Pamela Breda, University of Applied Arts Vienna
Feeling for Nonexistent Beings


Pamela Breda, artist and researcher at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, will speak about "The Unexpected", an artistic research project exploring the impact of AI on daily life. The talk, entitled "Feeling for Nonexistent Beings", is the second in OFAI's 2022 Lecture Series.

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend the talk via Zoom on Wednesday, 6 July at 18:30 CEST:

Meeting ID: 842 8244 2460
Passcode: 678868

Talk abstract: “The Unexpected” is an artistic research project exploring the impact of Artificial Intelligences (AIs), interfaces and digital assistants, on users’ daily life through theoretical research and practice-based field analysis. The constant growth of AI softwares and virtual assistants employed to enhance wellbeing and overcome mental health issues is creating new dimensions of social and ethical questions about human emotional responses to artificial intelligence. While Microsoft is studying the implementation of AI companions with an emotional connection to satisfy the human need for communication and affection, chatbots and digital avatars are designed in order to support users in overcoming anxiety, loneliness and other stress-related situations. But what are the emotional responses to such interactions? Do we still perceive the AIs as “others” or do we empathise with them as they would with humans? Using an interdisciplinary approach the research will analyze the practical impact of human interactions with digital assistants through the development of a written essay and extensive audio-visual documentation edited in the form of an experimental film.

Speaker biography: Pamela Breda is an artist and filmmaker living between Milan and Vienna. She was recipient of several art awards and fellowships, including Italian Council Award (MibaC, IT), Kingston University Phd Scholarship (Kingston, UK), Moving’Up funding scheme (Turn, IT), Italian Institute of Culture (Moscow, RU). Her films have been screened internationally and presented at festivals and art venues such as: Sheffield docFest (UK), “ECRA Film Festival” (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), “Revolutions Per Minute Festival” (Boston, USA), “Digital Film Library”, Clermont- Ferrand Film Festival (Clermont-Ferrand, F), Cite Internatinale Des Arts, (Paris, F), “Vision Du Reel” Film Festival, Media Library (Nyon, CH), “Hazel Eye Film Festival” (Tennesse, USA), “The Bomb Art Factory Film Festival” (London, UK), Sohonya Art Center (Bangalore, I), Francesco Fabbri Foundation for Contemporary Art (Pieve di Soligo, IT), Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation (Venice, IT).

Still from The Unexpected
Still from The Unexpected (Credit: Pamela Breda)