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Creative AI meetup #15: Existential Risk and Computational Creativity

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IDEA London

69 Wilson Street

London

EC2A 4BX

United Kingdom

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January's talks will look at existential risk and computational creativity. Shahar Avin (Centre for the Study of Existential Risk) will present his work on a superintelligence modification (mod) for Sid Meier's Civilization® V, a popular turn-based strategy game. Simon Colton (Falmouth University / Goldsmiths College) explore ways in which generative systems can evolve into genuinely creative, autonomous systems, drawing on 20 years of Computational Creativity research

The event is part of a series designed to bring together artists, developers, designers, technologists and industry professionals to discuss the applications of artificial intelligence in the creative industries.

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Shahar Avin, Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

"Existential Risk from Superintelligence in Sid Meier's Civilization® V"

This talk will detail Shahar Avin's work on a superintelligence modification (mod) for Sid Meier's Civilization® V, a popular turn-based strategy game. The aim of the mod is to concretise some of the issues surrounding catastrophic AI risks, and to put individuals in a situation that makes both the risks and possible solutions accessible. The mod allows the player to pursue victory through technological superiority, via developing a safe superintelligence, while introducing associated risks from rogue superintelligence, which could lead to human extinction (and game loss). Players can allocate resources to AI research and to AI safety research, negotiate AI treaties with other civilizations, all while balancing the demands of all the other interlocking systems of the game, including trade, diplomacy and warfare. The mod was made available to a closed group of testers and the responses were mixed, highlighting some of the difficulties of concretising abstract concepts in this area, while also suggesting certain key characteristics of the domain are amenable to treatment through the medium of a video game.

Shahar Avin is a postdoctoral research associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER). His research examines challenges and opportunities in the implementation of risk mitigation strategies, particularly in areas involving high uncertainty and heterogenous or conflicting interests and incentives. Mixing anthropological methods and agent-based modelling, Shahar works with other CSER researchers and others in the X-risk community to identify and design opportunities for impact. He completed his doctoral thesis, "Breaking the grant cycle: On the rational allocation of public resources to scientific research projects", at the department for history and philosophy of science at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Tim Lewens and Dr Stephen John. Shahar has also worked as a software engineer, both in a large corporation and at early stage startups in Israel and in Cambridge.

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Simon Colton, Professor in Digital Games Technologies (Falmouth) and Computational Creativity (Goldsmiths)

“From Creative AI to Computational Creativity and Back Again”

One of the maxims emerging from the Creative AI movement, fuelled by developments in generative deep learning models, is the notion of producing the highest quality output possible from creative systems. If we accept that how and why an artwork was produced is often taken into consideration when value judgements are made, then the academic field of Computational Creativity has much to offer to help Creative AI practitioners. I’ll explore ways in which generative systems can evolve into genuinely creative, autonomous systems, drawing on 20 years of Computational Creativity research. Conversely, the remarkable power of generative networks to hallucinate images, music and text represents a real boon for Computational Creativity researchers interested in the simulation of imaginative behaviour, and I’ll touch upon the ways in which we are currently (and could in future) harness this power to explore practical and philosophical aspects surrounding the idea that software can be creative.

Simon Colton is a Professor of Digital Games Technologies at Falmouth University and a part-time Professor of Computational Creativity at Goldsmiths College. He holds an EC-funded ERA Chair, leading the Games Research Opportunities project, and an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship. He is an AI researcher specialising in questions of Computational Creativity — getting software to autonomously create artefacts of real value in interesting ways. He has published nearly 200 papers and his research has won national and international prizes. He is most well known for the software he has written and co-written to make mathematical discoveries; paint pictures; make games and generate fictional ideas. He’s also known for his philosophical and theoretical contributions to Computational Creativity, in particular driving forward the assessment of creative software via what it does, rather than what it produces.

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The schedule for the evening will be as follows.

6.30pm - 7pm Arrive

7pm - 7.10pm Introduction

7.10pm-7.50pm First talk (Shahar Avin)

7.50pm-8.30pm Second talk (Simon Colton)

#LDNcreativeAI

@elluba



Date and Time

Location

IDEA London

69 Wilson Street

London

EC2A 4BX

United Kingdom

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