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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 27, 2014 Via Hulu A "Bot-Mitzvah" depicted on the TVshow "Futurama." By Adam Soclof NEW YORK (JTA) -- Ro- bots can hold a conversation, but should they count in a minyan? A chatbot at Britain's Uni- versity of Reading was her- alded this week as passing the Turing test, showing a conversational ability that managed to fool people into thinking it was human. Using the fictional identity of a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy with the name Eugene Goost- man, the robot convinced a third of a panel's members that they were interacting with a fellow human being. While some have expressed skepticism about the achieve- ment's significance, the ad- vance of artificial intelligence raises profound questions. "From the practical legal perspective, robots could and should be people," Rabbi Mark Patricia Anna Meyers and Adam Scott Primi Marci and Jeff Gaeser of Chuluota and David Mey- ers and Thuy Pham of Pittsburgh, Pa., are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Patricia Anna Meyers to Adam Scott Primi, son of Christopher Primi of Warrenton, Va., and the late Marjorie Primi of Boca Raton, Fla. The bride-elect attended Seminole State College and is employed as a merchandise manager at Barnes & Noble. The groom-elect graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science and a Master of Arts degree in industrial and labor relations from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is the director of Human Resources at Oncology Nursing Society. The couple are planning a March 2015 wedding in Pittsburgh, Pa. Fastest Growing Synagogue In Central Florida Te,,mte 17.'OmUi, A New Synagogue in Clermont, FL Looking for a Reform~Conservative If interested, please reply by phone ASAP 352-242-6135 Please like us on Facebook ? R bbi Goldfeder wrote in an article Once you assume it maythat this entire discussion is published on CNN's website not be a strictly speciesist 'Thalacha v'lo l'maaseh," a in response to the robot's argument, the move from theoretical outlaying ofviews. feat. "As it turns out, they great apes to robots is quite Good clarification, though can already officially fool us understandable-- given, of being a robot seems like a into thinking that they are, course, the caveat the robots convenient excuse to opt out which shouldonlystrengthen may not be technically alive of a bris. their case." in the classical sense. In halachic terminology Goldfeder, afellowatEmory What are the basic criteria we would consider him "no- University's Center for the that would make a robot/ lad mahul" (i.e., it is like he Study of Law and Religion, is monkey/mermaid Jewish?comes from the factory pre- working on a book on robots Well, we start with the Tal- circumcized). in the law tentatively titled mudinSanhedrin, whichtells Theoreticallyspeaking, say "Almost Human." An Ortho- us the story of Rava sending arobotwalkedintoyouroffice dox rabbi, Goldfeder spokevia a golem to Rabbi Zeira. Rabbi and said, "Rabbi, I want to online chat with JTA about Zeiraendsupfiguringoutthat count in the minyan." Would whether robots could some thegolemwasnothuman--it that be enough evidence for day be welcomed as members couldn't communicate effec- you to count him? of the Jewish community and tively and couldn't pass the Not necessarily. For the what the Jewish tradition has Turingtest, apparently--and purposes of this discussion, I to say about this issue, so he destroys it. would accept the position of JTA: What got you so inter- The halachicliterature asks the Jerusalem Talmud in the ested in the topic of robots in why this was not considered third chapter of Tractate Nid- Jewish law? "ba'al tashchis," wasteful, dahthatwhenyouaredealing Goldfeder: It was a natural since maybe the golem could with a creature that does not evolution from apes actually, have counted in a minyan, conform to the simple defini- I startedofflookingattheline While they conclude that tion of "humanness" -- i.e. between humans and non- this golem at least was not born from a human mother humans in Jewish law, and able to be counted -- they or at least possessing human realizedthatthedemarcation leave open the possibility of DNA, but it appears to have was not as clear cut in ancient a better golem counting-- it human characteristics and times as appears to be now. seems then that creation by is doing human things -- Throughout the discus- a Jewish person would give one examines the context sions in rabbinic literature the golem/robot presump- to determine if it is human. we find creatures like Bigfoot, tive Jewish status. For living When something looks hu- mermaids, centaurs, etc., and things there is always parent- man and acts human, to the yes the golem, who in many age and conversion, point that I think it might be ways resembles a robot. I should of course clarify human, then halachahmight By Amy Schwartz In January 2013, new Mai- tland resident, Amy McCully and her husband Kyle, re- ceived a postcard in the mail advertising the Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando's sports & fitness programs. They had been shopping for a place to work out and take group exercise classes, and found that the JCC was the perfect fit. "I was in a group fitness class just about everyday," said McCully, who at the time was running the children's tennis program at the Winter Park Tennis Center. Her love for tennis led her to inquire about a JCC Cardio Tennis class. "I soon came to realize the potential for a recreational tennis program at the JCC." So she had an informal conversation with one of her tennis students, Lisa Geiger, who happened to be a long- time member of the Roth JCC. Geiger recommended that she propose the idea of creating a new recreational tennis program to the JCC, so that is what she did. Now, one year later, Mc- Cully has established an active adult and child recreational tennis program for the JCC with her company, All About Tennis Management. "Withvery few kids partici- pating in tennis in 2013, I ba- sically started from scratch," McCully said. She has found great success in her tennis instruction skills, combined with her fun-loving, ap- proachable personality. This January when she launched, the JCC tennis pro- gram had 45 children in group lessons, but ended the spring sessionwith 70 children. Now, McCully is operating Tennis Camp, which runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (with extended care available) through Aug. 8. Tennis professional, Amy McCully (center front), with some her tennis camp at the Roth JCC in Maitland. i consider the threshold to have been crossed. This makes sense from a Jewish ethical perspective as well. Oftentimes Jewish ethics are about the actor, not the one being acted upon. If I see something that for all intents and purposes looks human, I cannot start poking it to see if it bleeds. I have a responsibility to treat all that seem human as humans, and it is better to err on the side of caution from an ethical perspective. In your opinion -- more sociological than halachic -- what's your read on how seriously should Jewish in- stitutions be preparing for the eventuality of artificially intelligent congregants or constituents? I think the difference be- tween science fiction and science is often time. If you were to ask me now, I don't think Jewish institutions need to startworrying about it quite yet. Even with the Turing test officially passed, we are quite far from the situation of hav- ing a robot capable of walking among us unsuspected. But I do think that Jewish thinkers should start tossing around the questions because we're prob- ably 30, not 100, years away. of her summer campers at McCully also teaches a Car- "Amy's energy, enthusiasm, husband, Kyle, she is also a dio Tennis class for adults on and expertise as a tennis pro USTA (United States Tennis Mondays and Thursdays from makes her a very sought- Association) Jr. Team Tennis 6:30-7:30 p.m. (babysitting is after instructor," said Royal League coordinator and the available in KidZone at that Webster, the JCC's sports, first Jr. Grand Prix Tennis time). She is also teachingin- fitness & aquatics director, director, running events twice door private and semi-private "She has reinvigorated the a month for kids to start us- lessons for children ages 4-6, tennis program here at the ing the skills they learned in and plans to add a slate of JCC, and I can't wait to see programs. additional programs this fall. what the future holds for our She encourages people to "I could not have done it tennis program." "pick a day or two a week and without the JCC's positive Tennis has been a longtime commit to trying for a month atmosphereandstaffpromot- passion of McCully's, having and see what you think. Ev- ing my programs and some taken up the sport when she eryone can learn tennis and participating themselves," was 12 years old in Michigan. I rarely see someone that McCully said. "It is a very By age 16, she was recruited doesn't like it. You will see positive and rewarding place toteachforawell-knownten- faster improvement if you do to have a community tennis nis management company in more thanone day aweek, but program." Michigan, and then went on everyone should learn to play, According to McCully, the to compete at the college level since it is a sport you can play JCC has a "dream set-up" for at Spring Arbor University, your entire life at any level." a community tennis program where she earned a degree Tolearn more, callthe Roth -- beautiful courts without in Exercise Science, focusing JCC at 407-645-5933 or visit the challenge of how to get on Recreation and Leisure www.orlandojcc.org.McCully kids to their program after Management and Business. can be reached directly at school, since the JCC already McCullykeepsherselfbusy. allabouttennisamy@gmail. has that after school pick-up When she is not at the JCC com or visit her website, al- infrastructure in place, or spending time with her labouttennis.net.