"If humanity ever encounters an alien intelligence, will we be able to communicate with it ÷ or even realize that it is there?
Writer, The New York Times; author of Fire In The Mind; Machinery Of The Mind.
"What happens when a the library of human knowledge can process what it knows and provide advice? In other words what happens when the Library of Alexandria, Computing, and the Oracle at Delphi merge?"
Computer scientist; founder: Wide Area Information Servers Inc.; The Internet Archive; Alexa.
"What must a physical system be such that it can act on its own in an environment."
STUART A. KAUFFMAN
Biologist at the Santa Fe Institute; author of Origins Of Order; At Home In The Universe.
"What does technology want?"
Executive editor, Wired; author of Out Of Control.
"Do we or even can we know the joint multi-variable probability density function (f(x1, ... , xn)) that describes any realworld event?"
Electrical engineer at USC; author of Fuzzy Thinking; Nanotime.
"Are the laws of physics a logical coherent whole, so that with any small change the entire framework would crumble? Or are there a continuum of possibilities, only one of which happens to have been selected for our observed universe?"
LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS
Physicist, Case Western Reserve Universe University; author of The Fifth Essence; Fear Of Physics; The Physics Of Star Trek.
"How do neural computation principles and the neural networks of our brains, together with the relevant aspects of experience, account for the details of all human concepts, especially their structure, how they are learned, and how they are used in thought and expressed in language?"
Cognitive scientist, University of California, Berkeley; coauthor of Metaphors We Live ; author of Women, Fire, And Dangerous Things.
"How can minds, lives, and relationships be enhanced by information systems in unforeseen ways?"
"How can scientific and technological culture be articulated so that fewer people are driven to embrace superstitions, and so that technology is more likely to be designed and judged on humanistic terms?"
Computer scientist and musician; pioneer of virtual reality.
"With the ever-growing dominance of corporate forms of control in everyday social life, how do we reconcile our notions of personal liberty and autonomy rooted in Enlightenment political thought?"
EDWARD O. LAUMANN
Sociologist at the University of Chicago; author of The Social Organization Of Sexuality.
"For how long can Christianity and Islam survive the recovery of living organisms from beyond our planet by our species?"
"Can religion exist after humans have created living entities that reproduce?"
Paleoanthropologist and former director of Kenya's Wildlife Services; author of Origins Of Humankind and coauthor of The Sixth Extinction.
"'What is the question I am asking myself?' ÷ After contemplating this for hours the only honest answer I could come up with was, 'What is the question I am asking myself?'"
Physicist at MIT, who works on problems having to do with information and complex systems.
"How can we know when and what we do not know?"
SIR JOHN MADDOX
Editor emeritus of Nature; author of The Doomsday Syndrome; What Remains To Be Discovered (forthcoming).
"Do new computing technologies create or destroy jobs?"
Technology reporter, The New York Times; coauthor, Takedown.
"When posterity looks back on the 20th Century from the perspective of a hundred years, what will they see as our greatest successes and worst follies?"
PAMELA McCORDUCK & JOSEPH TRAUB
(McCorduck:) Writer; author of Machines Who Think; coauthor of The Futures Of Women. (Traub:) Computer scientist at Columbia; author of Complexity And Information (forthcoming).
"What will happen when the male, scientific, hierarchical, control-oriented Western culture that has dominated Western thought integrates with the emerging female, spiritual, holographic, relationship-oriented Eastern way of seeing?"
Editor, Release 1.0
"Will it be possible to direct young people to the great educational question of learning what they have become without having chosen it, their unknown internal worlds, in the face of the blistering assault of stimuli ( in medias res, truly) they encounter continuously each day?"
Philosopher & educator; Co-Director, Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia.
"How come we don't understand how photosynthesis works?"
Founder of Animatrix, an interactive design company; currently teaches interactive design at Stanford.
"In 500 years, how will the phenotypic, genotypic and physical spaces occupied by life descended from that on earth have changed?"
"How best can we combine democracy and expertise to make the living conditions of the people of earth, especially those currently in hardship, better and more equitable?"
Freelance writer, and a contributing editor at Wired and Newsweek International.
"How does the capacity for low mood give a selective advantage?"
RANDOLPH NESSE, M.D.
Psychiatrist at the University of Michigan; coauthor of Why We Get Sick.
"How much of what we as persons can experience in life can we share with fellow human beings?"
Danish science writer; author of The User Illusion (forthcoming in the U.S.).
HANS ULRICH OBRIST
Curator for Musee D'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and museum in progress, Vienna; chief editor of the magazine "Point d'Ironie."
"Why are religions still vital?"
ELAINE H. PAGELS
Religious historian at Princeton; author of The Gnostic Gospels; ; The Origin Of Satan.
"Which industries will shake out, or disappear in the new industrial revolution fomented by the advent of the world wide web, intranets, and extranets? How do we help those who are afraid of these new technologies to benefit from them, rather than be crushed by those who understand?
Intranet and extranet pioneer and engineer; President, Pantheon Interactive.
"A chimpanzee cannot understand Bessel functions or the theory of black holes. Human forebrains are a few ounces bigger than a chimp's, and we can ask many more questions than a chimp. Are there facets of the universe we can never know? Are there questions we can't ask?"
CLIFFORD A. PICKOVER
Computer scientist; author of The Alien Iq Test; The Loom Of God
"What is needed regarding the understanding of the mental process so that we will be able to produce thought computationally?"
Cyber-entrepreneur, linguist, translator and scientist who previously worked in image processing algorithms at Bell Labs.
"How does the brain represent the meaning of a sentence?"
Psychologist at MIT;author of The Language Instinct; How The Mind Works.
"Do emotions contribute to intelligence, and if so, what are the implications for the development of a technology of 'affective computing?' "
ROBERT R. PROVINE
Neurobiologist and psychologist at the University of Maryland; author of Quest For Laughter.
"Can our ever-more-integrated society avoid becoming more vulnerable to high-tech extremists and terrorists?"
SIR MARTIN REES
Royal Society Professor at King's College, Cambridge; author of Before The Beginning.