Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of July 13, 2015

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
San Francisco, July 13, 2015
c/o University of San Francisco
Cowell Hall, Room #106 (map)
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi and Tami Spector

The LASERs are a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole series.

Leonardo ISAST and USF invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo Art/Science community. The event is free and open to everybody. Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
See below for location and agenda.
Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
See also...


Program:
  • 7:00-7:25: Melanie Swan (Founder, Institute for Blockchain Studies) on "Bitcoin/Blockchain Technology Explained" Not just Cryptocurrencies, Economics, and Markets; Applications in Art, Health, and Literacy... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Margot Knight (Djerassi Resident Artists Program) on "Scientific Delirium Madness" A retreat that links artists and scientists for 30 days of collegial interaction... Read more
  • 7:50-8:10: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.
  • 8:10-8:35: Stuart Russell (UC Berkeley/ Center for Intelligent Systems) on "The long-term future of (Artificial) Intelligence" Should we be concerned about the coming of Artificial Intelligence?... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Nicholas de Monchaux (UC Berkeley Architecture) on "Spacesuits and Cities" The frontier of urban design is as much physiological as physical... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • Other LASER series
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
    Bios:
    • Since November of 2011, Margot Knight is Executive Director of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, her seventh job in the arts and humanities in 35 years. Each position has incorporated the things she loves--history, challenges, artists, scholars, education and access. She has the privilege to oversees one of the foremost artist communities on the planet AND is encouraged to pursue her own literary pursuits. Previous positions include the presidencies of United Arts of Central Florida and United Arts of Raleigh & Wake County, executive director of the Idaho Commission on the Arts and Washington State University's Oral History Office and staff positions with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and Washington Commission for the Humanities. She serves on the Private Sector Council for Americans for the Arts and is a proud recipient of the Michael Newton Award. A frequent consultant, speaker and grants panelist, she has also served on over 25 chamber of commerce, tourism, regional planning and cultural boards, including the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Visit Orlando, and Florida Cultural Alliance.
    • Nicholas de Monchaux is is an architect, urban designer, and theorist. He is the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011), an architectural and urban history of the Apollo Spacesuit, winner of the Eugene Emme award from the American Astronautical Society and shortlisted for the Art Book Prize. The work of de Monchaux's Oakland-based design practice has been exhibited at the 2010 Biennial of the Americas, the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, San Francisco's SPUR, and SFMOMA. de Monchaux received his B.A. with distinction in Architecture, from Yale, and his Professional Degree (M.Arch.) from Princeton. Prior to his independent practice, he worked with Michael Hopkins & Partners in London, and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in New York. de Monchaux's work has been supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Hellman Family fund, the Macdowell Colony, the Santa Fe Institute, and the Smithsonian Institution. He has received design awards and citations from Parsons The New School for Design, the International Union of Architects, Pamphlet Architecture, and the Van Alen Institute.
    • Stuart Russell received his B.A. with first-class honours in physics from Oxford University in 1982 and his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford in 1986. He then joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, where he is Professor (and formerly Chair) of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and holder of the Smith-Zadeh Chair in Engineering. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery at UC San Francisco. He is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award of the National Science Foundation, the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, the Mitchell Prize of the American Statistical Association and the International Society for Bayesian Analysis, and the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award. In 1998, he gave the Forsythe Memorial Lectures at Stanford University and from 2012 to 2014 he held the Chaire Blaise Pascal in Paris. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published over 150 papers on a wide range of topics in artificial intelligence including machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, real-time decision making, multitarget tracking, computer vision, computational physiology, and global seismic monitoring. His books include "The Use of Knowledge in Analogy and Induction", "Do the Right Thing: Studies in Limited Rationality" (with Eric Wefald), and "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach" (with Peter Norvig).
    • Piero Scaruffi is a cognitive scientist who has lectured in three continents and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the latest one being "The Nature of Consciousness" (2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s. His poetry has been awarded several national prizes in Italy and the USA. His latest book of poems and meditations is "Synthesis" (2009). As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009) and "A History of Jazz Music" (2007). His latest book of history is "A History of Silicon Valley" (2011). The first volume of his free ebook "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" appeared in 2012. His latest book is "Demystifying Machine Intelligence" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature.
    • Melanie Swan is a science and technology innovator and philosopher at the MS Futures Group. She is the founder of the Institute for Blockchain Studies . She founded the participatory medicine research organization DIYgenomics in 2010. Ms. Swan's educational background includes an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania , a BA in French and Economics from Georgetown University , and recent coursework in philosophy in the Contemporary Continental Philosophy MA Program at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University London and Université Paris 8, and in biology, nanotechnology, physics, and computer science. She is a faculty member at Singularity University and the University of the Commons , an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies , and a contributor to the Edge's Annual Essay Question .

    Extended abstracts:


    DeMonchaux
    Between 1971 and 1974, it took Architect-turned-Artist Gordon Matta-Clark months of methodical research to locate the fifteen vacant and moribund sites - marginal fragments of New York City real estate - that form Fake Estates: Reality Properties. Using a contemporary geographic information system, or GIS, the same search can be accomplished in minutes, and locates tens of thousands of similar lots throughout the five boroughs of New York (or any other urban landscape). The lecture presents recent design work that explores how the ability of digital systems to identify and re-envision marginal spaces can critique and expand contemporary discourse around technology and the city - where conventional `smart' prescriptions fail to comprehensively capture both the nature of urbanity, and, for that matter, nature and technology as well. Yet for all its contemporaneity, this is not a new conversation. The urgent search for adaptive, robust, and resilient urban infrastructure readily recalls the seminal debates of a half-century ago, in which cities, ecologies, bodies and, technology were thrown together, both in a quest for the Moon and an attempted re-making of city and society on earth as well. Through design work, historical documents, critical speculation (and a minimum of slides) the lecture argues that the frontier of urban design is as much physiological as physical, and, remains-crucially-out of our predicable control.
    Knight
    Margot H. Knight, executive director of Djerassi Resident Artists Program will share what was learned during the July 2014 retreat that linked artists and scientists for 30 days of collegial interaction and exploration. She will also discuss plans for 2015's Scientific Delirium Madness 2.0.


    Russell
    The news media in recent months have been full of dire warnings about the risk that AI poses to the human race, coming from well-known figures such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. Should we be concerned? If so, what can we do about it?


    Swan
    The blockchain concept may be one of the most transformative ideas to impact the world since the Internet. It represents a new organizing paradigm for all activity and integrates humans and technology. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are merely one application of the blockchain concept. The blockchain is a public transaction ledger built in a network structure based on cryptographic principles so there does not need to be a centralized intermediary. Any kind of asset (art, car, home, financial contract) may be encoded into the blockchain and transacted, validated, or preserved in a much more efficient manner than at present including ideas, health data, financial assets, automobiles, and government documents. Blockchain technology applies well beyond cryptocurrencies, economics, and markets to all venues of human information processing, collaboration, and interaction including art, health, and literacy.
    Photos and videos of this evening