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Designing Human-AI Systems for Creativity and Beyond: Memo Atken

March 15, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

*This talk is hybrid (in-person & remote). Capacity is limited. Please register ahead of time.

About Distributed Consciousness

In this talk, Memo Atken discusses the conceptual motivations behind some of his recent works and research involving computational technologies, with a focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning, embodied interaction, and mixed reality. From a practical perspective, this includes explorations in real-time, interactive computational systems for artistic, creative expression; and ‘intelligent’ systems for human-machine collaborative creativity. From a more conceptual perspective, this involves investigations into how we make sense of the world and project meaning onto noise; and more broadly, the collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion; particularly in the context of the current social and political polarizations, moral crises and technological submission.

About the Speaker

Memo Akten (he/him) is a multi-disciplinary artist, musician, researcher and computer scientist. He explores the tensions between ecology, technology, science and spirituality; studying intelligence in nature, intelligence in machines, perception, consciousness, neuroscience, physics and (philosophies of) spirituality, ritual and religion. He uses code as his craft to create images, sounds, films, large-scale responsive installations and performances. He received his PhD from Goldsmiths University of London, specializing in creative applications of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning with Meaningful Human Control, and in this field he is considered one of the world’s leading pioneers. He is currently Assistant Professor of Computational Art and Design at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Akten is a frequent keynote speaker on topics involving art, science, technology and culture.

About Designing Human-AI Systems for Creativity and Beyond

Imagine a computer that could finish your sentences, or compose music that sounds as if you wrote it, or dance with your moves or solve a problem by creating hundreds of lines of code – leaving you to focus on a task that is even harder, augmenting your creative ability and pushing you to reach your creative potential. In a sense, that computer is merely the descendant of the power looms or the steam engine of the Industrial Revolution. But it also belongs to a new class of machine, because it grasps the symbols in language, music and programming and uses them in a way that seems creative, seems human. These “Generative AI” models represent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, creativity and design.

This speaker series invites you to engage in the promise and perils of the next big thing in machine intelligence. We invite speakers from the worlds of art, design, technology and policy to discuss these impressive new capabilities, its limitations and how we, as designers and students, could harness it to reach new heights in art, music, dance, architecture, fashion, creative writing and programming.


March 15, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Design and Innovation Building
Room 208


The Design Lab
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