VGrafLive℠ is New York's preeminent webcasting service for both established and emerging talent in the performing Arts and innovative presenters in the Sciences. Audiences, both local and worldwide, can watch stimulating, intimately staged LIVE theatre, poetry, musical and intelligent comedic performances and mind-opening scientific presentations online that might never be available to them otherwise. Programs are performed and webcast to the world.
"Artificial Intelligence will change human society in ways we cannot imagine - and sooner than we think."
"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
- Stephen Hawking, cosmologist
"Our technology, our machines, is part of our humanity. We created them to extend ourselves, and that is what is unique about human beings."
- Ray Kurzweil, Inventor, futurist, Google Director of Engineering
AI represents a ‘fundamental risk to human civilization’ and waiting for something bad to happen is not an option.
- Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX CEO
"We should not be afraid of AI. Instead, we should hope for the amazing amount of good it will do in the world."
- Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Leading figures have said:
“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”
- Vladimir Putin
"China must develop, control and use artificial intelligence (AI) to secure the country’s future in the next technological and industrial revolution."
- Xi Jinping
"The most interesting question of all to me is not to sit and speculate about what is most likely to happen but rather to ask what we would like to happen."
- Max Tegmark, MIT cosmologist, author Life 3.0
With so many varied and contradictory opinions among AI and science experts and world leaders about this paradigm-changing and potential existential threat - or incredible boon, VgrafLive focuses on producing programs - talk shows, presentations, news and arts & theatre programs - on Artificial Intelligence & Us to inform our audience and promote a deeper healthy conversation about where we want AI to go and how we can most benefit.
These programs deal with such far-reaching questions and issues as:
What is Artificial Intelligence and where it's going?
Can an AI be conscious, have emotions, be creative?
What in fact are Consciousness and Natural (animal/human) Intelligence?
What are the near-term and long-term social impacts of AI? E.g., Will I lose my job?
AI: What are the potential Benefits & the Dangers?
Can advanced AI be controlled and made beneficial?
Who's in charge of deciding these things and "what can I do about it"?
With these questions in mind, see what we have in store for you.
The Arts often strikingly anticipate technological and social changes.
VgrafLive's Artificial Intelligence & Us arts and theatre programs present:
Synthetic Science Theatre
How have we come to think about AI? Synthetic Science Theatre's hosted episodes trace the memes, themes, media and characters that have molded our culture and thoughts about Artificial Intelligence and Synthetic Life for centuries - long before computers or robots were even imagined.
Original works and new adaptations based on myths of Prometheus and Icarus, plays and novels, Doctors Faustus and Frankenstein, Rossum's Robots and modern media from Metropolis to Westworld with HAL 9000 in between.
Entertaining, thought-provoking - and maybe a bit unsettling. Or should we just be making better plans for the future?
A Greek chorus leads us on a dramatic tour of five well-known classic ancient Greek plays and myths, dealing with authority-challenging hubris, arrogance and the willful ignorance of unintended consequences - as well as the power of love and the intellectual gifts we possess. As the roots of our thinking about science and our creation of Artificial Intelligence, see these tales in a new light.
Conceived and edited by VgrafLive producer, Michael Frenchman, and written by Steven Dale Davison, Pandora's Bot will head up the Synthetic Science Theatre presentations.
The story of Trojan priestess and prophet Cassandra, cursed never to be believed, bridges our series from ancient Greece to the 16th century. Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is an Elizabethan tragedy by Christopher Marlowe, written around 1590. Based on German stories of the character Faust, it tells of a man who sells his soul to the devil for a life of power and pleasure. Melded together, Cassandra and Faustus present a powerful cautionary tale for people, organizations and nations of today.
Our version of Faustus was written by series creator Michael Frenchman and Vgraflive intern Alyssa Harden while Cassandra, currently in production, was brilliantly penned by Steven Dale Davison.
In Frankenmind, our adaptation of Mary Shelley’s famous 1818 novel, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, totally true to her original and first ever science fiction story, we focus on the science and the psychology of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature as Shelley actually conceived it. Was it really bad - or just misunderstood? Created by Alyssa Harden, primary writer, and Michael Frenchman, creator/editor. Innovative production techniques turn a staged reading into a thoroughly new engaging work.
Rossum's Universal Robots
R.U.R. is the 1921 play by Czech writer Karel Capek that introduced the word "robot" as we think of it today. This early 20th century play, quite amazingly, presents many of the current issues of one of the greatest challenges our species faces as AI advances.
AI in Modern Media
AI in Modern Media presents numerous short AI Flashbacks, bite-size pieces each showing how one of the over fifty films, TV shows and videogames since the 1920s have shaped and reflected our ideas about robots, artificial intelligence and human relationships to them. The Mechanical Man (1920), Metropolis (1929), Frankenstein (1931), Pinocchio (1940), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Bladerunner (1983) are among them.