The UW-Stevens Point College of Letters and Science will offer a free community lecture and film series themed “When Robots Rule the World,” starting Sept. 13. Photo courtesy UWSP.

STEVENS POINT – A series of free community lectures and film screenings at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point will look at what may happen “When Robots Rule the World.”

The series will explore the futuristic portrayal of robots in film, the daily use of artificial intelligence, or A.I. in mundane tasks and the latest advances in the field of human-centered A.I. and its implications.

The series begins Sept. 13 and continues throughout the academic year, featuring lectures by UW-Stevens Point faculty and other experts as well as film screenings and a panel discussion. Events will take place on campus or at the Portage County Public Library and are free and open to the public. The lectures will also be available via livestream on the website,

A lecture, “Dare to be Human,” kicks off the series at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at The Encore in the UW-Stevens Point Dreyfus University Center. Associate Professor Vera Klekovkina, world languages and literatures, will discuss how robots could become pets, friends, confidants and even romantic partners, and similarities and differences between robotic and human relationships. Croí Cróga Studio will also offer a creative performance.

Additional fall events include:

· Sept. 16, 7 p.m. – Film screening: “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” DUC Theater. A Steven Spielberg directed-film about a highly advanced robot boy who longs to be real.

· Sept. 20, 6:30 p.m. – “Why Robots Rule the Cinema?” lecture by Associate Professor Cary Elza, media studies, Portage County Library. The lecture will trace the drive to represent robots in media and how science fiction has reflected changing concerns of the relationship between humanity and technology.

· Oct. 7, 7 p.m. – Film screening: “Blade Runner,” DUC Theater. Directed by Ridley Scott, this 1982 film is set in a dystopian future where replicants are being hunted down by a police officer.

· Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m. – “Man or Machine?” lecture by Associate Professor Joshua Horn, philosophy, Portage County Library. A discussion of the ethical and legal obligations to A.I. and each other as the gap between man and machine becomes smaller.

· Nov. 15, 6:30 p.m. – “It’s About Humans, Not Robots” lecture by Associate Professor Tomi Heimonen, Portage County Library. Human-centered A.I. is an emerging discipline that seeks to empower humans but brings up issues in privacy, equity, security and transparency.