Robot dialogues: Artificial beings discuss identity, sociality and the rights of robots

Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in New York
Presented By the School of Media Studies at The New School

Agent Ruby

Renderings of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s web entity “Agent Ruby.” (Photo courtesy of Lynn Hershman)

NEW YORK, January 06, 2014- Just days after the grand opening of The New School’s University Center, The School of Media Studies will host “Robot Dialogues,” an Artificial Intelligence and robotic panel discussing the critical issues raised by the rapidly evolving technology. The first of its kind, the event will feature interactions primarily between artificial beings, including bots, cyborgs, robots, and humanoids.

Assistant professor of media studies and robotics expert Peter Asaro will moderate the event, focusing on the historical development of robots, ethical use of the technology, the boundaries of personhood, and their relationship with humans.

“Just as we are at the precipice of a monumental shift in technology, we must reflect on the rights and responsibilities in our interactions with robots and artificial intelligence,” said Asaro. “In this premier panel, we hope to raise awareness of not only the historical development of the field, but also its implications.”

“Robot Dialogues” will also present work from filmmaker and artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, the 2013-2014 Dorothy H. Hirshon Director in Residence. Leeson will showcase findings from her ongoing work with artificial intelligent web entity Agent Ruby from “The Agent Ruby Files,” an archive of interactions with online users that shape the robot’s memory and intelligence. In addition to Leeson, Heather Knight, a postdoctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University, and her robot Data, as well as Wendell Wallach, a scholar at the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Yale University will also appear as panelists.

“Robot Dialogues” will be held in the new John L. Tishman Auditorium in the University Center at 63 5th Avenue. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations required. Visit The New School’s Event Calendar for more information.

Founded in 1919,The New School was born out of principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Committed to social engagement, The New School today remains in the vanguard of innovation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students challenging the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The New School welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and calendar of lectures, screenings, readings, and concerts. Through its online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence. Learn more at www.newschool.edu.

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Kasia Broussalian
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