“Debates In AI” Symposium At Rhode Island School Of Design


“Debates in AI” Symposium at Rhode Island School of Design

to Explore the Confluence of Artificial Intelligence and Creative Disciplines

The event will bring together experts, practitioners and enthusiasts to engage in

meaningful conversations about the intersection of technology and creativity

                                     Courtesy of the Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, RI (March 21, 2024) – Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is pleased to announce “Debates in AI,” a groundbreaking symposium that delves into the multifaceted dimensions of artificial intelligence (AI) and its profound impact on creative disciplines. This two-day event, scheduled for April 11 and 12, will unravel the intricate intersections of art, design, technology and culture. The symposium aims to foster conversations that critically examine the evolving relationship between artificial intelligence and the fields of art and design.

The programming will kick off on April 11 at the Fleet Library from 5:45 to 7:30 pm with an evening conversation between Kate Crawford (researcher, composer, producer, academic and author of Atlas of AI) and Ben Davis (national art critic, Artnet News).

On April 12, a full-day symposium will take place at the Metcalf Auditorium in RISD’s Chace Center, with discussions happening from 9 am to 5 pm. The lineup includes such notable figures as Taeyoon Choi (founder, School for Poetic Computation), Molly Crabapple (artist), Stephanie Dinkins (artist, educator), Cory Doctorow (author of Chokepoint Capitalism and The Internet Con), Brian Merchant (tech columnist and author of Blood in the Machine), Trevor Paglen (artist), Christiane Paul (curator of digital art, Whitney Museum of American Art), Jon Rafman (artist), Dorothy R. Santos (writer, artist, educator), Eric Telfort (department head, RISD Illustration) and Clement Valla (associate professor, Experimental & Foundation Studies, Computation, Technology and Culture faculty coordinator).

“This event is all about asking questions,” notes faculty member Marisa Mazria Katz, executive producer of the symposium. “What are the ethical issues at stake in training and using AI models? How might we reimagine copyright and reassert the collective power of creative labor? And, what is an artist, and an arts education in the era of AI?” Professor Daniel Lefcourt, symposium co-creator, adds, “Given the speed of recent developments in AI and the profound impacts it can have on education—and society as a whole—this is a critical moment to have these conversations. We’re pleased to be convening such important dialogues at RISD.”

“As institutions and experts in a multitude of disciplines continue to inquire about artificial intelligence, I am delighted that RISD is engaging so directly and actively with questions that will shape the years ahead,” notes RISD Provost Touba Ghadessi. “From examining the meaning of human authorship, both creatively and legally, to demonstrating the need and current use of artificial intelligence as a design tool, I know the conversations organized and led by our forward-thinking faculty members will have lasting impact at and beyond RISD.”

The public is invited to join this intellectually stimulating event that brings together visionaries, thought leaders and practitioners at the forefront of the AI and creative disciplines dialogue. The event is free but registration is required.

To register to attend in person or via Zoom, and for speaker bios and additional information, visit ai-debates.risd.edu.

Support for “Debates in AI” is provided by the divisions of Architecture & Design, Fine Arts, Experimental & Foundation Studies and Liberal Arts, as well as the Center for Complexity, RISD Libraries, the Center for Arts & Language and the RISD 2050 Fund. The symposium is executive produced by faculty member Marisa Mazria Katz and co-curated by Professor Daniel Lefcourt, Katz and faculty member Marco Roso (cofounder of DIS.ART).

About Rhode Island School of Design

RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) is a creative community founded in 1877 in Providence, Rhode Island. Today, we enroll 2,538 students hailing from 60 countries. Led by a committed faculty, they are engaged in 44 full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and supported by a worldwide network of over 31,000 alumni who demonstrate the vital role artists and designers play in today’s society.

Beyond facts and figures, what is the spirit of this community? Through a cross-disciplinary curriculum of studio-based learning and rigorous study in the liberal arts, RISD students are encouraged to develop their own personal creative processes, but they are united by one guiding principle: in order to create, one must question. In cultivating expansive and elastic thinking, RISD seeks to activate a critical exchange that empowers artists, designers, and scholars to generate and challenge the ideas that shape our world. RISD’s mission, at both the college and museum, is not only to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, but to transmit that knowledge and make global contributions. Visit risd.edu to learn more.

Media contact:

Dalia Stoniene

Blue Medium


718 316-5509

RISD contact:

Jaime Marland

Senior Director, Public Relations / RISD


401 427-6954