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Wednesday, May 31, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EST

Today, there are robots that make art, move like dancers, tell stories, and even help human chefs devise unique recipes. But is there ingenuity in silico? Can computers be creative? A rare treat for the senses, this thought-provoking event brings together artists and computer scientists who are creating original works with the help of artificially intelligent machines. Joined by leading experts in psychology and neuroscience, they’ll explore the roots of creativity in humans and computers, what artificial creativity reveals about human imagination, and the future of hybrid systems that build on the capabilities of both.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


John SchaeferRadio Host

John Schaefer is the host and producer of WNYC’s long-running new music show New Sounds, which Billboard magazine has called “the #1 radio show for the Global Village,” founded in 1982, and its innovative Soundcheck podcast, which features live performances and interviews with a variety of guests.

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Sougwen ChungArtist

Sougwen Chung (愫君) is a Chinese-born, Canadian-raised artist based in New York. Her work explores transitional edges — the mark-made-by-hand and the mark-made-by-machine — as an approach to understanding the interaction between humans and computers.

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Jesse EngelComputer Scientist, Musician

Jesse Engel is a research scientist with Google Brain’s Magenta team on the coevolution of artificial intelligence algorithms and their creative applications. He received his Bachelors, Ph.D., and Postdoc degree from UC Berkeley.

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Peter Ulric TseNeuroscientist

Peter Ulric Tse is interested in understanding, first, how matter can become conscious, and second, how conscious and unconscious mental events can be causal in a universe where so many believe a solely physical account of causation should be sufficient.

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Lav VarshneyEngineering Theorist

Lav Varshney is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science (by courtesy), and a research affiliate in the Beckman Institute and in the Neuroscience Program, all at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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