Debates in AI (April 11-12, 2024) brought together visionaries, thought leaders and practitioners working at the forefront of the AI and creative disciplines dialogue.


Taeyoon Choi

Taeyoon Choi is an interdisciplinary artist who intertwines science, technology and human interaction through programming, drawing and writing. His work, including collaborations with artists like Christine Sun Kim and organizing the Code Ecologies conference with Nabil Hassein and Sonia Boller, highlights the environmental and societal impacts of technology. His contributions have been showcased globally, from the New Museum to the Shanghai Biennale, and supported by the Open Society and Knight Foundations. Choi, a co-founder of the School for Poetic Computation, has significantly influenced alternative education and technology discourse. His projects promote a more inclusive and caring digital world, underpinned by his roles in prestigious residencies and educational initiatives.

Molly Crabapple

Molly Crabapple is an acclaimed artist and writer, drawing inspiration from historical figures like Toulouse Lautrec and Goya. She co-authored Brothers of the Gun with Marwan Hisham, a New York Times Notable Book and National Book Award nominee. Her memoir Drawing Blood received international acclaim, and her animated films have earned Emmy nominations and an Edward R. Murrow Award. Crabapple's journalism appears in prestigious outlets, covering global conflicts and social issues with a unique blend of words and art. She has been recognized with numerous fellowships and awards, including the Bernhardt Labor Journalism Award. Currently, she is a fellow at the New York Public Library, working on a history of the Jewish Labor Bund, and her animations are featured at The Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum. Her art resides in permanent collections at major institutions, demonstrating her significant impact on contemporary art and journalism.

Kate Crawford

Kate Crawford is a leading scholar of AI, artist, and author of Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence. A preeminent expert in the social and political aspects of artificial intelligence (AI), Kate has spent 20 years analyzing data systems, machine learning and AI's impact on society. A research professor at USC Annenberg, senior principal researcher at MSR-NYC and honorary professor at the University of Sydney, she leads at the intersection of technology and justice. Crawford co-founded influential research groups like FATE and the AI Now Institute, advising entities from the UN to the White House. Her works, including the acclaimed Atlas of AI, span academic journals to news publications like The New York Times. Her collaborations, like Anatomy of an AI System, have garnered international awards, highlighting her role in shaping the discourse on technology’s global influence.

Ben Davis

Ben Davis is the author of 9.5 Theses on Art and Class (Haymarket, 2013), which ARTnews named one of the best art books of the decade in 2019, and Art in the After-Culture (Haymarket, 2022). He has been Artnet News’s national art critic since 2016. His writings have also been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Baffler, Jacobin, Slate, Salvage, e-Flux Journal, Frieze and many other outlets. In 2019, Nieman Journalism Lab reported that he was one of the five most influential art critics in the United States. He lives in Brooklyn.

Stephanie Dinkins

Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist focusing on race, gender, aging and future histories through AI and social collaboration, aiming for care-based, equitable technological ecosystems. Her work explores AI’s impact on communities of color, emphasizing the importance of stories and cultural perspectives as fundamental societal algorithms. Dinkins, who teaches at Stony Brook University as the Kusama Endowed Chair in Art, advocates globally for inclusive AI globally. She is a 2021 United States Artist Fellow and Knight Arts & Tech Fellow, with extensive recognition, including features in The New York Times and Wired. Her journey reflects a deep commitment to intertwining human narratives with technology, promoting compassion and equity in digital futures.

Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is a prolific science fiction author, activist and journalist known for his critical views on Big Tech and surveillance. His latest works include The Lost Cause (Tor Books, 2023),  a hopeful solarpunk novel addressing the climate crisis, and The Internet Con (Verso, 2023), a guide to dismantling tech monopolies. Doctorow’s notable contributions extend to the young adult Little Brother series, Chokepoint Capitalism" (co-authored with Rebecca Giblin) on creative labor markets, and How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism, among others. An advocate for digital rights, he works with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and holds positions as a visiting professor at Open University and UNC’s School of Library and Information Science. Doctorow, a Canadian Hall of Fame inductee who lives in Los Angeles, continues to influence through his daily blog at Pluralistic.net. He has been honored with multiple awards, including the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for lifetime achievement.

Brian Merchant 

Brian Merchant, a technology journalist and former tech columnist at the LA Times, is widely recognized for his insightful analysis of automation, labor and technology’s environmental impact. Merchant is author of the bestselling The One Device (Little, Brown and Company, 2017) and most recently Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech (Little, Brown and Company, 2023). This new book explores the Luddites’ misunderstood uprising and the modern implications of tech deployment. In addition to writing for prominent publications, Merchant founded Terraform, VICE’s speculative fiction site. He shares updates and discussions on technology’s societal impact through his newsletter, offering a critical perspective on who technology serves and its broader consequences.

Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen is a multidisciplinary artist known for blending image-making, sculpture, journalism and engineering into his work. His art, which explores themes like state secrecy and artificial intelligence, has been exhibited globally, including at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and the Barbican Centre. Notably, Paglen launched an artwork into orbit and contributed to the Oscar-winning film Citizenfour. He has also created public art for Fukushima’s exclusion zone. Paglen’s contributions to investigative journalism and art have been recognized with awards like the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award and the MacArthur Fellowship. He holds degrees from UC Berkeley and the Art Institute of Chicago, underscoring his diverse expertise across art, geography and technology.

Elisa Giardina Papa

Elisa Giardina Papa’s research-driven art practice seeks forms of knowledge and desire that have been disqualified and rendered nonsensical by hegemonic demands for order and legibility. Through critical yet poetic framing, she works across large-scale video installation, experimental films, and AI-based art projects to draw attention to those parts of our lives which remain radically unruly, untranslatable, and incomputable. Her work has been exhibited at the 59th Venice Biennale, MoMA, Whitney Museum, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, ICA London, Vienna Secession, among others. Giardina Papa is Assistant Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, she lives and works in New York and Sant’Ignazio, Sicily.

Christiane Paul

Christiane Paul is an acclaimed writer and curator specializing in new media arts, honored with the Thoma Foundation’s 2016 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art. Her key publications include A Companion to Digital Art and Digital Art, among others. As the adjunct curator of digital art at the Whitney Museum of American Art, she has curated such significant exhibitions as Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools and is behind artport, the museum’s Internet art platform. Paul’s curatorial projects extend internationally, with notable exhibitions such as Programmed at the Whitney and The Public Private" at The New School. 

Jon Rafman

Jon Rafman, a Montreal-based artist born in 1981, is renowned for his exploration of digital cultures through video, animation, photography, sculpture and installation. His work, deeply infused with an anthropological point of view, delves into the complexities of life in the digital age, addressing themes of alienation, nostalgia and the quest for connection. Rafman’s notable projects include The Nine Eyes of Google Street View, capturing unexpected moments of humanity within Google Maps, and films like Codes of Honor and Dream Journal 2016–2019 that investigate niche Internet subcultures and personal dreams mixed with mythological and pop culture narratives. His art, often accompanied by experimental-electro soundtracks, invites viewers into immersive installations, challenging perceptions of technology’s role in shaping human experiences.

Marco Roso

Marco Roso, co-founder of the New York-based art collective DIS, has been innovating at the intersection of art, media and technology since launching DIS Magazine in 2010. DIS explores the boundaries of content creation and distribution, from fashion and critical essays to artist-made stock images and collaborative products. The collective shifted focus in 2018 to their streaming platform, dis.art, expanding art’s reach into education and entertainment. DIS has made significant contributions to contemporary art, curating the ninth Berlin Biennale and participating in exhibitions worldwide, including at MoMA and the New Museum. Their latest project, Everything but the World, ventures into TV, showcasing their ongoing exploration of new narratives and histories.

Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (she/they) is a multidisciplinary Filipino-American storyteller, poet, artist and scholar with a PhD in film and digital media from UC Santa Cruz. Their work spans voice recognition, assistive tech and feminist media histories, among other areas. Santos has exhibited at notable venues like Ars Electronica and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and her writing is featured in publications such as Art in America and Vice Motherboard. Currently, they are a visiting assistant professor at UC Santa Cruz, contributing to the Everett Program for Technology and Social Change.

Griffin Smith

Griffin Smith is a teacher and digital artist using generative AI. He designed and taught the first AI studio courses at both RISD and Brown University, and has collaborated with researchers, authors, and artists to build custom neural networks, AI language models, and VR installations.
Smith’s projects place contemporary tools in an art-historical context, detailing how computation has shaped the past 100 years of art. His classes at RISD include Machine Learning, Digital Culture, and Text Transformed: Writing with AI. 

Eric Telfort

Eric Telfort is an illustrator and fine artist who earned his BFA in Illustration from RISD and, after working as a production artist in the video game industry, an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Telfort has lectured throughout the US and internationally in Zimbabwe, where he was a Visual Arts Initiative artist in residence. In 2019, he received a Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship to explore creativity in poverty and pursue a personal, independent visual novel. He is an associate professor and head of the Illustration department at RISD.

Clement Valla

Clement Valla is a professor at RISD and runs the Computation Technology and Culture concentration. As an artist, Valla's work explores the intricate relationship between humans and computers in the creation and interpretation of images. His art has been featured in solo exhibitions at PC Galleries, XPO Gallery, and Transfer Gallery and internationally in institutions like ZKM and Stedelijk Museum. Valla’s work, recognized for its innovative approach to digital media, has garnered attention from The Guardian, Time Magazine, and Wired, among others. He holds a BA in architecture from Columbia University and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

© Rhode Island School of Design

Debates in AI