A Liberal Studies Talk with Naomi Kritzer, Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules and Dr. Sara Diamond
Cats Rule the Internet explores emerging dimensions of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning relevant to art and design thinking and practices. “Cats” is one of the most searched for terms on the Internet, and YouTube videos starring felines account for more than 26 billion views. The “LOLcat” meme holds its place as classic click bait. The panel takes a cat’s eye leap onto speculative imagining about non-human intelligence and the ways that social media and underlying machine learning technologies use and then structure our human agency.
Cats Rule the Internet is moderated by Dr. Sara Diamond, Faculty of Arts & Science, and features speculative fiction writer Naomi Kritzer and new media artist and designer Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules, who will present their work and engage in dialogue with Dr. Diamond and the audience.
Naomi Kritzer naomikrtizer.com ; @naomikritzer
Many science fiction writers and novelists have imagined agents and robots with human-like emotion. In Naomi Kritzer’s Cat Pictures Please (Clarkesworld Magazine – Science Fiction and Fantasy), an intelligent agent struggles to analyze humans by their cat pictures and tries to improve their behaviours, raising questions about General Artificial Intelligence and machine compassion and human compulsion. In this and other stories, Kritzer, an accomplished speculative fiction, fantasy and science fiction writer and winner of the Hugo Award, contemplates the ethics and flaws of a caring agency in the context of contemporary challenges with data, privacy, behavioral analytics, human consciousness and machine learning. Kritzer’s most recent published book is the young adult novel Chaos on CatNet.
Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules desbiens-desmeules.com
Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules is a Canadian media artist and designer working between generative art, live performance and interactive design in Europe, Canada and virtual space. Data labeling is the fuel that powers machine learning. Desbiens-Desmeules points out our role in supplying free labour for platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk or Google’s Captcha Challenge in her I’m Not a Robot project. She generates images that are impossible to identify, even for humans, feeding thousands of images of cats to an AI model specialized in identifying cars. Desbiens-Desmeules discusses her work with AI systems, and the use of AI to both subvert and critique AI.