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ANFA 2016: “Accelerating Human Imagination” – Sheldon Brown

ANFA 2016: “Accelerating Human Imagination” – Sheldon Brown

Accelerating Human Imagination
Invited Speaker: Sheldon Brown
Director, Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination
Director, Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity Research
University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA

Our imagination is the underpinning our cultural development. Yet, what is “imagination”? Is there a singular basis of imagination that develops into a number of different phenomena, or do we use the word imagination to group together a number of aspects of behavior and cognition into a common category? If we can better understand imagination, we might be able to find ways of directly engaging it in order to accelerate its operation. What use might we put this accelerated imagination to? These questions are being asked by the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. I’ll describe how we are pursuing the understanding of imagination, how we are accelerating it, and how we are thinking about the best ways of aiming an enhanced human imagination. In particular, I will focus on how we are looking to augment human imagination through a variety of computational techniques ranging from genetic algorithms to neural network processes, and how this methodology provokes insight into the ways in which new ideas come into existence.

Sheldon Brown combines computer science research with vanguard cultural production. He is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Endowed Chair of Digital Media and Learning at UCSD, and is the Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination where he is a Professor of Visual Arts and a co-founder of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technologies (Calit2) and he is also the UCSD Site Director of the NSF supported Industry-University Collaborative Research Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity Research (CHMPR).

His interactive artworks have been exhibited at: The Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai, The Exploratorium in San Francisco, Ars Electronica in Linz Austria, The Kitchen in NYC, Zacheta Gallery in Warsaw, Centro Nacional in Mexico City, Oi Futuro in Rio de Janeiro, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and others. He has also been featured at leading edge techno-culture conferences such as Supercomputing, SIGGRAPH, TedX, GDC. He has been commissioned for public artworks in Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego and Mexico City, and has received grants from the NSF, AT&T New Experiments in Art and Technology, the NEA, IBM, Intel, Sun Microsystems, SEGA SAMMY, Sony, Vicon and others.