Living with Machines: Future Perspectives and Analysis

May 7, 2021

12am Virtual

Date: May 7, 2021

Language: English

Key Discussions:
The theoretical and practical prospects of humans living with machines:

• How do we assess cognitive and affective capacities in humans and non-humans?
• What are the relevant theoretical models?
• What are the relevant practical strategies, both in the lab and in everyday life?

Distinct Neurocognitive Strategies for Comprehension of Human and Artificial Intelligence
GE Jianqiao, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Peking University
GE Jianqiao is teaching at Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies(AAIS), Peking University. Her research interests are focused on scientific studies of brain intelligence and social cognition. She is the Principle Investigator/Co-Investigator of more than 10 research grants supported by Ministry of Science and Technology of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission. She has published more than 20 referred research articles on leading academic journals such as PNAS, and awarded 2 national patents. Dr.Ge received her Ph.D. in psychology, B.S in physics, a double B.S in mathematics and applied mathematics, and a double B.S in economics from Peking University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago.

Individuality and Minimal Cognition
LU Qiaoying, Department of Philosophy, Peking University
Berggruen Fellow
LU Qiaoying is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Peking University. She has been engaged in working on philosophical issues about epigenetics, especially on the conceptions of the gene in evolutionary theories. Her doctoral thesis and her paper with Dr. Bourrat investigate possible challenges from epigenetic inheritance against the Modern Synthesis. They propose a gene concept in the evolutionary sense that includes not only DNA sequences but also heritable epigenetic modifications and develops an extended gene-centric framework of evolution. Her work on evolution also leads her to think about the application of evolutionary explanations in cognitive science. At the Berggruen Institute, Lu will focus on questions of how to understand “minimal cognition” in light of evolution, and how to extend our understanding of human cognition and AI cognition.

Towards Conscious Brain-inspired AI
ZENG Yi, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ZENG Yi is a Professor and Deputy Director of Research Center for Brain-inspired Intelligence at Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Co-director of China-UK Research Centre for AI Ethics and Governance. He is the founding director of Research Center for AI Ethics and Sustainable Development at Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence and is a Chief Scientist at Institute of AI International Governance, Tsinghua University. He is a board member for National Governance Committee of New Generation AI, a member for Ad Hoc Expert Group of AI Ethics for UNESCO, and a member in the Expert Group of AI Ethics and Governance for Health at World Health Organization.

Roundtable Panelists:
LI Wenxin, Department of Computer Science, Peking University
LI Wenxin is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and technology, School of Electronics Engineering & Computer Science, and the associate dean of Institute for Artificial Intelligence at Peking University. She is also a Distinguished Member of China Computer Federation. She is one of the first researchers worked on palmprint recognition and her research results are widely referenced in this area. From 2006 she started to work on finger vein recognition and her patent on finger vein capture device and algorithm are transferred to industry and a series of products on finger vein have been used in various applications among exams, banking and insurance. Her current research interests focus on AI in games, including game AI matchmaking platforms and tournaments, game AI algorithms, and game AI intelligence level evaluation models. She received her B.S, M.S and Ph.D. from Department of Computer Science and Technology, Peking University in 1990, 1993 and 2001 respectively. She got her second Ph.D. from Department of Computing, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2004.

DUAN Weiwen, Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Berggruen Fellow
DUAN Weiwen is the Director and Professor of the Department of Philosophy of Science and Technology in the Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Duan also directs of the Research Center for Science, Technology and Society atCASS. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Central China Normal University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD degree in Philosophy of Science and Technology from Renmin University of China. He specializes in philosophy of science and philosophy of information technology. His recent focus is on the philosophical, ethical and social research of big data and AI. He was a visiting scholar in Oxford University, Colorado School of Mines, and University of Pittsburgh. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society and Journal of Responsible Innovation, and he is one of the deputy chairmen of the Committee of Big Data Experts of China. He is the chief researcher of “Philosophical Studies on Intelligence Revolution and Deepening Techno-scientific of Human Being (2017-2022)”. He is the author of several books, including The Ethical Foundation of Information Civilization (2020, Shanghai People’s Press), Acceptable Science: Reflection on the Foundation of Contemporary Science (2014, Science and Technology Press of China), Ethical Reflection on Cyberspace (2002, Jiangsu People’s Publishing House), and Truss up Time: Technology and Life World (2001, Guangdong Education Publishing House), etc.

Sebastian Sunday Grève, Department of Philosophy, Peking University
Berggruen Fellow
German philosopher, who was educated in Oxford and is living in Beijing, where he works as an assistant professor at Peking University. He is interested in both practical and theoretical issues. His 2015 essay ‘The Importance of Understanding Each Other in Philosophy’ was awarded the Annual Essay Prize of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and has since been published in Philosophy. In his doctoral thesis, Skill and Scepticism, he developed—largely in conversation with psychology, rather than philosophy—a new theory of intuitive skill; the theory serves to demonstrate the importance of attaining what might be called ‘true’ philosophical skill in order to unlock a unique potential of highly intelligent agency in both humans and artificial systems alike. Sebastian is the editor of Wittgenstein on Philosophy, Objectivity, and Meaning (Cambridge University Press, 2019; with James Conant) and Culture and Value after Wittgenstein (Oxford University Press, under contract). At the Berggruen Institute, Sebastian will be exploring the philosophy of intelligence of Alan Turing (1912–54), which he believes to be more nuanced and compelling than previously assumed, yet still fresh and inspiring, and indeed potentially revolutionary.

Host: Berggruen Research Center, Peking University | Ideas for a changing world

The Berggruen Research Center is a hub for East-West research and dialogue dedicated to the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary study of the transformations affecting humanity. Intellectual themes focus on frontier technologies and society—specifically in artificial intelligence, the microbiome and gene editing as well as issues involving global governance and globalization.


composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.