AI as cultural practice

Technologies emerge from a society’s cultural imagination, sparking new ways to imagine the future. Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) – as the technical capability of a system ‘to correctly interpret external data, to learn from such data, and to use those learnings to achieve specific goals and tasks through flexible adaptation’ [1] – is formed into virtually any digital system that we draw upon to interact with each other and the world around us. From a more anthropological perspective, AI can be understood as a ‘technosocial system’ that connects the technical aspects of AI and Data Science with its social, cultural and humanistic values in deep, intrinsic ways. These ‘human-centered’ experiences shape how we perceive, design, and use AI, as well as inform our perceptions, hopes, and fears of these technologies. We cannot properly understand the ethical implications and social impacts of AI, at large, without understanding the cultural contexts or milieu within which it is embedded.

We invite creative practitioners (media artists, creative technologists, content producers) to extend their studio practice by exploring more dynamic and nuanced understandings of AI and machine learning through cultural practice. Proposed projects will be undertaken through practice-based research leading to creative outcomes (experimental artworks; design applications) that propose original and innovative scenarios of human-machine interaction and co-creation between technology and human beings, communities of practice and publics. We invite proposals for self-initiated research projects that will stimulate debate about the ways AI might augment human creativity and open transdisciplinary dialogue between cultural production and data science by testing modes of expression, forms of experience and social intelligence… (in other words) how we see and feel, as much as think.

References and further reading

[1] Kaplan, Andreas and Michael Haenlein, “Siri, Siri, in my hand: Who’s the fairest in the land? On the interpretations, illustrations, and implications of artificial intelligence”, Business Horizons 62(1) • November 2018.

Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. Harper and Row, New York, 1977.

Ihde, Don. “Philosophy of technology.” In Philosophical problems today. Springer, Dordrecht, 2004, 91-108.

Verbeek, Peter-Paul. What things do: Philosophical reflections on technology, agency, and design. Penn State Press, University Park, 2005.



Dr Vince Dziekan
Professor Jon McCormack

All information about eligibility and how to apply can be found on the How to Apply webpage.