Brothers Grant and David Renier will present a two-part program on AI technology at the Belfast Playhouse on Thursday, August 24, at 7 p.m., and at the Camden Library on Sunday, August 27, at 2 p.m., free and open to the public. Grant will speak about the technology followed by a Q&A, then David will offer readings by community actors of his two one-act plays that dramatize the future benefits and problems that humanity will face in a world fraught with virtual aides and brain enhancing products.
Grant began designing and developing artificial intelligence algorithms while employed by ExxonMobil at their Peruvian oil fields in the 1960s. In those days, computers were huge, clunky and sluggish by today’s standards but began the technical quest of one day simulating human thinking and decision-making. With degrees in engineering and economics from Purdue University and the University of Michigan, Grant was intrigued with the science, and, as computer speed and capacity allowed for complex systems and the science of behavior economics made breakthroughs in understanding how our brains work, he spent his career, which spanned 50 years, refining a humanlike artificial intelligent system.
Grant is founder and CEO of Intuitor, LLC, a North Carolina company. Its core AI system is used in a wide range of business applications (in the AI class of Predictive Analytics} which include stock and commodity markets analysis and trading trends, EEG trend analysis of epileptic seizures, NFL game win/lose probability picks and cumulative polling analysis.
Grant has traveled the world speaking to businesses and universities about AI, the impact it will have on future generations, the fear that it will cause massive unemployment, how present-day systems are still rooted in old technology (regression systems) that do not account for human behavior and how his technology, Intuitive Rationality, employs Bayesian logic with humanlike intuitive elements to predict events and help make decisions.
David was a theater arts major at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and spent several years as an actor, director, producer and playwright before vacating the art for a real job. He retired to Maine in 2003 to practice playwriting fulltime, after spending 23 years developing software systems for large banks in Cleveland, Ohio. Writing computer code and understanding the inner-world of software systems and with Grant’s influence, led him to imagine scenarios based on the future social impact of AI.
The first of the two one-act plays, The Chip, deals with memory chips that insert into the nape-of-the-neck to enhance human’s memory recall. When total recall is offered in a new chip release, an unwanted side-effect causes mayhem for a couple who have developed chip dependency. The second offering, Charlie, is about a software engineer who invents a cyber daughter named Charlie. During her twelfth birthday party, the unreal meets the real in a struggle to find a common reality.
There is limited and unreserved seating for both performances.