• November 14, 2018
  • 7:00 pm
  • California Institute of Integral Studies
    1453 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA 94103
Add to Calendar 11/14/2018 7:00 pm 11/14/2018 America/Los_Angeles Gods and Robots Gods and Robots, A Conversation with Adrienne Mayor California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
false MM/DD/YYYY

Register - $10
Members - $8
At the door - $15

This event is part of the Technology & Consciousness Series.


More than 2,500 years ago—centuries before technology made robots possible—Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life and grappling with still-unresolved ethical concerns about technology.

As early as Homer, Greeks were imagining robotic servants, animated statues, and even ancient versions of artificial intelligence, while in Indian legend, Buddha's precious relics were defended by robot warriors copied from Greco-Roman designs. Many sophisticated robotic devices were actually built in antiquity, reaching a climax with the creation of a host of robots or automata in the ancient city of learning, Alexandria, the original Silicon Valley.

Join scholar and author Carolyn Cooke for a conversation with Adrienne Mayor exploring how some of today's most advanced innovations in robotics and AI were foreshadowed in ancient myth.

Adrienne Mayor is a research scholar in the Classics Department and History of Science Program at Stanford University, and currently a Berggruen Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Her latest book, Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology, explores the timeless quest for artificial life, showing how the ancient Greeks imagined automata, self-moving devices, human enhancements, and Artificial Intelligence more than 2,000 years ago. Her previous books include The Amazons, The First Fossil Hunters, and Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs. Adrienne's books are translated into a dozen languages and her work is featured on NPR, BBC, History and Smithsonian Channels, New York Times, National Geographic, and other media.

Carolyn Cooke

Carolyn Cooke is the author of a novel, Daughters of the Revolution, and two collections of short stories, The Bostons and Amor and Psycho. Her fiction has won the PEN/Robert Bingham Prize, has been shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and has been featured in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Paris Review. Carolyn is a professor in the MFA Programs at CIIS.

Subscribe to the Public Programs Newsletter

Stay Connected to CIIS