Anthony Aguirre|Stuart Russell|David Haussler|Seamus Blackley|Gaia Dempsey|Tim Fain : Augmented Intelligence at 1440 Multiversity

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Augmented Intelligence

Steering the Future of AI

March 28 - 31, 2019

Thursday - Sunday, 3 nights

$490 Tuition

Tuition until December 1 $490. Tuition until January 1 $550. Tuition Until February 1 $610. Tuition until the Event $670-Plus 3 nights all inclusive accommodations priced separately

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Program Description

As groundbreaking AI applications continue to emerge across fields such as healthcare, engineering, transport, gaming, manufacturing, and law, researchers, governments, and companies around the world see AI as a golden opportunity for investment and even the key to unlocking the next chapter of human development. And yet, questions still abound about how we will engage, politically and economically, with advanced AI systems. In Stuart Russell’s words, “a huge amount of cultural work has to be done” to engage with these questions. Most important among them: how do we steer toward a future where advanced AI is beneficial for everyone?

In this very special weekend, join Gaia Dempsey, entrepreneur and pioneer in the field of augmented reality, and Anthony Aguirre, PhD, Harvard-trained physicist and cofounder of the Future of Life Institute, along with a panel of experts in the field, to explore these urgent and vast social, economic, political, and cultural questions. Luminary guests include AI thought leader Stuart Russell, PhD, bioinformatician and human genome specialist David Haussler, PhD, OpenAI policy and ethics advisor Michael Page, and others.

Now is the time to untangle both the opportunity and challenges of this world-changing technology and help set a course for a productive and positive future. This weekend is a unique opportunity to shift the conversation into a new gear—moving beyond risk-mitigation strategies into engaging fundamental questions about the world we want to steer toward. A collaborative design practice grounded in research will guide us beyond the familiar tropes in the field, sparking truly new dialogue about the biggest issues surrounding advanced AI: international coordination, preserving individual agency in the context of human economic irrelevance, new mechanisms of preference aggregation, and new mechanisms of wealth distribution. Together, we’ll examine hard, exciting, and strange questions about the entwined future of AI and humans in a vibrant combination of:

  • Masterclass-level presentations
  • Engaging games and exercises leveraging world building techniques
  • Live immersive experiences such as the performance of an original composition by world-class violinist Tim Fain, evoking questions and emotions about the future
  • Small group discussion in an ego-free zone
  • Dedicated creative and idea-building time
  • Supported concept development
  • Charrette-style design workshops.

First, you’ll begin with an accelerated deep dive into the current state of AI—tailored by research on how our brains learn most effectively. Immersive and interactive discussions will lay the groundwork for a collective envisioning process.

Then, using the techniques of world building, you will develop rational, emotional, moral, and ethical concepts and designs that go beyond the abstract. World building is a generative design process that isn’t only about predicting what is likely, but about creating—making choices that steer toward the future we want. We’ll use world building to move past the limitations of our current experience and leapfrog into new paradigms.

This thrilling, in-depth weekend immersion will provide you with the mental priming, creative inspiration, intellectual community, and hands-on resources needed to envision and create real-world solutions, grounded in human values.


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  • Faculty Bio
    Anthony Aguirre, PhD

    Physicist, cofounder of Foundational Questions Institute

    Anthony Aguirre is a theoretical cosmologist and a Harvard-trained professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He cofounded and is the associate scientific director of the nonprofit organization Foundational Questions Institute and is the cofounder of the Future of Life Institute.

    He received his doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University in 2000 and then spent three years as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, before accepting a professorship in the physics department of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

    He has worked on a wide variety of topics in theoretical cosmology (the study of the formation, nature, and evolution of the universe), including the early universe and inflation, gravity physics, first stars, the intergalactic medium, galaxy formation, and black holes.

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    Stuart Russell, PhD 

    Computer scientist, director of the Center for Human-Compatible AI

    Stuart Russell is a renowned professor and former chair of the electrical engineering and computer sciences department at the University of California, Berkeley. At UC Berkeley, he holds the Smith-Zadeh Chair in engineering and is the director of the Center for Human-Compatible AI. He is working on developing a new global seismic monitoring system for the nuclear-test-ban treaty for the United Nations.

    Dr. Russell’s research covers a wide range of topics in artificial intelligence (AI) including machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, real-time decision making, multitarget tracking, computer vision, computational physiology, and AI’s philosophical foundations. His current concerns include the threat of autonomous weapons and the long-term future of artificial intelligence and its relation to humanity.

    From 2012 to 2014 Dr. Russell held the prestigious Chaire Blaise Pascal in Paris. He is a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has also served as an adjunct professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, and as vice chair of the World Economic Forum’s Council on AI and Robotics. Dr. Russell is recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award of the National Science Foundation, the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, the World Technology Award (Policy category), the Mitchell Prize of the American Statistical Association, and Outstanding Educator Awards from both ACM and AAAI/EAAI.

    Dr. Russell is coauthor, with Peter Norvig, of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, the standard text on AI translated into 13 languages and used in more than 1,300 universities in 118 countries.

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    David Haussler, PhD

    Professor of biomolecular engineering

    David Haussler serves as the Distinguished Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he directs the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3). He is also the scientific co-director for the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research.

    Dr. Haussler’s research lies at the interface of mathematics, computer science, and molecular biology and involves developing new statistical and algorithmic methods to explore the molecular evolution of the human genome. He played a leading role in developing the new field of computational biology. He leads the Genome Bioinformatics Group, which designed and built the program that assembled the first working draft of the human genome sequence and posted it on the internet.

    Dr. Haussler is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a consulting professor at both Stanford Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco, Biopharmaceutical Sciences Department, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. He has received a number of awards, including the Dan David Prize, in the Future category, the Weldon Memorial prize for application of mathematics and statistics to biology, and the ASHG Curt Stern Award in Human Genetics. He was also awarded the Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award from the International Society for Computational Biology, the Dickson Prize in Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and the ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award in Artificial Intelligence.

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    Seamus Blackley

    Entrepreneur and video game designer

    Seamus Blackley is currently the CEO of Pacific Light & Hologram, a stealth VC-backed start-up. A high-energy physicist, Seamus Blackley turned his innovative spirit and fascination with technology toward gaming, becoming one of the industry’s prime movers.

    He has worked with Looking Glass Technologies on titles such as Ultima Underworld and System Shock, and on creating the sophisticated physics system in Flight Unlimited. After working at DreamWorks Interactive as an executive producer, Blackley joined Microsoft and brought the first Xbox console from conception to market.

    Blackley is also one of four founders of Capital Entertainment Group, a production company for games, and went on to represent video game developers at the Creative Artists Agency, evolving the position of video games within the entertainment industry. In 2012, he became cofounder and president of Innovative Leisure, developing games for iOS devices. Blackley took a post running the research and development team for the augmented reality startup DAQRI in 2017 to explore methods of producing more powerful holograms, and in 2018 became the CEO of tech start-up Pacific Light & Hologram.

    He is the recipient of the P.T. Barnum Award from Tufts University for his exceptional work in the field of media and entertainment.

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    Gaia Dempsey

    Founder and CEO of 7th Future

    Gaia Dempsey is an entrepreneur and pioneer in the field of augmented reality (AR). She was a cofounder and former managing director at DAQRI, an augmented reality hardware and software company that delivers a complete professional AR platform to the industrial and enterprise market.

    Gaia is currently the founder and CEO of 7th Future, a consultancy that partners and co-invests with technology leaders and communities to build and launch global-impact innovation models, with a commitment to openness, integrity, resilience, and long-term thinking.

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    Tim Fain 


    Tim Fain is an American violinist, perhaps best known for his performances in the movie Black Swan and his work with renowned composer Philip Glass.

    Tim’s solo performances include Pro Musica in Mexico, the Pittsburgh and Tallahassee Symphonies, and the Portland Chamber Orchestra. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Ravinia Festival, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw concert hall. His chamber performances range from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to Spoleto, Italy, and Lucerne, Switzerland. Tim has appeared with the Mexico City, Oxford, and Cincinnati Chamber Symphonies; Brooklyn, Buffalo, and Hague Philharmonics; the Spanish National Orchestra; and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.

    The featured soloist with the Philip Glass Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in a concert version of Einstein on the Beach, he tours in a duo-recital program with Philip Glass. The centerpiece of his international multimedia evening Portals is Partita for Solo Violin, a work written for him by Philip Glass. The production features collaborations with Benjamin Millepied, Leonard Cohen, and filmmaker Kate Hackett.

    Most recently, Fain collaborated with Google on a virtual reality (VR) music and film project, RESONANCE, that introduces VR capability for YouTube to the world.

    Called a “charismatic young violinist with a matinee idol profile, strong musical instincts, and first-rate chops” by the Boston Globe, Tim “voiced” the violin of lead Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave and Richard Gere’s violin in Bee Season.

    He has appeared with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Seán Curran Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and the New York City Ballet. He has also worked with jazz pianists Billy Childs and Ethan Iverson (of The Bad Plus), Joanna Newsom, Bryce Dessner (of The National), guitarist Rich Robinson (of The Black Crowes), James Blake, hip hop group Das Racist, and rapper Rahzel.

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  • Things to Know/Schedule

    Program Schedule

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    Acceptance by application only.

    Experience Level  

    None required.

    Special Details

    Tuition is:
    $490 – until Dec 1
    $550 – until Jan 1
    $610 – until Feb 1
    $670 – until the event

  • About 1440 Multiversity

    Beautifully nestled in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz, our 75-acre campus is within easy reach of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

    1440 Multiversity is a place to spend time engaging some of life's most meaningful personal questions and to enjoy, restore, and reenergize yourself as you do it.

    You'll find new energy through immersion learning—setting aside daily urgencies and dedicating uninterrupted time to focus on important, but often elusive, priorities. Our unique collaboration with world-class faculty coupled with an original, inspirational curriculum and magnificent grounds make this a place like no other. Add in fresh, redwood-scented air, delicious and healthy food, deep reflection, fun exercise, and good sleep and you've pretty much captured what you'll experience here.

  • Accommodations

    At 1440 Multiversity, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to meet your preferences and budget. All of our rooms have been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, promote reflection, and foster connection with others.

    Accommodation rates include more than just the bed you sleep in.

    Per-person per-night rates include:

    • nourishing locally sourced, seasonal meals
    • daily meditation and yoga classes
    • non-ticketed evening events
    • use of all facilities, including the Fitness Center, steam rooms, and infinity-edge hot tub.

    Guests also enjoy access to woodland trails, cafés, and shops.

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