The New Real Research Hub Shows Impact of AI in Academia and Society

The New Real, a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, The Alan Turing Institute and Edinburgh’s Festivals, is a unique hub for AI, creativity and futures research which since its creation in 2019 has undertaken internationally leading research, built cutting edge AI technology and collaborated with world leading artists and presented work at renowned events and festivals.

The New Real Director and Principal Investigator, Drew Hemment, who is an artist, designer and academic researcher, has been awarded a newly created position of Personal Chair and appointed Professor in Data Arts and Society at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Hemment said “Being awarded a Personal Chair and appointed Professor in Data Arts and Society is the pinnacle of my academic career. The significance of this appointment goes beyond me personally as it is about recognising that the field that I have championed for three decades has now come of age. The work I have dedicated my life to is now recognised as mature and important enough to warrant this. It also highlights that the University of Edinburgh is investing in this area and is leading internationally through the ground-breaking work at The New Real.”

Principal at the Edinburgh College of Art Professor Juan Cruz said “Our University holds a great position among the world’s leading research and education organisations and as such, is well-resourced to address some of the most pressing issues humanity is now facing. We are very lucky to have Professor Hemment among our researchers and I am very pleased his innovative work at The New Real – which aims to answer some of those urgent questions – has been recognised through his appointment to a Personal Chair in Data Arts and Society.”

The news continues with an announcement of the Open Call for The New Real 2023 AI Art Commission in partnership with the Scottish AI Alliance and The Alan Turing Institute. From now, an established creative practitioner (or practitioners) can apply to work with The New Real’s cross-disciplinary team, AI tools and textual data to develop a new AI Artwork, that probes the uncanny interplay of humans and machines, and illuminates the social implications of recent developments in AI. This work will be presented with a festival, venue or presentation partner in 2023.

The commission will take place across 2023 beginning in February, presenting concepts and/or work in progress at events in March (Stage 1) and May (Stage 2), and culminating in the launch of the work produced in Edinburgh in Summer/Autumn 2023.

The New Real 2023 AI Art Commission: Uncanny Machines

Total value £20,000: 5 x £1,000 development awards, 1 x £15,000 full commission.

Expressions of Interest Deadline: 5pm, 23rd January 2023

Artists’ Information Session: 4pm, 11th January 2023

The New Real 2023 AI Art Commission is a partnership between The New Real at University of Edinburgh, Scottish AI Alliance, Alan Turing Institute and British Library.

Irene Brown

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