CHAIRED BY: Piero Scaruffi
7:00-7:25: Melissa Merencillo (Virtual Reality Designer) on "Where We Are in XR (X Reality: Augmented, Virtual, Mixed and Cinematic Realities)"
7:25-7:50: Steve Omohundro (A.I. and Blockchain researcher) on " AI, Deception, and Blockchains"
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: Mel Day (SJSU) on "Everyday Voices: Building a Different Kind of Wall"
8:35-9:00: Denise Gigante (Stanford/ Literature) on "Too Much Life: Romantic Monstrosity in Frankenstein"
Mel Day is an interdisciplinary artist and educator, currently at San Jose State University, and previously at UC Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College. Recent work explores the role of singing in civic engagement, deepening dialogue among potentially insular groups. Day is currently building a "Wall of Song" with artist Michael Namkung, a massed singing of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, which has been exhibited nationally, most recently at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Her work has also been exhibited and screened in venues such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Film Festival, Oberpf„lzer Knstlerhaus, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, ZERO1 Biennale, and Peak Gallery in Toronto. She has participated in residencies nationally and internationally including Stanford University's Experimental Media Arts Lab, Headlands Center for the Arts, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Oberpf„lzer Knstlerhaus (Schwandorf, Germany), The Lab, SF and she recently co-founded an IDEO-awarded Youth Fellowship program at Djerassi. Other honors include San Francisco Foundation's Murphy Fellowship in the Fine Arts and the Eisner Prize in the Creative Arts from UC Berkeley.
Denise Gigante teaches eighteenth and nineteenth-century British literature at Stanford, with a focus on Romanticism. Her interests include the longer historical tradition of poetry and poetics, the English periodical essay, the Romantic novel, taste, gastronomy, aesthetic theory, antiquarianism, and the history of the book. She is currently working on The Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America and is the author of The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George, (just released by Harvard UP in paperback), Life: Organic Form and Romanticism (Yale UP, 2009), Taste: A Literary History (Yale UP, 2005), and two anthologies: The Great Age of the English Essay (Yale UP, 2008) and Gusto: Essential Writings in Nineteenth-Century Gastronomy (Routledge, 2005).
Melissa Merencillo is an X-Reality (XR = AR/VR/MR) enthusiast and technophile focusing on social presence, behavioral communication and interaction design in digital reality systems. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from California State University East Bay (2012) and a Master of Arts in Multimedia in Interaction Design also from California State University East Bay (2017). Her work on the collaborative thesis, Project: This Way!, explored the concepts of copresence in VR and was shown at the VR Mixer of the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo, and at the symposium, If You Weren't: Playing with Realities in ARG, AR, and VR held at Stanford University in Palo Alto. She is a member of various AR/VR MeetUps and attends industry conferences on AR/VR technology throughout the Bay Area. She is currently the Instructional Support Technician II and Video Lab Coordinator of the Department of Communication at California State University East Bay supporting courses in digital video and media production.
Steve Omohundro founded Possibility Research and Self-Aware Systems to develop beneficial intelligent technologies. He has degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Physics from Berkeley. He was a computer science professor at the University of Illinois and cofounded the Center for Complex Systems Research. He published the book "Geometric Perturbation Theory in Physics", designed the A.I. programming languages StarLisp and Sather, wrote the 3D graphics system for Mathematica, invented many machine learning algorithms (including manifold learning, model merging, bumptrees, and family discovery), and built systems that learn to read lips, control robots, and induce grammars. He's done internationally recognized work on AI safety and strategies for its beneficial development. He is on the advisory board of AI startups AIBrain and Cognitalk, and is past chairman of the Silicon Valley ACM Special Interest Group in AI. He is also on the advisory board of blockchain startup Dfinity and the Institute for Blockchain Studies. See for example his Presentation on Deep Learning for Business and TED talk on A.I.
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.
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.
LiKaShing building - Room LK130
Palo Alto, CA 94305-5101