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Public Engagement event at AISB

Cyberselves is excited to be taking part in the 2018 Convention for the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB), to be held in Liverpool, 4 – 6 April.

In addition to organising a symposium on AI, Robots and Public Engagement (to be held on the 4 April), Cyberselves, in cooperation with the Westminster Law and Theory Lab, is pleased to bring you a special film screening and discussion that is open to all AISB delegates and the public. Entitled ARTificial ~ Exploring (with) “The Trial of the Superdebthunterbot”: Technology, Art, Law and the Posthuman, this film by artist Helen Knowles explores questions of responsibility and agency in a world populated by artificial intelligence.

Trailer The Trial of Superdebthunterbot from Helen Knowles on Vimeo.

The event is FREE, but registration is required.

** NEW ** Panelists now confirmed

The panel discussing the film we can now confirm will include:

Aurora Voiculescu, Westminster Law & Theory Lab, University of Westminster

Helen Knowles, Independent Artist, Manchester

Tony Prescott, Sheffield Robotics, University of Sheffield

Joel Parthemore, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy, University of Skövde, Sweden

Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics, University of the West of England

The event will be chaired by Will Slocombe (Dept. of English, University of Liverpool) and Michael Szollosy (Sheffield Robotics, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Sheffield).

For more information on the film screening and registration, please visit the Eventbrite page.

For more information on the 2018 AISB Convention, please see their webpage.

Below is a full description of the film and event:

Two individuals have died as a result of an algorithm’s actions: can the algorithm be found guilty in court?  Helen Knowles shows her film The Trial of the Superdebthunterbot , followed by comments from the panel and public debate.

Every new chapter in AI technology engenders passionate debates about the relation of AI artefacts to organic life as well as to our social world. The passion with which we debate whether a new development in AI is capable of real artistic expressions through painting, music or poetry, indicates that we are still viewing art as one of the bastions of ‘humanity’, as one of the attributes exclusive to humans. With art assigned such an important role in drawing this fundamental – if, to a certain extent, disputable – distinction, it is equally pertinent to ask what art has to offer in mediating our relationship with the new technologies and ultimately, of course, our relationship with ourselves.

Against a backdrop of both enthusiasm and apprehension related to the emergence of AI, the discussion forum proposed here uses Helen Knowles’ artistic installation and film “The Trial of the Superdebthunterbot” as the perfect opportunity to invite the panellists and the audience to explore questions related, among others, to the role art has in society’s processing of the ‘artificial’. At first glance, as the title of the movie suggests, we are dealing with a legal conflict, a jurisprudence conundrum, maybe even a legal drama around another bastion of ‘humanity’ under pressure: the idea of agency and personhood. Is the algorithm going to be found guilty? And, whether guilty or not, are the concepts applied by the court – agency, action, reason for action, autonomy, rationality – solid enough to justify the decision, safeguard legality and ultimately protect society? Will the rule of law remain intact? These are some of the legitimate issues that one may want to derive from this artistic production.

However, at times puzzling, at times chilling, hilarious or touching, the invitation to explore the ‘artificial’, as extended through this film, is challenging us far beyond the exploration of possible normative spheres. ‘Habeas corpus’ – the bringing of the body in front of us, as audience, rather than just in front of the court – acquires by turns a myriad of emotional overtones. If art is ‘making visible’ rather than reproducing the visible, what unsuspected essence can we await from art in relation to AI and robotics? It is adequate to say that the way we engage with AI and robotics technology will necessarily be mediated through normative – ethical and legal – filters. However, the way we relate to technology may ultimately be shaped just as much, if not more, by our senses and by our emotions awoken in the encounter with ‘the Other(ness)’

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