Programme financed by: República Portuguesa – Cultura / Direção-Geral das Artes
Support: Lisbon City Hall, NOVA LINCS
Design: Marco Balesteros (LETRA)
Whether this new law will constrain or consolidate the power of technology companies remains to be seen. To date, operating without regulation, corporate investment in AI technologies has brought immense potential. For instance, DeepMind’s* recent breakthrough in predicting protein structures is extraordinary. Meanwhile in daily life artificial intelligence infuses everything around us; it’s in our phones and in our homes. Its presence in technical and socio-political infrastructures is already transforming human lives and environments.
Many private sector initiatives to wire forests and oceans intend well. Despite Microsoft’s grandiose aim to build ‘A Planetary Computer for a sustainable future’, its AI for Earth is a genuine attempt to enable greater efficiencies for the common good. Here, as in wider society, the prevailing worldview remains rooted in the belief that policy reform, capitalism and more computation will save the planet. But for those of us who doubt this configuration, the struggle is to establish another agenda. For those of us who believe the climate crisis is existential, finding a solution is a struggle in itself.
Although it's hard to imagine the present otherwise, we must continue to question how we arrived here. Alongside critique, we must view the current context afresh and act as if positive change is possible. We need to trespass into other areas of knowledge and forge new connections. Above all, we should allow ourselves to expand experience and encounter other worlds within those we already know.
CADA (Jared Hawkey/Sofia Oliveira)
This ethical stance will position the EU against the lack of regulation in the US and state control in China. From Cambridge Analytica to the recent Project Pegasus, from facial recognition to social credit system, it is increasingly apparent that the abusive use of digital computation compromises human rights. So, how would this regulation protect citizens in the context of a globalised society? Could the European strategy influence worldwide adoption of good AI practices? How does this proposal relate to the General Data Protection Regulation?
A conversation on what will be solved and what remains to be answered by this proposal includes the participation of Eduardo Santos (D3 – Associação dos Direitos Digitais, a Portuguese digital rights association) and João Leite (NOVA LINCS, Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, NOVA University Lisbon). The talk will be in English and followed by a Q&A session.
She is a practising lawyer at Miranda e Associados and an elected member of the deliberative body of the Portuguese green party LIVRE. She holds post-graduate qualifications in Intellectual Property, Information Society, Data Protection and Bioethics and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Political Philosophy, at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities of NOVA University Lisbon (FCSH-UNL). She studied issues regarding artificial moral agency and the need for responsible design for the Master’s Practical Ethics seminar. Her Master’s dissertation will focus on issues regarding democratic engagement across generations, touching on the political impacts of technology.
A conversation about the parallel communication (or the lack of it) between Art and Science in the context of the work of Alexandre Estrela. This includes the collaboration with Moita Lab from the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, the Company Orange and the Human Language Technology Laboratory INESC-ID/IST.
Alexandre Estrela will be in conversation with Jared Hawkey and Sofia Oliveira. The talk will be in English and followed by a Q&A session.
Estrela’s work is an investigation into the essence of images that expands spatially and temporally through different media. In his videos and installations Estrela examines the subject’s psychological reactions to images in their interaction with matter. Each piece brings together synaesthetic experiences, visual and sound illusions, aural and chromatic sensations that function as perceptual traps, leading the subject towards conceptual levels. With this strategy Estrela constantly splits vision into further sensible dimensions towards the unseen and the unheard. Recent solo exhibitions include All and Everything, Rufino Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, 2020, Métal Hurlant, Foundation Gulbenkian, Paris, 2019, Cápsulas de silêncio, Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid, 2016, Roda Lume, M HKA, Antwerp, 2016, Meio Concreto, Serralves Museum, Porto, 2013, among others. His next show, Flat Bells, will be shown at MoMA, New York, in 2022.
‘Sheldrake’s mind-bending journey [...] ranges from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that sprawl for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the ‘Wood Wide Web’, to those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision’. An understanding of fungal networks reveals how life originated on the planet with profound consequences on how we understand intelligence, our relationship with the environment, and our future.
Merlin Sheldrake will be online in conversation with Olivier Perriquet, a visual artist with a background in computational biology, who will be present. Both speakers will also engage the audience at the event. The talk is in English and followed by a Q&A session.
Merlin is the bestselling author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures. Merlin received a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is a research associate of the Vrije University, Amsterdam, and sits on the advisory board of the Fungi Foundation and the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks.
Forests are increasingly sensorized environments. Whether in the form of camera traps to monitor organisms or the Internet of Things to detect wildfires, there are an array of sensor technologies that observe and constitute forests in relation to scientific inquiry, Indigenous land claims, environmental governance, and disaster prevention and mitigation.
This presentation will investigate the sensory arrangements that Smart Forests generate. It will ask how sensory infrastructures materialise as distributions of power and governance, while considering the sensory practices that transform and potentially re-constitute dominant regimes of perception toward other inhabitations and milieus.
Jennifer Gabrys will be online with a live connection to the venue. Her talk will be in English and followed by a Q&A session.
Gabrys is Chair in Media, Culture and Environment in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She leads the Planetary Praxis research group and is Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project, Smart Forests: Transforming Environments into Social-Political Technologies. She also leads the Citizen Sense and AirKit projects, which have both received funding from the ERC (European Research Council). She writes on digital technologies, environments and social life, with recent publications including How to Do Things with Sensors (2019) and Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (2016).
All welcome, free entry, booking required here.