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Neil deGrasse Tyson on AI, Trump, & living in a simulation

Larry King NowJul 03 '17

Neil deGrasse Tyson unpacks Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, explains why he’s fearless about AI, & reveals that he cleaned bathrooms while an undergrad at Harvard. Plus, the astrophysicist on why it’s probable we’re living in a simulation.

The ever fascinating, three-time guest Neil deGrasse Tyson joins Larry King at the Starmus Festival, all the way in Trondheim, Norway. The astrophysicist and communicator of science is the newest recipient of the ‘Stephen Hawking Medal’ and author of the runaway best-seller ‘Astrophysics for People in a Hurry’. Throughout the interview, Neil gives Larry his observations on Trump, AI, the anti-intellectual movement in America and his celebrity.

Both having been invited as panelists for the 2017 Starmus Festival, the interview begins with the pair gushing about their experience and discussing the importance of the festival. Larry congratulates Neil on receiving the ‘Stephen Hawking Medal’, which is an award the astrophysicist doesn’t take lightly. Tyson emphasizes the significance of the prestigious award by recognizing Stephen Hawking's contributions to science and astrophysics, and explaining to Larry why Hawking, like Albert Einstein, has transcended the Nobel Peace Prize.

Later, Larry touches on the news of the Trump administration not cutting the budget for NASA. Although delighted with Trump's interest in space, Neil is weary of their request to remove Earth Science from the budget allocation. Trump and his administration’s recent decisions, especially the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, has led the astrophysicist to believe that they are under-informed about how science works and unaware of the long term repercussions of their decisions. Neil agrees that there is currently an anti-intellectual movement in America and declares, “you can’t make America great again until America becomes curious again about what we don’t know.”

Finally, Neil deGrasse Tyson reveals to Larry the truth about the conflict between religion and science and exposes the faults in the assumption that AI can achieve consciousness. He opens up about how his celebrity has changed his day-to-day schedule and breaks down how he’s measured his growing fame throughout the years.