While science cannot tell us how we should be, it can help us to understand how things are, and what the likely consequences of our policies will be. In a series of lectures, Bryson will first describe and then demonstrate how simulation can be used to contribute to science, and how science can help to understand the tradeoffs of sociality, and its alternatives. She will illustrate the technique and make recommendations on policy for intelligent technology. Code for most of the simulations will be made available to students using NetLogo, the standard agent-based modelling platform which is available for most operating systems.
There will be four two-hour lecture blocks of 60–90 minutes, including 30–60 minutes of Questions and Answers:
■ Some Research in and Methods for Using Artificial Intelligence
Topics will include modelling learning in animals, modelling the evolution of religions, making robot and game AI transparent to users, building synthetic emotions, and understanding consciousness.
■ Primate Social Organisation
In authoritarian societies, troop hierarchy is clear, and conflict, while rare, is violent. In egalitarian societies, most hierarchy is less clear, and conflict is far more frequent but often bidirectional,
meaning subordinates challenge superiors. Joanna Bryson will use models to explore a number of theories for explaining these differences and will also look for an explanation as to why some primates have matriarchal social orders, but most have patriarchal.
■ Why Information Can Be Free: Culture, Cooperation, and Trust
In this seminar, Bryson will explore models that explain why and how cooperation is as ubiquitous as conflict in nature, and then review theories for why only humans have linguistic capabilities. She will also introduce recent models of trust and identity.
■ Cultural Variation in Public Goods Investment and Political Polarisation
Bryson will discuss both published and in-progress research explaining anti-social punishment, and will then look at additional theories for explaining why political polarisation correlates with income inequality.