Welcome to SymBozium

SymBozium is a forum for civil discourse presented by the Bozeman Public Library. At this divisive time in our world the need to consider and understand diverse perspectives is critical, especially within our community. This free participatory event series will feature current topics and keynote speakers representing varied points of view. Join us for principled, productive, and respectful conversations. Let’s discuss.

We are pleased to announce that SymBozium has won the national Baker & Taylor award from United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. This award is given to innovative community programs spearheaded and/or funded by library foundations.

Our Next Topic:

How Smart is Too Smart? Exploring the Pros and Cons of Artificial Intelligence.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019
7:00 pm
The Emerson’s Crawford Theater


From Siri to robotic surgery, from media and music streaming to Google Maps, artificial intelligence (AI) has a significant impact on our lives. But, what are the implications of AI on human development and personal autonomy? What effect will AI have on jobs in the future? What ethical concerns must we address as AI systems are deployed? Join in on the discussion as our panel explores the benefits and drawbacks of AI and its rapidly evolving technology.

Guest Speakers:

Dr. Sarah Myers West
Sarah Myers West is a postdoctoral researcher at the AI Now Institute at New York University. Her research centers on the critical study of technology and culture, with an emphasis on historical and ethnographic methods. She is currently working on a project that addresses the politics of diversity and inclusion in technological communities by exploring the nexus of artificial intelligence, gender, and intersectionality. Her work is published in academic journals such as New Media & Society, Policy & Internet, Business and Society and the Internet Policy Review. She received her doctoral degree from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, where her dissertation examined the cultural history and politics of encryption technologies from the 1960s to the present day.

Joe Flood
Joe Flood is reporter, historian, and the founder and CEO of N2 Communications. As a writer and investigative reporter, Joe covers the intersection of data with public policy, sports, and business. His book, The Fires, is a history of the use of computer and algorithmic modeling for public policy, and how they helped cause New York City’s 1970s fire epidemic and fiscal crisis. He has written for the New York Times, the Economist, New York Magazine, and Gizmodo, and was a staff writer at Chief Investment Officer magazine. A lover of data but a skeptic at heart, Joe’s work looks at the hidden biases, unintended consequences, and missed opportunities that often crop up in the worlds of big data and AI. Joe’s company, N2 Communications, is a production and consulting firm that pairs high-end freelance talent with companies and nonprofits that need to tell complex stories.

Jason Taylor
Jason Taylor is the CTO and Co-Founder of Security Innovation, a company focused on application security services and training, with a customer base that includes 35 of the Fortune 100 as well as many other, smaller enterprises customers. Previously, he worked at Microsoft on both the Internet Explorer and Windows teams, where he built the first client-side security team for the company. He has spent the last 22 years identifying and solving problems in the software security space and is looking forward to seeing the continued impact of AI on the overall threat and defense landscape. Mr. Taylor is the author of two novels: End of the Wild and Ganymede that explore the future impacts of technology driven civilizations.

Moderated by: Les Craig
Les Craig is a partner at Next Frontier Capital. Previously he served as the Executive Director of the Montana State University Innovation Campus and the Blackstone LaunchPad. He is the Co-founder of The Twenty, a data services company and RedOwl Analytics, a cyber-security software product company that leveraged AI and behavioral analytics to combat insider threat. Prior to this, Les served as a Technical Operations Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency and was a member of the professional staff of the National Security Technology Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

Upcoming Events

November 6, 2019 - Affordable Housing

Winter 2020 - Medical Ethics

SymBozium Planning Committee

Tanya Andreasen
Susan Gregory
Kit Heffner
Dawn Hobson
Janay Johnson
Brook Merrow
Lee Selby
Kit Stephenson
Nicholas Wickes