The Agony and the Ecstasy of Tech
Toby Walsh + Grace Chan + Clinton Fernandes + Helen Marshall
Queensland Terrace, slq
#About the event
Duration: 60 minutes
It is to the great credit of Brisbane Writers Festival that this event copy was not written by a robot. The past few months have seen the rise of ChatGPT, a fun and totally harmless step towards Roko’s Basilisk; things that recently seemed like science fiction are now playing prominent roles in our social reality. Join these powerful human mind machines to get to the bottom of future tech and whether we should be afraid of it – or terrified.
Professor Toby Walsh is Chief Scientist of UNSW.AI, UNSW's new AI Institute. He is a strong advocate for limits to ensure AI is used to improve our lives, having spoken at the UN, and to heads of state, parliamentary bodies, company boards and many others on this topic. This advocacy has led to him being "banned indefinitely" from Russia. He is a Fellow of the Australia Academy of Science, and was named on the international "Who's Who in AI" list of influencers. He has written three books on AI for a general audience, the most recent is Machines Behaving Badly: the morality of AI.
Grace Chan is an Aurealis and Norma K Hemming Award-shortlisted speculative fiction writer. She can’t seem to stop scribbling about brains, minds, space, technology, and identity. Her short fiction can be found in Going Down Swinging, Clarkesworld, Aurealis, and many other places. Her debut novel, Every Version of You, is about staying in love after mind-uploading into virtual reality (Affirm Press, 2022). Grace was born in Malaysia and lives in Melbourne. In her other life, she works as a psychiatrist.
Professor Clinton Fernandes is in the Future Operations Research Group at the University of New South Wales. His work analyses the operational environment, and the threats, risks and opportunities that military forces will face, in the 2030-50 timeframe. He has published on the relationship between science, diplomacy and international law, intelligence operations in foreign policy, the implications of new technology and Australia's external relations more generally. His latest book is Subimperial Power: Australia in the International Arena (MUP).
Dr Helen Marshall is a Senior Lecturer of Creative Writing at the University of Queensland. She has won the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award for her two collections of short stories. Her debut novel The Migration argued for the need to remain hopeful, even in the worst circumstances. It was one of The Guardian’s top science fiction books of the year. With her colleagues, Prof Kim Wilkins and Dr. Lisa Bennett, she runs the What If Lab at the University of Queensland, which specialises in creative arts, speculative fiction and imagination-led workshops for researchers from different backgrounds and disciplines.