Virtual Futures presents Near-Future Fictions on the theme of ‘Autonomous Agents.’
The consequences of automation are a key concern for a society that is exporting much of its decision making to algorithms, automation and artificial intelligence.
These decision-making entities operate on certain assumptions, biases and preconceptions about the world – many of which are inherited from those who programmed them. Despite this companies and institutions are introducing algorithmic thinking into the heart of their infrastructure at a rapid rate. They are allowing algorithmic cognition, whose processes of reasoning remain enigmatic, to manipulate and draw findings from the data it is fed.
Our authors consider the future of and with autonomous agents.
Join us for an evening that incorporates original reading, performance and live art as Virtual Futures continues its mission to reassert the significance of science fiction as a tool for navigating the increasing technologization of society and culture.
Curated by Vaughan Stanger and Stephen Oram
AI-antihuman called SIBYL
Vaughan Stanger, formerly an astronomer and more recently a research project manager in a defence and aerospace company, is now a full-time writer of science fiction and fantasy. His stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Abyss & Apex, Postscripts, Nature Futures and Interzone, amongst others. He has seen his stories translated into seven foreign languages to date. He is marketing a novel, but then isn’t everyone? Vaughan expresses his worries about the future in his fiction but still craves that holiday on the Moon he reckons he was promised as a child. Like most writers, he adores cats, but has yet to let himself be enslaved by one. A neighbour’s grey tabby has designs on this status.
Stephen Oram writes science fiction and is lead curator for near-future fiction at Virtual Futures. He enjoys working collaboratively with scientists and future-tech people; currently, he’s the cultural partner in a collaborative project with scientists at King’s College, London – they do the science he does the fiction. He’s been a hippie-punk, religious-squatter and an anarchist-bureaucrat; he thrives on contradictions. He is published in several anthologies and has two published novels, Quantum Confessions and Fluence. His recent collection of sci-fi shorts, Eating Robots and Other Stories, was described by the Morning Star as one of the top radical works of fiction in 2017.
18:30pm – 19:00pm: Registration & Drinks
19:00pm – 19:20pm: Special Presentation
19:20pm – 19:45pm: Science Fiction Readings
19:45pm – 20:00pm: Break
20:00pm – 20:30pm: Science Fiction Readings
20:30pm – Close: Drinks & Networking
Situated in the heart of Shoreditch, Miranda’s the living beacon beneath Ace Hotel London — a place where hotel guests and locals alike stretch twilight hours into the infinite with a near-nightly array of live music, club nights, film screenings, underplays, magazine launches, drag shows, bingo games and private parties. Find out more: http://mirandalondon.com
Virtual Futures (Est.1994) is a Community Interest Company (CIC). Ticket sales help to cover costs of the event including filming and documentation.