Ellen Pearlman: I Built A Sicko AI – And So Can You

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Ellen Pearlman

Artificial Intelligence (AI) agents are exponentially increasing in power and sophistication. With the addition of OpenAI’s breakthrough new algorithm GPT-2 into the toolbox of developers, the ability to mimic human dialogue and produce fake, but believable interactions between humans and computer-based agents has arrived. In developing “AIBO” (Artificial Intelligent Brainwave Opera), an emotionally intelligent artificial intelligent brainwave opera, I created a biased, or ‘sicko’ AI as one of the two main characters who explore their fourteen year relationship. The opera contemplates two questions: ‘Can an AI be fascist?” and “Can an AI have epigenetic, or inherited traumatic memory. The implications of my discoveries can help shape new directions for the development of how smart systems interact with human beings.

BiographyDr. Ellen Pearlman is a new media artist, critic, curator and educator whose practice explores the implications of emerging technologies on self and society. A 2020 EU Vertigo STARTS Laureate, she is also a Zero1 American Arts Incubator/U.S. State Department of Cultural Affairs artist to the Ukraine. Dr. Pearlman is a Fulbright World Learning Specialist in Art, New Media and Technology, a senior research assistant professor at RISEBA University in Latvia, on faculty at Parsons/New School, and Director of ThoughtWorks Arts, a global technology research lab.

Tia Pikka: Narrative contextualisation: Overriding the artificiality of Artificial Humane Agents

Thursday, October 29, 2020


Pia Tikka

This talk argues that the challenge of reaching a sufficient level of human-likeness of humane artificial agents, this is, the point where one would trust an artificial car dealer, or a virtual medical doctor, lies elsewhere than in the technically detailed appearance of the artificial agent. Instead, the believability of such an agent rests in the emotive-cognitive contextualization of the interaction, in order words, taking into account the implicit and explicit psychological dependencies related to the context. To tackle this issue, the research on narratives and storytelling is proposed as a framework to facilitate the endeavor of modeling contextual aspects into the adaptive interaction dynamics of an artificial character designed to elicit trustfulness and confidence in the human agent. A selection of case studies is discussed in the light of cognitive neuroscientific findings on artificial agents and narrative contextualization, particularly from the point of view of societal and medical applications.

BiographyDr. Pia Tikka, is a professional filmmaker and EU Mobilitas Research Professor at the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School (BFM) and MEDIT Centre of Excellence, Tallinn University. She has directed fiction films “Daughters of Yemanjá”, “Sand Bride”, and the Möbius Prix Nordic winning cinematic installation “Obsession”. As the leader of the research on Enactive Cinema, she has published on the topics of enactive media and narrative complex systems, and written the book "Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense. She is the principal investigator of NeuroCine research project (2010 – ongoing). In the field of naturalistic neurosciences, she has acted as a core member of the directory group of neuroscience research project aivoAALTO at the Aalto University (2010-2014). Her research in neurocinematics is focusing on studying the neural basis of storytelling and creative imagination.