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The art of our universe
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Tuesday, 23 May 2023
Doors Open 18:30 | Event 19:00 - 21:30
Brothers in Law Taphouse

Ledig Erf 36, 3582 EA Utrecht

Do you dear to discover the nature of darkness? Do you want to know more about how machine learning can help people talk? Or do you prefer to get inspired by some art in science? Then, this PoS23 event is the right spot for you!


The problem of grounding in large language models

The public demo of ChatGPT has demonstrated to the wide public the potential of large language models, a technology rapidly developing over the last years. On the other hand, it has been argued that language models are inherently limited in their grasp of meaning. The reason is that language models lack **grounding**. This means, roughly speaking, that they process and produce text but are completely out of touch with the real world. We will discuss what this means, where this creates bottlenecks, and what developments go in the direction of mitigating the limitations.

Denis Paperno

Assistant Professor

Department of Languages, Literature and Communication| Utrecht University


Treasure maps: looking for the dark Universe

For centuries humankind has been mapping the sky. With every technological leap, we are able to go further, deeper and wider. These maps reveal our Universe is darker than we thought. We now know that about one quarter of the energy of the Universe is in the form of dark matter: matter that can fall to the ground, but we cannot see or touch. Almost three quarters correspond to dark energy, a mysterious force driving the accelerated expansion of the Universe. What are these components? I will explain how clues to finding treasured answers still lie in our maps of the Universe

Elisa Chisari

Cosmologist | Assistant Professor 

Utrecht University


Creating colour from chaos: liquid crystal disorder by design


Liquid crystals surround us. They underpin many of our daily technologies as well as being found in nature, even in our bodies! Liquid crystals show an extra phase of matter (outside the normal solid, liquid, & gas). This extra phase combines liquid flow with crystal ordering. You can think of these phases as being made from elongated sausage-shaped molecules. Historically the dominant liquid crystal display technologies relied on well-organised uniform structures. More and more, however, researchers are looking towards disorder and defects in these systems. In this talk we will explore how they are discovering knowledge, applications, and beauty within these disordered regions.

Ethan Jule


Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University

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