Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 18 September 2023

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
Stanford, 18 September 2023 at 7pm
LiKaShing building - Room LK130
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi and prof. Curtis Frank
Free and open to everybody

The LASERs (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) are an international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole international series and the dates for the Bay Area. Send an email to "scaruffi at stanford dot edu" if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
Where: Stanford University, LiKaShing building - Room LK130
There should be ample parking in the structure on corner of Campus Drive West and Roth Way. (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 6pm.
If you cannot attend in person, you can watch it on Zoom. Click here to register or here. Please be aware that the quality of the stream will be approximate (and may not work at all). We do our best but there are physical limitations in the classroom and sometimes we just can't stop the show to fix the broadcast.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • Michal Kosinski (Stanford Univ) on "Theory of Mind Might Have Spontaneously Emerged in Large Language Models" The uniquely human ability to impute unobservable mental states to others may have spontaneously emerged in large language models... Read more
    If you missed this presentation, you can view it by clicking on the image:
  • Amy Karle (Media Artist) on "Digital Dreams and Bio-realities: Reimagining Humanity Through Art and Technology" Art that explores what it means to be human at this time of merging with technology... Read more
    If you missed this presentation, you can view it by clicking on the image:
  • Eti Ben Simon (UC Berkeley) on "The Emotional Brain in a Sleepless World" Not getting enough sleep dramatically changes how we feel and think... Read more
    If you missed this presentation, you can view it by clicking on the image:
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • Amy Karle is an internationally award-winning ultra-contemporary artist specializing in emerging and exponential technologies. She creates new, hybridized forms of art synthesizing physical, biological, and computational systems. Karle employs science and tech tools to create expertly crafted, emotionally engaging, intellectually stimulating artworks that offer a glimpse into the potential of technology to shape our future. Karle has exhibited worldwide including at: Ars Electronica (Austria), Centre Pompidou (France), FILE (Brazil), Media Arts Biennale (China), Mori Art Museum (Japan), Museum of Contemporary Art (Taiwan), The Smithsonian (USA), and Triennale Milano (Italy). She is frequently invited to share her insights and innovations as an expert speaker and participant in think tanks, and to foster dialogue on the impact of deep tech, AI, and the future of human enhancement. She was honored as one of BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women in the world.
  • Michal Kosinski is a Professor at Stanford University. His research interests encompass both human and artificial cognition. His current work centers on examining the psychological processes in Large Language Models (LLMs), and leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, and computational techniques to model and predict human behavior. Michal has co-authored Modern Psychometrics (a popular textbook) and published over 90 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals including Nature Scientific Reports, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Machine Learning, that have been cited over 20,000 times. He is among the Top 1% of the Highly Cited Researchers according to Clarivate. His research inspired a cover of The Economist, a 2014 theatre play “Privacy”, multiple TED talks, a video game, and was discussed in thousands of books, press articles, podcasts, and documentaries. Michal was behind the first press article warning against Cambridge Analytica. His research exposed the privacy risks that they have exploited and measured the efficiency of their methods. He holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Cambridge and master's degrees in psychometrics and in social psychology. He used to work as a post-doctoral scholar at Stanford's Computer Science Department, the Deputy Director of the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, and a researcher at Microsoft Research (Machine Learning Group).
  • Eti Ben Simon Eti’s work explores the social and emotional consequences of sleep loss on the human brain and body. Using functional MRI and electrical brain recordings she examines the neural processes that underlie emotional dysregulation following lack of sleep and the restoration of these processes after a rested night of sleep. She received her PhD in neuroscience from Tel-Aviv University in Israel and is currently a Research Scientist in The Center for Human Sleep Science, University of California Berkeley, directed by prof. Matthew Walker.
  • 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. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.

Extended abstracts:

Amy Karle
What does it mean to be human at this time of merging with technology? And how can we use technology in an empowering way? I see technology as a reflection of who we are, who we want to be, and can become; tools that we can create and utilize to enhance our abilities and quality of life. My work incorporates both technology and humanistic elements, exploring the complexities of living, suffering, and empowerment through technology, as well as our interconnectedness. I work through art because I believe that art has the power to challenge our perceptions, provoke thought, and inspire change. Its also the language that I speak best. I explore what it means to be human at this time of merging with technology, and use those technologies in research and the process of creating my work, sometimes integrated directly into the final work."

Ben Simon
Not getting enough sleep dramatically changes how we feel and think. Even a single night of sleep loss elevates levels of anxiety and depression in healthy adults and if sleep loss is chronic, this association can develop into a clinical mental disorder. This finding is alarming considering that 40% of adults in the US are suffering from chronic insufficient sleep, and demands a better understanding of the interaction between emotional well-being and sleep. This talk will describe what it is about sleep loss that undermines our mood and how sleep , when we do get it, helps restore our minds back to health.

Theory of mind (ToM), or the ability to impute unobservable mental states to others, is central to human social interactions, communication, empathy, self-consciousness, and morality. We will present results suggesting that ToM-like ability (thus far considered to be uniquely human) may have spontaneously emerged in Large Language Models, as a byproduct of their improving language skills. We will discuss the impact of these findings on our understanding of human and artificial brains and behavior.

Photos and videos of this evening


The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of: Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; and Medicine; by Chemical Engineering and by Continuing Studies.