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March 2, 2000

Laura Lewis

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-2162, 650/604-9000 Email:


NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: News media are invited to attend the first day of the CONTACT Cultures of the Imagination conference at NASA Ames Research Center, March 3, 2000, from 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST in the Moffett Training and Conference Center, Bldg. 3. To get to Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101. At the Moffett Federal Airfield main gate, proceed to the Visitor Badging Office to obtain entry badges and maps to the conference. Bring press credentials and photo ID to gain admittance.


An internationally recognized group of scientists, philosophers, artificial intelligence experts, anthropologists, and artists will explore the nature of artificial intelligence and its impact on humanity during the CONTACT Cultures of the Imagination Conference at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, on March 3, 2000.

During the seminar at NASA Ames, located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, NASA scientists and renowned experts in the field will discuss artificial intelligence from a variety of perspectives. Speakers and their topics include Dr. Michael Sims of NASA Ames, "An inquiry into constraints on machine civilizations;" Dr. Marvin Minsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "Relevance of society of minds;" Dr. William Clancey, NASA Ames, "Recognizing higher-order consciousness;" James Funaro, Cabrillo College, CA, "Human Partnerships: Machines R Us;" and Dr. Seth Shostak, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, "How might we find machine civilizations?"

Sims, who works in Ames’ Computational Sciences Division, and Dr. Christopher McKay of Ames’ Planetary Systems Branch, are co-hosts of the meeting with Funaro, a Cabrillo College anthropology professor and the founder of CONACT. Ames is NASA’s lead center for information technology and Astrobiology programs.

CONTACT is a unique, interdisciplinary conference which brings together some of the foremost international social and space scientists, science fiction writers and artists to exchange ideas, stimulate new perspectives and encourage serious, creative speculation about humanity’s future. More information about the conference is available at the CONTACT Cultures of the Imagination web site:



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