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Keynote : Ernest Edmonds – Art and Influence: Learning in Augmented Worlds

Speaker : Ernest Edmonds

AI is important in interactive art. The art reaches beyond the computer game paradigm to explore lifelong evolution and the building of relationships. Working in a distributed connected world a new art of evolving and connected systems is emerging. The worlds in which these new art forms exist extends to virtual and augmented realities and the physical environment. I begin by describing my “Shaping Form” series of dynamic works. Images are generated using rules that determine the colours, the patterns and the timing. A camera captures movement that changes the generative rules. The future behaviour of each “Shaping Form” evolves as a result of its interaction with the world. But what do we really mean here by interaction? With the evolving nature of these works, the words influence, stimulus or interchange are more appropriate than interaction. I show how the methods used have been extended to make a distributed sets of interactive nodes form a networked art system. The community made up of the work’s distributed audience collectively influence the progress and development of the art system. Finally, AI describes how the concept is being extended again, this time into a dynamic distributed augmented reality world.

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Lecture : The Human in the Design

Speaker : Gerhard Fischer
Lecture : The Human in the Design - Trade-offs between Artificial Intelligence and Human-Centered Design

The event presents a special guest lecture by human-machine research pioneer, Gerhard Fischer, visiting from Colorado, USA. Gerhard's work has explored theoretical frameworks and system developments for human-computer interaction and he co-founded conferences in Germany on “Mensch-Maschine Kommunikation” (1980) and “Software Ergonomics” (1983). Later work at CU Boulder was centered on domain-oriented design environments, critiquing systems, and the exploration of high-functionality environments. In 1994, the Center for LifeLong Learning & Design was founded and in the following years, he (in close collaboration with numerous colleagues, including Ernesto Arias, Hal Eden, Michael Eisenberg, and Walter Kintsch and a large number of PhD students) explored themes in meta-design, social creativity, cultures of participation, computer-supported collaborative learning, support environments for people with cognitive disabilities, and collaborative problem solving and decision making with table-top computing environments.

The Future of Digitalization is not out there to be discovered — it will be designed. In design, trade-offs are universal because there are no best solutions independent of goals, objectives, and values, specifically for systemic, ill-defined, and wicked problems such as Artificial Intelligence and Human-Centered Design.
Grounded in research activities from a broad spectrum of different disciplines and an analysis from our research over the last two decades, the presentation will critically analyze the current hype about Artificial Intelligence by contrasting it with the objectives pursued by Human-Centered Design.

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Installation : Britbot

The Britbot was originally commissioned for Sky Arts as part of their Arts 50 programme. It is an online voice activated chatbot that asks open-ended questions about ‘Britishness’ following topics in the UK citizenship test and corresponding book Life in the United Kingdom. Britbot responds to the answers given by someone interacting with it by sifting through hundreds of books, online articles and debates from which it compiles a reply it judges to be the best fit.

Britbot has been online since June 2018 and overtime has learnt from the people it interacts with. Its aim is to gather and reflect a diverse range of views and insights about what ‘Britishness’ really means today. When Britbot leaves Leicester’s Art AI Festival, it will be reformatted into a legacy website with insights drawn from its conversations with audiences. A book will also be published based on a selection of interactions with users.

As part of the ART AI Festival 2019 artwork trail, Libby Heaney's Britbot is on display at Phoenix, 4 Midland Street, Leicester, LE1 1TG - download map.

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Installation : Interstitial Space 2019

In this new interactive installation for the ART-AI festival, Klingemann has created an open feedback loop between the viewer and a portrait- generating adversarial network (GAN) – a type of AI system where two neural networks are pitted against each other.

Through a camera, the system behind the installation observes its own output - as it is being projected onto the wall of the gallery - and tries to identify facial features in real time.  These features are then reinterpreted by a GAN that has been trained on portraiture from western art, which then becomes part of a new output, projected on the opposite wall of the space.

The noise and misinterpretation introduced by the neural models involved in this process mean that this system will never repeat itself, revealing the nature of the data it has been trained on.  By stepping into the gap between the camera and the projection, the viewer’s portrait becomes part of the cycle and they can attempt to take control over the emerging visuals.

As part of the ART AI Festival 2019 artwork trail, Mario Klingemann's Interstitial Space 2019 is on display at Phoenix, 4 Midland Street, Leicester, LE1 1TG - download map.

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