Speaker: Tom Stone
Title: AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol
Abstract: Next week a computer program will take on the world’s best player at Go.
This board game has been a hard problem for computers to crack and achieving superhuman performance has long been considered a milestone in AI. AlphaGo, was developed by Google DeepMind and already made news this year by becoming the first program to defeat a professional player. In my talk, I will try to explain what Go is, why it’s been so hard to crack, and how the DeepMind team tackled this problem. I will also provide a preview of the upcoming match between AlphaGo and the living Go legend Lee Sedol. Finally, I will try convince you why it might be worth waking up at 4AM to watch this historical game.
Speaker: Matt Graham
Title: Fecund universes, black hole birthing and cosmological fine-tuning
Abstract: Our universe seems remarkably well tuned for supporting complex life – it is believed that many (most?) small perturbations to the fundamental physical constants would lead to universes with laws of physics that are incompatible with life and even matter as we know it. I will (attempt to) give a brief introduction to the *theory of cosomological natural selection* as proposed by physicist Lee Smolin, which proposes a possible explanation for this cosmological fine-tuning.