Discover Ames

Natural and Artificial Intelligence: How Rational Are Humans?

Are humans fundamentally irrational? Is that why so many people commit statistical and logical blunders and fall for fake news, medical quackery, paranormal woo-woo, and conspiracy theories? Is Artificial Intelligence rendering the human mind irrelevant? In this lecture, acclaimed scientist and author Steve Pinker presents an alternative. We humans, after all, have discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives, and discovered the benchmarks for rationality itself. And despite the hype, we are not ready to let AI run simple errands, watch after our babies, or even drive our cars through city streets. Pinker argues that humans think in ways that are sensible in the low-tech contexts in which we spend most of our lives, but we fail to take advantage of the powerful tools of reasoning our best thinkers have discovered over the millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability, correlation and causation, and optimal ways to update beliefs and commit to choices individually and with others.

Pinker is a cognitive scientist who has been named by TIME as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

The ISU Book store will be at the event selling copies of the speaker’s book.


Apr 12 2024


7:00 pm


Memorial Union Sunroom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Skip to content