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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

University showcases AI advances at festival

Published: 12 June 2024
Larry Lynch, Tom Irvine, Les Carr
Artistic Directors (LtoR): Larry Lynch, Tom Irvine, Les Carr

A celebration of AI and the arts took place in Winchester on Sunday (2 June), at the University of Southampton’s first AI Arts Festival organised by the Web Science Institute in collaboration with Winchester School of Art.

The family event saw colleagues, students and the public attend the Theatre Royal Winchester and The Arc to explore exhibits and watch performances demonstrating how artificial intelligence and the arts can meet.

Highlights included a performance by France’s Orchestre National de Jazz with musical machine collaborators, stand-up comedy with an AI theme, an AI-powered robot pet, and a discussion chaired by Adjunct Professor and BBC technology writer Bill Thompson, featuring Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

Professor Thomas Irvine, the event’s co-artistic director and Head of Music at the university, said: “ It was a fantastic event, and wonderful to see so many people – young and old alike – explore and engage with all sorts of different ways in which AI and the arts intersect .

The festival was a resounding success, and with so many developments and advances happening all the time when it comes to technology, it’s a special time to both celebrate and question what AI means for artistic expression.

Dame Professor Wendy Hall said, ‘ Many of the conversations I am involved in to do with AI are around the dangers and threats it poses, the AI Arts Festival was a wonderful showcase of so many of the positives AI can offer. To see AI coming together with artistic ventures in such a breadth of ways made for a really entertaining event .’

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Orchestre National de Jazz
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AI Arts Fest Panel
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