NY 10128
TICKETS: $15-$42 (50% off for ages 35 and under). To purchase, visit

Arguing for the motion:
* James Barrat: Author, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era
James Barrat is a documentary filmmaker who has written and produced films for National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, and many other broadcasters in the U.S. and Europe. His long fascination with Artificial Intelligence came to a head in 2000, when he interviewed inventor Ray Kurzweil, roboticist Rodney Brooks, and sci-fi legend Arthur C. Clarke. Kurzweil and Brooks were casually optimistic about a future they considered inevitable - a time when we will share the planet with intelligent machines. In his recent book Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era, Barrat writes about what can go wrong with the development and application of advanced AI, which he believes is the most important conversation of our time.
* Jaron Lanier: Computer Scientist & Author, Who Owns the Future?
Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, author, and composer, best known for his work in virtual reality research, a term he coined and popularized. A widely celebrated technology writer, Lanier has charted a humanistic approach to technology appreciation and criticism. He is the author of the award-winning, international bestseller Who Owns the Future?, as well as You Are Not a Gadget. He writes and speaks on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technological practices, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism. Included on Encyclopedia Britannicas list of historys 300 or so greatest inventors, Lanier has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, one of the 100 top public intellectuals by Foreign Policy, one of the top 50 World Thinkers by Prospect.

Arguing against the motion:
* James Hughes: Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
James Hughes, PhD, is the executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. A bioethicist and sociologist, he serves as the associate provost for institutional research, assessment, and planning for the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future, and is working on a second book tentatively titled Cyborg Buddha. From 1999 to 2011, Hughes produced the syndicated weekly radio program, Changesurfer Radio. A fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is also a member of Humanity+, the Neuroethics Society, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, and the Working Group on Ethics and Technology at Yale University. He speaks on medical ethics, health care policy and future studies worldwide.
* Martine Rothblatt: Transhumanist, Entrepreneur & Author, Virtually Human
Martine Rothblatt is the chairman and CEO of United Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, and the author of Virtually Human: The Promise - and Peril - of Digital Immortality. The highest-paid female CEO in the U.S., Rothblatt is a transhumanist, well known for creating BINA48, a cyborg of her wife. Previously, as an attorney-entrepreneur, she was responsible for launching several satellite communications companies, including SiriusXM, where she served as chairman and CEO. In the 1990s, she entered the life sciences field by leading the International Bar Associations project to develop a draft Human Genome Treaty for the UN, and by founding United Therapeutics. Rothblatt's inventions transcend information technology and medicine, and most recently include an Alzheimer's cognitive enabler that uses mindware to process mindfiles so that a mindclone of a person's consciousness results. The potential and ethics of this technology is described in her latest book, Virtually Human.

A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to todays often biased media landscape. IQ2US reaches millions through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts and interactive digital content. It is one of the top 25 most popular podcasts on iTunes, and has won the 2014 Clarion Award for Radio Regular Feature Program and three consecutive 2013-2015 New York Festivals International Radio Awards for Best Public Affairs Program. The debates have attracted some of the world's top thinkers, including Malcolm Gladwell, Paul Krugman, Laura Ingraham, Nicholas Carr, Arianna Huffington, Peter Thiel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Andrew Solomon, and Hannah Rosin. With over 100 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

92nd Street Y is a center for the arts and innovation, a convener of ideas, and an incubator for creativity. Founded in 1874, it seeks to create programs of distinction that foster the physical and mental growth of people throughout their lives. From its New York headquarters, 92Y offers thousands of programs, including talks with leaders in every field; outstanding performing, visual and literary arts presentations and classes; fitness and sports programs; and activities for children and families. 92Y creates community far beyond its four walls, bringing people from all over the world together through innovations like the award-winning #GivingTuesday. Along with live webcasts and a growing online archive of free talks and performances, its transforming the way people share ideas and translate them into action. 92Ys programming is built on a foundation of Jewish values: the capacity of civil dialogue to change minds; the potential of education and the arts to change lives, and a commitment to welcoming and serving people of all ages, races, religions and ethnicities. For more information, visit

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