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Previous SAILS Symposia

On this page, you can find recorded SAILS Symposia of 2020.

SAILS Symposium 2020

The Future of AI is Human

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December 15 2020

We are not alone anymore. Artificial Intelligence is changing society, for better or for worse, and we will need to find new ways to relate to our artificial counterparts. Will our joint future be symbiotic, antagonistic or more one of fruitful collaboration? And what can we actually learn from the AI about what makes us human – perhaps even beyond intelligence? What are the grand challenges that are still out there, and do we even know how to begin to tackle them?
SAILS, the Leiden University wide research program on AI, has the pleasure to invite you to an online talk show on December 15, where we invite artists, scientists and designers to debate and imagine our future with AI, through a whirlwind of very current yet not so middle-of-the-road artworks and research projects. Jay McClelland from Stanford University, whose books on neural networks launched the previous AI summer in the eighties, will conclude the event with his thoughts on the big pieces of puzzle still missing and reflect on our long-term future with AI. 

Talk show topics:

•    Designer Vera van der Seyp will explain how she used AI to create the graphical design and typography for this event, and how she collaborates with AI in her creative practice.
•    Artists and researchers Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders will discuss their creative robotic works that explore our entanglements with machines, and vice versa.
•    Sex care robots for elderly: why not? Eduard Fosch Villaronga on making robotics and AI in general more inclusive, for groups such as elderly people, people with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ communities.
•    It seems hard to escape our filter bubbles nowadays and misinformation is rampant. Is the use of AI in the hunt for clicks to blame? Or can we reverse the role of AI in online media? Designer Jasper Schelling and researcher Suzan Verberne will share their views on how to uncover framing, junk news and polarization, separate news from opinion and provide diversity in recommendations.
•    Since its inception in the 1950s, the field of AI has been characterized by ebbs and flows. Jay McClelland is a cognitive psychologist who was right there at the spring of a new AI summer. In fact, one could argue he helped kickstart it. We will hear his views on what inspired his early work in parallel distributed processing and connectionist models of the mind, his thoughts on the incredible success of deep neural networks, and what the future of AI could hold. 

About the guests

•    Vera van der Seyp is a designer and creative coder with an interest in typography, languages and artificial intelligence.
•    Petra Gemeinboeck  is an artist and researcher, working across creative robotics, performance and feminist theory. She is also an associate Professor and Future Fellow at the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies, Swinburne University, Australia.
•    Rob Saunders is Associate Professor at the Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer Science at Leiden University. His research interests include Computational Creativity and Creative Robotics.
•    Eduard Fosch Villaronga is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Researcher at eLaw- Center for Law and Digital Technologies, Leiden University. He investigates the legal and regulatory aspects of healthcare robot and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.
•    Jasper Schelling is a principal lecturer at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Head of Technologies at ACED, exploring the intersection of design, data science and journalism.
•    Suzan Verberne is an associate professor at the at the Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer Science at Leiden University focusing on the edge between Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval.
•    Jay McClelland is the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, and one of the founders of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation at Stanford University. Together with David Rumelhart, he published the two-volume book Parallel Distributed Processing in 1986, which arguably started the last AI summer and is now considered to be a standard in the neural networks literature.

About the organizers and moderators

 •    Tessa Verhoef: assistant professor, Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer Science, Leiden University
•    Roy de Kleijn: assistant professor, Cognitive Psychology, Leiden University
•    Peter van der Putten: assistant professor, Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer Science, Leiden University
•    Mischa Hautvast: Programme coordinator, SAILS, Leiden University
•    Streaming production: Lesley van Hoek, Graphical design: Vera van de Seyp


16.30 - 16.35 Opening by Peter van der Putten

16.35 - 16.40 Vera van de Seyp

16.40 - 17.10 Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders

17.10 - 17.35 Eduard Fosch Villaronga

17.35 - 18.00 Suzan Verberne & Jasper Schelling

18.00 - 18.25 Jay McClelland

18.25 - 18.30 Closing by Peter van der Putten

NB: All times are in CET

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