LASER Talks in Berkeley | Leonardo/ISAST

LASER Talks in Berkeley

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LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) is Leonardo/ISAST's international program of evening gatherings that brings artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations.

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CHAIRED BY: Piero Scaruffi

Program (the order of the speakers might change):

7:00-7:25:  Mikey Siegel (Consciousness Technologist) on "The Art and Technology of Human Connection." Towards technology-augmented meditation retreats.


7:25-7:50:  David McConville (Buckminster Fuller Institute)


7:50-8:10: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.

8:10-8:35:  Sandy Huang (UC Berkeley/ A.I.) on "Adversarial Examples in Reinforcement Learning." Machine-learning algorithms are vulnerable to adversarial examples.


8:35-9:00:  Caroline Sinders (Buzzfeed) on "Emotional Data and Participatory Design." Sustainable methods to think about studying online violent data inside of social networks.


Sandy Huang is a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley in Computer Science working with Professors Pieter Abbeel and Anca Dragan. She did my undergrad at Stanford, majoring in Artificial Intelligence. Her research focuses on building a deeper understanding of what a robot or agent has learned. For instance, engineers should have an idea of which situations their robot may act incorrectly in, and end-users should be able to anticipate how a robot they are interacting with will behave in various situations. This is essential for building trust, enabling seamless human-robot collaboration, verifying what a robot has learned, and deploying robots in safety-critical situations. Previously she worked on teaching robots challenging manipulation tasks (knot tying and towel folding) through learning from demonstrations. While at Stanford, she applied machine learning to problems in clinical decision making and information flow tracking.

David McConville, a media artist and scholar, is co-chairman of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, an organization facilitating convergences across design, art, science, and technology to address complex global challenges, and a co-founder of the Elumenati, a design and engineering firm specializing in immersive visualizations.

Piero Scaruffi is a cultural historian who has lectured in three continents and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the latest one being "The Nature of Consciousness" (2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s. His poetry has been awarded several national prizes in Italy and the USA. His latest book of poems and meditations is "Synthesis" (2009). As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009) and "A History of Jazz Music" (2007). His latest book of history is "A History of Silicon Valley" (2011). The first volume of his free ebook "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" appeared in 2012. His latest book is "Intelligence is not Artificial" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in 2008 and the Life Art Science Tech (LAST) festival in 2014. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.

Mikey Siegel is a robotics engineer turned consciousness hacker. He envisions a present and future where science and technology support psychological, emotional and spiritual flourishing. Where our devices not only connect us to information, but also connect us to ourselves and each other, acting as a catalyst for individual and collective awakening. He is currently teaching at Stanford University, founder of Consciousness Hacking, BioFluent Technologies,, and the Transformative Technology Conference. He received an MS in robotics from the MIT Media Lab.

Caroline Sinders is a machine learning design researcher and artist. For the past few years, she has been focusing on the intersections of natural language processing, artificial intelligence, abuse, online harassment and politics in digital, conversational spaces. Caroline is a designer and researcher at the Wikimedia Foundation, and a Creative Dissent fellow with YBCA. She has held fellowships with Eyebeam, the Studio for Creative Inquiry and the International Center of Photography. Her work has been featured at MoMA PS1, the Houston Center for Contemporary Art, Slate, Quartz, the Channels Biennale, as well as others. Caroline holds a masters from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program.


UC Berkeley

LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. LASER Talks were founded in 2008 by Bay Area LASER Chair Piero Scaruffi and are in over 30 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website

The mission of the LASERs is to provide the general public with a snapshot of the cultural environment of a region and to foster interdisciplinary networking.

February 14th, 2018 7:00 PM   through   9:00 PM
Soda Hall
Room TBA
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-1775
United States

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