art / science / Tech Culture

LASER Talk at Stanford: Where Art And Science Try Connecting

Carina Earl, Luke Muelhauser, Christine Marie, and Helene Mialet presented insight of their projects this month at the LASER held at Stanford.  LASER stands for Leonardo Art/Science Rendezvous and LASERs provide artists and scientists and opportunity to do informal presentations and conversations with audiences who can usually attend LASERs for FREE.   I was delighted to have Luke Muehlhauser ask me to come and take some photos and learn more about this event, while he presented about “Superhuman Artificial Intelligence: Promise and Peril”.  The other speakers were also interesting, opening up to new ways that art and science are connected/ dancers with each other.

Luke is the executive director of SI.  He explains that Singularity Institute (SI) is older and focuses on research, while Singularity University focuses on training for entrepreneurial sorts mainly.  This past January, SI changed their name to MIRI in order to avoid confusion of it being SU which is much more global and not as much research centered.  In his presentation, Luke spoke about the most important developments in human history. Amusing the audience that the most important thing that mattered were not the factors listed, but technology in the time. He spoke about how intelligence is like magic. “If you have enough, you can give it to other people, such as with skype.” He discusses how the iphone and the space ship are magic to a chimpanzee. Human intelligence “is pretty cool, but lets be honest there is room for improvement”, said Luke, while showing an amusing photo of a hat fail. He then went on to compare Einstein with a super human AI. Although Einstein was brilliant, he could only go so far.

Aside from Luke’s talk,  Carina Earl spoke on ‘Labyrinth of Infinite Doorways”,  Christine Marie, spoke on “Cinematic shadows and stereoscopic objects”, and Helene Mailet talk was “On Stephen Hawking  and his Extended Body”.  Carina’s talk had some interesting visual photos,  while Christine Marie discussed her fascination with three dimensional shadow puppets and the art behind shadow theater and the Balinese spiritual leaders use of this tool to tell stories of the world.

The presentation by Helene Mialet fascinated me as she spent many years following Stephen Hawking’s “team” and explained something about how technology that was used by him was in some ways the norm these days.  She talked about how he depended on voice software much like what SIRI hopes to give “average consumers” more and more, and also about how in some ways he was never alone, as he had a huge team of people who were an “extension” of his self.  She talked about how technology becomes our extension and her book, Hawking Incorporated, and humorously discussed how Hawking and her both did not particularly like the book cover chosen by the publishers, as it somewhat took away from the thesis of the book, as it showed him alone in a universe.
In more ways than one, we are all connected and more and more our technological contacts are a part of us.  What are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear about some of your views of the current state of art and science intermingling.  Is the world more anti-disciplinary as we “expand our knowledge bank”?

Helen Mialet at LASER

Luke M.,talks of Super Human Intelligence

Post talk chats at LASER

LASER talk on Shadow puppets

You can find all the photos from this talk at:  on google plus.  I did not embed this link as some folks seemed to have a hard time finding it on my last post.


2 thoughts on “LASER Talk at Stanford: Where Art And Science Try Connecting

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