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SwissGradNet Discovery Conference No. 3: Can a machine design?

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Experts from the creative industries and academia discuss implications of a future shaped by AI on design and art universities.

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The third SwissGradNet Discovery Conference will focus on the implications of a future shaped by AI for higher education institutions. Together with exponents from the creative industries, the arts and universities, relevant fields of action for the successful further development of teaching and research at art and design universities are to be outlined.

The digital transformation is rapidly advancing. Increasingly, Artificial intelligence plays a defining role in the lasting changes that living and working environments are undergoing. In the private sector, in the sciences, in public institutions, and in design and art, self-learning systems are used to optimise the analysis of unfathomable amounts of data, to automate processes, and to develop and design solutions. On the one hand, this development is driven by an optimistic hope of having found a new path to overcoming the complex problems of this world; on the other hand, advocates of technological singularity stoke old fears of a super-intelligence that could outstrip the creative genius of humanity and assume power over it. AI raises ethical and legal questions when algorithms make decisions that affect society.

AI is no longer just a common narrative in cultural history; it is used by designers and artists as a matter of course, a tool in the design process and artistic work. At the same time, algorithms learn to paint pictures or design products on their own. This raises far-reaching, recurring questions on the implications of AI for the creative industries and the arts, and not least on higher education institutions. Not only are professional profiles and fields of work changing, but also the demand for professional expertise. Skill profiles will have to develop to survive in the labour market. Some of the future competencies propagated, such as creative thinking or problem-solving skills, correspond to those transversal competencies that have always been taught in design and art education. Considering which, the question for design and art universities in the context of digital change and AI is not only how their institutional mandate in education and research should be fulfilled, but also the reverse: what and to what extent can they contribute to the further development of other disciplines and professional profiles.

Founded in 2017, SwissGradNet is a network of three Swiss universities of applied sciences and their international university partners who follow the objective to foster use-inspired PhD’s and research in the fields of design, film and art. SwissGradNet hosts its annual Discovery Conference, where PhD students, supervisors, research executives from the partner institutions as well as any other interested researchers meet to discuss current issues regarding use-inspired research in the arts.

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Organizer SwissGradNet - Lucerne School of Art and Design

Organizer of SwissGradNet Discovery Conference No. 3: Can a machine design?


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Coordinator SwissGradNet: claudia.ramseier@hslu.ch



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