Workshops and Talks

MA Meets 3

Machines of deception: Social life after the Turing Test

Dr Simone Natale

Loughborough University, Communication and Media Studies

Thursday, April 2, 2020

10 – 11 am

Zoom (link here)

Since its inception in the 1950s, the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been nurtured by the dream – cherished by some scientists while dismissed as unrealistic by others – that it will lead to forms of consciousness similar or alternative to human life. Yet, AI might be more accurately described as a range of technologies providing a convincing illusion of intelligence – in other words, not much the creation of intelligent beings, but rather of technologies that are perceived by humans as such. Drawing from the history of AI from the Turing Test to contemporary AI assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, the talk will argue that AI resides also and perhaps especially in the perception of human users. Taking up this point of view helps realize how our tendency to project humanity and intelligence into things makes AI potentially disruptive for social relationship and everyday life in contemporary societies.

Simone Natale is Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University, UK, and Assistant Editor of the journal Media, Culture & Society. He is the author of two monograph, Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern Media Culture (Penn State University Press) and Deceitful Media: Artificial Intelligence and Social Life after the Turing Test (forthcoming with Oxford University Press).

AI Commons Workshop

December 6, 2019

This workshop seeks to develop a commons-based vision for the future of AI. To find out more, please click here.



Workshop: Designing Creative Voice Bots

by Nicole He

Thursday, October 3, 2019, 10 am – 12 p.m.

In this workshop, we’ll discuss the history of speech recognition and speech synthesis, learn the basics of conversational design, and then create our own creative voice bots. We’ll learn how to appropriate corporate technology to make experimental, strange, or subversive voice assistants.

Nicole He is a programmer and artist based in Brooklyn, New York, currently making videogames, including an upcoming sci-fi voice-controlled game with the National Film Board of Canada. She has worked as a creative technologist at Google Creative Lab, an outreach lead at Kickstarter, and an adjunct faculty member at ITP at NYU, where she received her Master’s degree. Nicole’s work has been featured in places such as Wired, BBC, The Outline, and The New York Times.