SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT


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Monthly, 7:30 – 9:00 PM at Rosedale Community Hall, 901-11 Avenue NW
(free street parking is available in the evenings). Free for members, $5 charge at the door for non-members. Guests are welcome. No registration required.

Come for an evening of discovery and discussion in an informal and intimate setting! Each month we will have an interactive presentation from a different presenter.

We are looking for more CALL scientists and environmentalists –CALL members and others– to come forward to stimulate and inspire us with accounts of research pertinent in today’s world! If you are interested and would like to know more, please contact Joe Boivin or Tom Kerwin via e-mail at science@calgarylifelonglearners.ca

2017

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  • Wednesday, April 5th

Artificial Intelligence (and Games)
Jonathan Schaeffer, Professor of Computing Science at the University of Alberta

Artificial Intelligience

In McKinsey & Company’s Disruptive Technology, technologies containing artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to create tens of trillions of dollars in economic impact by the year 2025. Similarly, Gartner, Inc. lists machine learning (a subset of AI) as one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017. Yet another technology fad? Perhaps, but it is hard to imagine any industry that won’t be affected by software applications with “smart” capabilities.
In this talk we present a gentle introduction to artificial intelligence, its past successes, current efforts, and future impact. AI is widely deployed today, but its presence and impact remains largely hidden from the average consumer. All that will change within a decade.

Jonathan Schaeffer is a Distinguished University Professor of Computing Science at the University of Alberta and is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Science. His research are is artificial intelligence. He is best known for applying his research to computer games. He is the creator of the checkers program Chinook, the first program to win a human world championship in any game. In 2007 he announced that checkers was solved: perfect plays leads to a draw. He is a founder of Onlea (onlea.org), the world’s first MOOC production company.

Click here for a recent Globe and Mail article by Jonathan Schaeffer on the critical importance of AI.


  • Wednesday, May 3


Changes to Alberta’s Electricity Market
Susan Wright, is a
lawyer with 26 years of experience in petrochemicals, pipelines, oil and natural gas

        

There will be significant changes to Alberta’s electricity market over the next decade.  Susan Wright will discuss how the Alberta government’s decision to terminate the Power Purchase Arrangements, shut down coal plants and move to a capacity market will impact Albertans in the years to come.

Speaker: Susan Wright obtained her LLB from the University of Calgary in 1984 and was called to the Bar in 1985.  She worked as a litigator at a downtown law firm before moving in-house with a major energy company.  She spent 26 years in the petrochemicals, pipelines, oil and natural gas industry, practicing in Canada and the US.  She was the VP Legal, General Counsel at Alliance Pipelines before she retired to run in the 2014 provincial by-election.  

Susan writes a political blog Susan on the Soapbox which won a Clawbie in 2013 for the best legal blog for a non-legal audience.  Posts have been reprinted in Huffington Post, Rabble and Alberta Views.  Susan is a regular panelist on CTV’s Alberta Primetime and has appeared on CBC Radio and Danielle Smith’s Newstalk 770.   She received the PIA Public Interest Award for Southern Alberta in 2016.

Past Presentations

  • Wednesday, March 1

The “Historic” Paris Climate Agreement: What It Means for Canada and Alberta –
Dr. Sharon Mascher, Professor, University of Calgary

Paris Climate Change

On 4 November 2016, the Paris Agreement entered into force. Hailed by many around the world as ‘historic’, the Paris Agreement is intended to strengthen the global response to climate change. However, as Prime Minister Trudeau noted in a Statement issued following the conclusion of the Paris climate conference, “[t]here is much tough work that still needs to be accomplished both at home and around the world to implement the agreement.” But what commitments have the Parties to the Paris Agreement made? What do these commitments mean here at home in Canada and in Alberta? In this presentation, Sharon will discuss these and other questions to help provide you with an understanding of legal framework developing around the issue of climate change.

Dr Mascher is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. Her research and teaching focuses on intersections between environmental law, energy law and the law affecting aboriginal people. For the last several years, her research has had a particular emphasis on the legal and policy framework relating to climate change.






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Science and Environment
Wednesday, April 5, 7:30 PM
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Artificial Intelligence (and Games)

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China's Elders:  Common People in Uncommon Times

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