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Taste of UIS opens with a look at debate over computer emotions

January 26, 2007

Contact: Mary Caroline Mitchell, 217/206-7395, mmitc1@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD – This spring's Taste of UIS: Distinguished Faculty/Alumni Lunchtime Lecture series will begin Wednesday, February 14, at Maldaner's Upstairs, 222 South Sixth St., Springfield. These monthly presentations sponsored by the University of Illinois Alumni Association at UIS are open to the public; however, reservations are required.

The first program will feature Dr. Keith Miller, UIS professor of Computer Science, whose topic will be "Computers in Love? The growing debate about intentions and emotions in artificial agents."

Until recently, the notion that computers might have emotions or make moral choices was only science fiction. However, as computers become more sophisticated, the line between what humans can do and what computers can do is blurring. Many thoughtful people argue that computers are now, or soon will be, "moral agents" capable of making ethical decisions – perhaps even falling in love. Miller will examine ideas currently under discussion among computer scientists, philosophers, and others.

The series will continue on Wednesday, March 21, with "African-American Women Leaders: Overcoming the Odds."

The program runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes a buffet lunch. Cost is $20 per person, $15 for Alumni Association members and their guests. Make reservations no later than February 7 by calling Alumni Relations at 217/206-7395, registering on-line at www.uiaa.org/spfld/, or e-mailing alumni@uis.edu.

 

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The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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