People doing strange things with electricity

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7:30pm Wednesday
09 August 2006

Encounter Studio
555 De Haro Street Suite 120
San Francisco, CA

FREE ADMISSION but donations most welcome to help out our generous hosts!

Feel free to bring food and drink to share

Guest Curator: Jonathan Foote!

encounter studio

Note our new venue, which is a live/work space. In order not to inconvenience the residents, we will be more proactive about both starting on time (7:30!) and keeping on schedule (30 min per speaker). The Encounter Studio is a little smaller than our usual places. Bringing your own seat might not be a bad idea, as we may run out. There is very limited parking on site, so please try street parking. As usual, please arrive on time or earlier for the best seating, and donations to our hosts are always appreciated.


Simran Gleason - Generative Music

Generative Music, since coming into the public eye with Brian Eno's 1970's ambient work, has lately been gaining more attention for creating video game background music that better fits the game's mood. It's also very useful for creating ever-changing soundscapes for interactive art installations.

Simran Gleason will speak about, and perform, several of his recent reactive and generative music algorithms, including Haunted Garden, a room that listens and creates an ambient soundscape harmonically derived from what it hears. Simran recently taught it to play piano, and will accompany it in a short duet. Also on the menu are Life Music, an algorithm that generates music from Conway's game of Life that inadvertently turned into an automatic horror movie soundtrack generator, as well as DNA Notes, which melodifies DNA data, and Alea, a random composition generator inspired by Brian Eno's "Music for Airports." If time permits, Simran will talk about some of the issues involved in composing for randomness.

Simran Gleason is a composer, musician, programmer, and cetera. He likes to build instruments -- physical and software -- and play them in strange ensembles such as Mixtape from Mars or the Killing My Lobster Science Band. He does sound design for film and theater and creates sound sculpture installations in the occasional dusty place. Lately he has been concentrating on generative music that takes input from its surroundings to create soundscapes. Oh yeah, he's also a professional nerd by day at Collabnet.
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Discuss Simran Gleason - Generative Music

Steve Omohundro - The Consequences of Very Smart Machines

Dr. Stephen Omohundro comes to us with an impressive resume. Among other things, he was a scientist at Thinking Machines, architected the Sather programming language, and wrote the 3D graphics portion of Wolfram's Mathematica. Recently Steve has been working on systems that program themselves as a vehicle to machine intelligence. Along the way, he has been thinking deeply and originally about the consequences of machines that are self-aware and self-improving. He'll talk about the psychology of these systems, how to prevent machine psychopaths, and how to create a healthy AI ecology in which human values and wisdom flourish. This promises to be a thought-provoking and exciting discussion.
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Discuss Steve Omohundro - The Consequences of Very Smart Machines

Mail Karen Marcelo if you want to dork openly (5-10 min)

Many thanks to Encounter Studio for hosting and to Jonathan Foote for curating this month's dorkbot!