Starting January 10th, 2018, the University of King’s College, Halifax, is hosting an exciting public lecture series, Automatons! From Ovid to AI, on the culture, science and politics of robots and AI. The series begins with a screening of Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic film, Metropolis, with live musical accompaniment by the Upstream Music Association.
Talks will be given by international scholars and authors such as Stephanie Dick (Of Models and Machines), Despina Kakoudaki (Anatomy of a Robot: Literature, Cinema and the Cultural Work of Artificial People), and Courtney Ann Roby (The Written Machine between Alexandria and Rome). Renowned physicist and commentator Noel Sharkey is scheduled to debate the issue of “fully autonomous weapons systems” with Dalhousie University philosophy professor Duncan MacIntosh. Teresa Heffernan, Saint Mary’s University English professor and director of the Social Robot Futures project, will open the series with an introductory lecture on robot imaginaries past and future.
The schedule of talks and events is presented below. More information on each talk can be found at Automatons! From Ovid to AI.
All lectures start at 7 p.m. and take place in Alumni Hall, University of King’s College, Halifax, except for the March 21 and March 28 events.
January 10: Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” – Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 film, Metropolis, with live electroacoustic music, opens the Public Lecture Series. Venue: Alumni Hall
With musical accompaniment by the Upstream Music Association, the screening explores the intersection between electronics and improvisation, automation and real-time inspiration, featuring some of our finest cinematic improvisors: Amy Brandon on guitar and electronics, Steven Naylor on keyboard and electronics, Lukas Pearse on bass and electronics, and Brandon Auger on synthesizer.
January 17: Imagining Automatons
Teresa Heffernan of Saint Mary’s University and Director of the “Social Robots Futures” project, delivers the opening lecture on the past and future of robots. Venue: Alumni Hall
January 25: Ancient Automatons
Courtney Ann Roby, Cornell University, and author of The Written Machine between Alexandria and Rome (2016). Venue: Alumni Hall
With Brian Flemming, Senior Fellow with the Van Horne Institute, Calgary, and Stan Matwin, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, Dalhousie University. Venue: Alumni Hall
February 28: Imagined Puppet Life
Dawn Brandes, University of King’s College and Halifax Humanities. Venue: Alumni Hall
March 7: Asian Robots & Orientalism
Simon Kow, University of King’s College. Venue: Alumni Hall
March 21: War in the Age of Intelligent Machines
Renowned physicist and commentator Noel Sharkey debates Duncan MacIntosh, Dalhousie University, on the role of autonomous weapons. Venue: Scotiabank Auditorium, Saint Mary’s University
March 28: Frankenstein
A special performance and lecture marking the 200th anniversary of the Mary Shelley classic
With Despina Kakoudaki, American University of Washington, and author of Anatomy of a Robot: Literature, Cinema and the Cultural Work of Artificial People. Venue: Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dalhousie University
April 4: Living Artificially
With King’s alumna and University of Pennsylvania professor, Stephanie Dick. Author of Of Models and Machines
The 2018 Lecture Series is made possible with assistance from the University of King’s College (Contemporary Studies Program, Early Modern Studies Program and History of Science and Technology Program), Dalhousie University and Saint Mary’s University.