October 6th – 9th, 2022

Keynote Speakers

Anna Ridler (b. 1985) is an artist and researcher who works with systems of knowledge and how technologies are created in order to better understand the world. She is particularly interested in ideas around measurement and quantification and how this relates to the natural world. Her process often involves working with collections of information or data, particularly datasets, to create new and unusual narratives.

K Allado-McDowell is a writer, speaker, and musician. They are the author, with GPT-3, of the books Pharmako-AI and Amor Cringe, and are co-editor of The Atlas of Anomalous AI. They record and release music under the name Qenric.

Allado-McDowell established the Artists + Machine Intelligence program at Google AI. They are a conference speaker, educator and consultant to think-tanks and institutions seeking to align their work with deeper traditions of human understanding.

Donald Spector, Professor of Physics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is a theoretical physicist whose research in quantum field theory and information theory has been recognized by the National Science Foundation, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Japan Society for Promotion of Science, and Foundational Questions Institute. His interdisciplinary scholarship connecting physics to theatre, music, and philosophy focuses on identifying common conceptual frameworks in the ways diverse intellectual fields organize their understanding of the world. He frequently speaks to popular audiences about the physics of Star Trek, and has been a scientific consultant to numerous theatre productions.

Reading Minds: Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks, and the Reading Human

Engaging scholars of literature, science, and the arts in questions pertaining to the nature of reading inevitably suggests new lines of enquiry which extend beyond disciplinary fields, and reach to apprehend the “grand challenges” of the twenty-first century. Historically, the definition of reading has been narrowly defined as a human mind deciphering text, as written traditions of communication replaced the oral. With machine learning, natural language processing, and imaging, both the understanding of “reading” and “mind” are in flux. Over the course of the pandemic, the pivot to remote work and social distancing have led to an augmented virtual experience with the attendant consequences of new patterns of reading and an accumulation of data from that engagement.

We seek papers, panels, workshops, and creative work that might address the following concerns, broadly defined:

  • Artifacts of reading: print and digital
  • The embodied mind problematized from the perspective of AI 
  • Natural language processing, especially machine translation and natural language generation 
  • Neuro networks: human, animal and other organisms
  • Data mining and data mine analysis
  • Imaging, reading images, AI-assisted imaging and / or image reconstruction
  • Cognitive processes of reading, and how they relate to the construction of meaning
  • Theory of Mind in relation to reading, data mining and algorithms
  • Empathy, and its simulation, through cognitive and affective lenses
  • Creativity and computer-assisted processing and generation of art and literature 
  • Critical discourse in academia in the contexts of increasingly sophisticated algorithmic reading and the digital humanities, including future directions and caveats