A Transgender, Biotech-Running Cybercreator Debates Artificial Intelligence

7 March 2016
Nancy Szokan

The ever-fascinating Martine Rothblatt is a colorful figure on the Washington scene lawyer, author, founder of Sirius XM, founder and chief executive of United Therapeutics, and co-creator of a head-only robot modeled on her wife of 30-plus years (they were married before Rothblatt’s sex reassignment surgery), pilot, piano player . .

[She invented Sirius XM, a biotech, and a religion. For starters.]

Rothblatt, whose most recent book is Virtually Human: The Promise and the Peril of Digital Immortality, will take the stage at New York’s 92nd Street Y on behalf of one of her passions: artificial intelligence.

She will be one of four experts on two teams debating whether the pursuit of superintelligence and autonomous machines may result in dangerous unintended consequences, or whether fears of that outcome will prevent technological progress. It’s the latest in the series of fast-paced, provocative debates put on by the public affairs program IQ², or Open to Debate formerly known as Intelligence Squared U.S.