Thoughtworks Arts


Implications of AI: Meet our New Resident

Newsletter sent on Friday, 28 July 2017
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We are pleased to welcome our newest resident Karen Palmer, a London-based digital filmmaker and storyteller.

Karen Palmer on a large stage
Karen Palmer speaking at TEDxSydney

During her Thoughtworks Arts Residency, Karen will be furthering development of her interactive film, RIOT. This project is an emotionally responsive live-action film with 3D sound, and uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, machine learning, and facial recognition to allow users to navigate through a dangerous riot in progress.

The RIOT prototype was recently honored as part of the Digital Dozen Break Throughs in Storytelling 2016, and has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art Peru, Future of Storytelling Festival NY and Festival of the Mind Sheffield. The project went on to be featured by global broadcasters including CBS, Guardian, Fast Company, NBC and the New York Times.

You can learn more about Karen and the RIOT project on the announcement blog post.

AI Residency Finalists

We reviewed sixty three exceptional applications for the AI residency from artists all over the world, from which four finalists were selected. We’d like to extend special thanks to the following finalists who shared their work with us.

Shirin Anlen, an Israeli interactive creator working at the intersection of technology and exploratory arts. Her work looks at issues of mental illnesses, and how they apply to AI, and how we can use virtual reality and avatars to explore the nature of AI systems and their responses.

A VR landcscape with two human figures in it
A still from Tzina: Symphony of Longing, webVR documentary by Shirin Anlen

Olento Collective, Jani Hietanen, Jaana Ristola and Ismo Torvinen, are working on a new theory of aesthetic motion. Their implementation is a new form of emotional AI, providing machines the ability to recognize the emotional content of embodied motion in a new way.

Disnovation, a working group based in Paris, initiated by Nicolas Maigret and Maria Roszkowska. Their work is somewhere between contemporary art, research and hacking. The collective develops situations of disturbance, speculation, and debate, challenging the ideology of innovation and stimulating the emergence of alternative narratives.

Directors and Alumni News

Our previous resident Heather Dewey-Hagborg joins forces with Chelsea Manning for A Becoming Resemblance, an Exhibition at Fridman Gallery opening August 2nd. Frames from graphic short Suppressed Images, a Thoughtworks Arts sponsored collaboration between Heather and Shoili Kanungo will be on view.

A still from the comic
A frame from Suppressed Images

Noor: A Brain Opera, by Director, Ellen Pearlman, has been selected for WomenCinemakers, special issue featuring independent filmmakers.

Creative Tech Week “Lightning Talks” given by directors Andrew McWilliams and Ellen Pearlman about their own respective practices are online. Longer discussions by directors Andrew McWilliams and Ellen Pearlman, and resident hannes bend at Thoughtworks for Creative Tech Week are also online.

Directors Andy McWilliams and Ellen Pearlman attended the AI Now Symposium at MIT in July. The symposium addresses the near-term social impacts of artificial intelligence to ensure a more equitable future.