“The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)” with Dr Katie Mack

Throughout history philosophers, poets and explorers have been pondering upon and debating the question that what the long term future of our universe would be. The focus has been on two intriguing perspectives: would the universe continue to exist forever or would it end at some point in time in future. Modern scientists seem to be in agreement that in the distant future the world will end; our universe will die. At that time, humanity might still exist in many unrecognizable spinoff forms, venturing out to distant space, finding new homes and building new civilizations. But the death of the universe if final. It is hard to contemplate that a time will come when, all that we care about, all that we have imagined and built, that all will end. It is equally hard to address the question that how our universe will end. In her latest book “The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)”, Dr Katherine (Katie) Mack outlines five different ways the universe could end, and discusses in detail the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in physics. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps, I speak with Dr Katie Mack about her research and about these possible endings of our universe.

Dr Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. Throughout her career she has studied dark matter, the early universe, galaxy formation, black holes, cosmic strings, and the ultimate fate of the cosmos. Alongside her academic research, she is an active science communicator and has been published in a number of popular publications such as Scientific American, The New York Times, Slate, Sky & Telescope, and Cosmos Magazine, where she is a columnist.

We start our conversation by discussing with Dr Katie Mack the beginning of the universe; we then discuss nature and the large scale structure of the observable universe. We discuss cutting-edge research on two important unknowns that we are faced with: Dark Matter and Dark Energy. In the book Dr Katie Mack outlines a number of ways in which this universe could end. We discuss in detail two of these possibilities. Finally we discuss the models and theories that we presently use to study the cosmos and how might a “theory of everything” enhance our ability to understand the true nature of reality. This has been a fascinating discussion with one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics.

By |August 27th, 2020|Cosmology, Physics, Podcasts|

Artificial Intelligence: Fascinating Opportunities and Emerging Challenges with Professor Bart Selman

Research and development in the field of Artificial Intelligence is progressing at an amazing pace. These developments are moving beyond simple applications such as machine vision, autonomous vehicles, natural language processing and medical diagnosis. Future AI systems will be able to use reasoning to make decisions; will employ innovative models of non-human intelligence; will augment human intelligence through human centric AI Systems. These systems will enable us to discover solutions to scientific and social problems, and will enable us to understand the physical world around us that has never been possible up-to this point in time. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps, I speak with Professor Bart Selman to discuss these fascinating opportunities as well as emerging challenges in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Bart Selman is a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor Bart Selman is the president-elect of The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. We begin our conversation by going through some of the recent developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence and how far we are from achieving the goal of developing Artificial General Intelligence.

We discuss in detail artificial reasoning, non-human intelligence and human centric AI. We also discuss state of the art research on the topic of explainable AI. We then discuss challenges posed by applying research in the field of AI to develop systems such as autonomous weapons, weaponized AI and other similar and sensitive domains. This has been a fascinating discussion about cutting edge research in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Compliment Professor Selman’s insights with equally fascinating discussion with Professor Toby Walsh “2062: The World That AI Made”.

By |August 14th, 2020|Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Podcasts|