Imagining Futures: AI on Film Festival marks 60 Years of Computer Science & AI at Edinburgh 

[17/07/2023] Tickets are now on sale for Imagining Futures: AI on Film Festival, taking place 6-10 September 2023 in Adam House on 3 Chambers St, Edinburgh.

The festival will showcase classic and contemporary films about AI and invite AI experts to lead the debate on whether they hit or miss the mark of AI fact. Panel discussions about the human tools we use to machinate AI like games, narrative and ethics will encourage the audience to reconsider what they know about AI. 

Viewers can browse the programme and get their early bird festival pass. 

From 1927 silent masterpiece Metropolis to 2022 Sundance London’s Audience Favourite Brian and Charles, the programme spans decades and genres: it includes sixteen screenings of sci-fi and anime cult classics, comedies, thrillers and documentaries, accompanied by talks and panels.  

AI on Film Festival poster

Expert panels

Edinburgh University academics and invited guests: Professor Mirella Lapata (Chair in Natural Language Processing) and Dr John Zerilli (Chancellor’s Fellow in AI, Data, and the Rule of Law) among others will introduce the films and guide the audience to challenge their own views on AI whether drawn from cinema or elsewhere. 

It is a very human habit to imagine the future. When we envision the future through film where AI is concerned, themes of fear and loss of control are central. From indie cinema to Hollywood, what we see on screen shapes our opinions on artificial intelligence and what its growing prevalence means for humanity.   

The most common depiction of AI on film can be lumped into two categories: The anthropomorphised Other who alienates and destroys, or the anthropomorphised Other who is much like us yet could never be us, who then gets alienated and destroyed. In film, there is little room for visions of AI which ease rather than aid human folly. That’s where Imagining Futures: AI on Film comes in.   

60 years of computer science and AI

This 5-day film festival is sponsored by the School of Informatics and the Edinburgh Laboratory for Integrated Artificial Intelligence (ELIAI). It continues the 60 Years of Computer Science and AI anniversary celebrations at the University of Edinburgh.  

In 1963 the University established its first research hubs in these disciplines. A year-long programme of events marks achievements over the past six decades and looks to the future of computer science and AI at Edinburgh. 

Related links

Link to Imaging Futures: AI on Film Festival website

Link to 60 Years of computer science and AI website