The University of the Third Age (DLDK)

Future Events Programme

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What is Artificial Intelligence ?

Padraig Cunningham.

  • 📅Tuesday, October 3, 2023
  • 🕥10:30 - 11:30

The impressive performance of AI systems such as ChatGPT has led to a lot of speculation about the ultimate potential of this technology. This talk will address this question. It will start with the early research in this area, beginning with the Turing Test for intelligence proposed by Alan Turing in the 1950s. Most people would accept that ChatGPT would pas the Turing test. However, systems such as ChatGPT seem to be "intelligent" without understanding or consciousness. Are these systems a huge leap forward in AI research ? Do they present an existential threat to mankind ? During this talk we will discuss in high level terms how these systems work and speculate on the limitations of the technology.

Padraig Cunningham is Professor of Knowledge and Data Engineering in the School of Computer Science in University College Dublin. He has a PhD in the general area of Artificial Intelligence from Trinity College Dublin (1989) and a DSc from the National University of Ireland (2014). He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in the general area of applied AI, focusing on machine learning and knowledge-based systems for decision-support in engineering, e-commerce, finance and medicine. His most recent research addresses issues of bias and fairness in machine learning systems. His teaching in UCD focusses on machine learning and data analytics.




Irish stained glass in the first half of the 20th century and Earley and Co.

Michael Earley.

  • 📅Tuesday, October 17, 2023
  • 🕥10:30 - 11:30

Born in Dublin in 1950. Primary degree Medicine in UCD in 1973 (MB, BA), BCh). Qualified as a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1977 (FRCS Eng.). Specialist fellow in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery in 1985 (FRCS plast.). A thesis on the arterial anatomy of the thumb was awarded Master of Surgery by NUI in 1986 (MCh). Retired from the surgical career in 2017. Honorary MD awarded in 2018 by NUI for his work with various charities.

In June 2023 Michael submitted a PhD thesis on "devotionalism and traditionalism in stained glass in twentieth century Ireland : Earley and Co. 1903-1953" to the Department of Visual Culture, NCAD.

He is 43 years married to Finola and they have three children and three grand-children.

Earley Studios was a landmark in Upper Camden Street, Dublin and was the largest producer of Irish stained glass from its foundation in 1864 to its closure in 1975.

A history of this family business includes a story of emigration and return, the effects of the Great Exhibition in London (1850) and in Dublin (1853) which led to the Pugin influenced Birmingham Business of Hardman and Son setting up a branch in Dublin which became Earley Studios.

They embraced the use of pot metal antique stained glass avoiding the painted glass alternative popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. These terms are explained while a brief account of the history of stained glass is presented.




The Music of Johannes Brahms - 1833-1897.

Kirsten Briggs.

  • 📅Tuesday, November 7, 2023
  • 🕥10:30 - 11:30

Johannes Brahms was a composer and pianist born in Hamburg, Germany and has become internationally known for his excellent music.

Brahms was a follower of the classical tradition and displayed the proponents, style and melodic qualities of the structured absolute music of the period.

He composed music in many genres, including symphonies, concerti, chamber music, piano works, choral compositions and he achieved high acclaim for his works on a global basis.

His music occasionally reveals the quality of local folk melodies within his work.

During the PowerPoint presentation on Brahms, we are going to listen to excerpts from a range of his music. Some of the pieces may well be familiar to you and perhaps some which are less familiar but all, I hope, will be equally enjoyable to the listener in terms of composition, quality, resonance, melody, tone and variety.

We hope that you enjoy this presentation.

Following the presentation, details of the music played will be circulated to all members.