Stephanie Dinkins on The Stories We Tell Our Machines

This event is only open to Pioneer Works members. Become a member today to support interdisciplinary production and presentation of work through our Residency program.

We're pleased to announce Alum Salons, a new program series inviting former PW Residents to speak about their artistic practice, inspirations, and ongoing work in an intimate forum.

Join us for our first ever alum salon featuring 2018 Tech Resident Alum Stephanie Dinkins. Stephanie will share a short presentation on the stories we tell our machines followed by a Q&A.

The stories humans tell machine learning systems are a powerful way to shape how these systems understand the world. When our stories, aka data, are self-determined, intentional, nuanced, and specific, they can help create AI systems more supportive of everyday people. If the data is not carefully curated, it risks reinforcing and embedding old societal stereotypes and biases into profoundly influential AI systems that are molding the future. Infusing AI systems with culturally specific data, strategically using transfer learning, and writing culturally grounded prompts for generative AI can help nurture AI systems that are more supportive of people of the global majority into being.

A wine reception at 7PM will prelude the program.

Please note that part of this program will be held on the third floor, which is currently only accessible by stairs.

Special thanks to Sandeman Port.

About the Artist

Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist who creates experiences that spark dialog about race, gender, aging, and our future histories. Her work in AI and other mediums uses emerging technologies and social collaboration to work toward technological ecosystems based on care and social equity. Dinkins' experiences with and explorations of artificial intelligence have led to a deep interest in how algorithmic systems impact communities of color in particular and all of our futures more generally.

Dinkins' experiments with AI have led full circle to recognize the stories, myths, and cultural perspectives, aka data, that we hold and share form and inform society and have done so for millennia. She has concluded that our stories are our algorithms. We must value, grow, respect, and collaborate with each other's stories (data) to build care and broadly compassionate values into the technological ecosystems that increasingly support our future.

Dinkins teaches at Stony Brook University where she holds the Kusama Endowed Chair in Art. Dinkins earned an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is an alumna of the Whitney Independent Studies Program. She exhibits and publicly advocates for inclusive AI internationally at a broad spectrum of community, private, and institutional venues. Dinkins is a 2021 United States Artist Fellow and Knight Arts & Tech Fellow. Previous fellowships, residencies and support include the Artist Fellow of the Berggruen Institute and Lucas Artists Fellow in Visual Arts at Montalvo Art Center, CA, Onassis Foundation, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Creative Capital, Soros Equality Fellowship, Data and Society Research Institute Fellowship, Sundance New Frontiers Story Lab, Eyebeam, Pioneer Works Tech Lab, NEW INC, Blue Mountain Center; The Laundromat Project; Santa Fe Art Institute and Art/Omi.

The New York Times featured Dinkins in its pages as an AI influencer. Wired, Art In America, Artsy, Art21, Hyperallergic, the BBC, Wilson Quarterly, and a host of popular podcasts have recently highlighted Dinkins' art and ideas.