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Zurich Salon on Artificial Intelligence: An Evening with Sandy Starr

3 Mai @ 19:00 - 20:30


A debate about what AI can tell us about human intelligence, whether humans are machines, and more.


Date and time

Friday, May 3 · 7 – 8:30pm CEST



60 Stauffacherstrasse 8004 Zürich

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.

About this event

  • 1 hour 30 minutes

The Zurich Salon is proud to present Sandy Starr in a debate on Artificial Intelligence.

(To purchase tickets for 12 CHF a piece via TWINT use the following number and write the event-identifying phrase “Zurich Salon AI”: +41 78 943 61 22.)

From algorithms to AI: how do we know humans and machines are different?

Humans have used algorithms – a certain kind of well-defined procedure that accomplishes a task – for more than 2,000 years. In the early 20th century, it was established that the pursuit of human knowledge cannot be reduced to algorithms, not even when the knowledge in question concerns numbers. This discovery clarified which aspects of human thought do, and do not, lend themselves to automation. From this insight, the discipline of computer science was born.

Now, in the 21st century, we find ourselves confronted with the fruits of computer science – rapidly advancing AI technologies – which are testing our assumptions about whether, and in what respect, humans are different from machines.

In light of the latest advances in generative AI, how confident can we be that humans and machines are fundamentally different? Are humans ghosts within the machine or mere machines without free will or understanding?

To discuss these questions, join the Salon at the Volkshaus in Zurich, at 19:00 on Friday, the 3rd of May.


Sandy Starr is deputy director of the Progress Educational Trust, a charity that advances public understanding of science, law and ethics in the fields of genetics/genomics, assisted conception and embryo/stem cell research. Sandy also serves on the Oversight Group of the project Governance of Stem-Cell-Based Embryo Models, led by Cambridge Reproduction.

Sandy has addressed MPs in the UK Parliament on the subject of human embryo research, and has given a TEDx talk about genomics. He is author of the pamphlet AI: Separating Man from Machine, he has written about AI in relation to the life and legacy of Ada Lovelace, and he has debated about AI in relation to architecture.


3 Mai
19:00 - 20:30


Zurich Salon
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Stauffacherstr. 60
Zürich, ZH 8004 Switzerland
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