Digital Horizons – Workshops series
12th Oct 2017
Thursdays 12/10, 19/10, 26/10 & 02/11/2017, New Art Exchange
Please book a place for each session
This series explores how digital fabrication, artificial intelligence and related technologies will physically and culturally impact the human condition. The objective is to help those working in creative and digital businesses to better understand how cutting-edge and future technologies will expand the potential scope and importance of artistic expression, as well as allowing human civilization to rise to those grand challenges that lie ahead.
The sessions will provide information, as well as enabling discussion and ideas generation within a creative environment. They will also facilitate networking. The structure for each session will be as follows:
17:30: Arrival and refreshments
18:00: Presentation, including interactive audience questions
19:00: Broader discussion, plenary feedback and networking
The four sessions will cover topics as follows:
1. Sustainability, Future Narratives & Digital Technology
This session explores the future context within which digital technology will increasingly be created and applied. Specifically, it highlights the challenges that surround climate change, planetary overshoot, future energy supply and broader resource scarcity, and the potential solutions that may be associated with both digital technologies and mindset shift. Against this backdrop, the session concludes by exploring the role that may be played by the creative sector in seeding a more sustainable future narrative.
2. Digital Fabrication: 3D Printing & Beyond
3D printing allows digital designs to be turned into physical things by building them up in layers. As this session explores, already we can use multiple technologies to 3D print in plastics, metals, ceramics and living cells – and this is just the beginning of a digital fabrication revolution. Not least, synthetic biology and self-assembly nanotechnology are starting to allow objects to be fabricated directly from binary data. No creative individual should therefore remain ignorant of the future potential of ‘microfabrication’.
3. Synthetic Citizens: The Promise & Peril of AI & Robots
Within the next five years artificial intelligence will transform the interfaces that many people use to interact with organizations, other technologies and fellow human beings. By 2030, we are also likely to be sharing our first planet with highly intelligent robots and autonomous vehicles, while many products will be made in ‘dark factories’. These developments in automation and augmentation are something that the cultural sector cannot ignore, and which are indeed likely to increase the value and requirement for creative and interpersonal skills. This session therefore explores developments in AI, robotics and Big Data, including practical demonstrations of some cloud AI services.
4. Humanity 2.0: Our Cyborg Future?
We are entering an age of post-genomic healthcare in which medical science will be able to ‘upgrade’ as well as maintain our physical selves. In tandem, cybernetics, virtual reality, bioprinting and brain-computer interfaces are increasingly going to facilitate a digital fusion of homo sapiens with AI and other digital technologies. This final, most controversial Digital Horizons session therefore examines the potential role of artists and the digital sector in reflecting and shaping the next phase of our evolution.
Christopher Barnatt has been a professional futurist for over 20 years and publishes ExplainingTheFuture.com. He has written twelve books including “The Next Big Thing” and “3D Printing: Third Edition”, as well as running YouTube channels that have received over 26 million video views.
For 25 years Christopher lectured in computing and future studies in Nottingham University Business School. As a keynote speaker, he now delivers presentations for a wide range of clients in sectors including food production, financial services, healthcare and the arts.
Christopher has a strong practical interest in the creative sector, and early in his career spent six years producing cartoon animation for the BBC. In addition to his YouTube production, he continues to provide occasional CG animation to companies including ABC News, Google and the BBC. You can find him online at Twitter.com/ChrisBarnatt
Photo Credit: Future by Anoop Kumar (CC BY 2.0)