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March Seminar Series: Collaborating with AI in Speculative Inquiry

A space to think deeply about what collaborating with AI coupled with speculative thinking makes possible for digital research.

Includes AI-assisted mini-making session using pulp-o-mizer.

With Sarah Healy and Amanda Belton
Tuesday 15 March, 11.30am
Online via Zoom

Register now

About the seminar

We will explore current material stemming from a qualitative inquiry into how SentiOne, an AI-based social listening tool, could be used for research collaboration. Specifically, exploring sentiment expressed on Hungarian social media toward remote learning during COVID-19 related school closures.

We’ll look at two key concepts central to feminist materialist thinking, within which the project is set and generating data:

  • becoming-with
  • relational affect (sentiment)

Using a data event from the inquiry to illustrate the working method The teacher gets up and you can see his belly (shared on Facebook), Sarah will show how acknowledging the productive force of SentiOne’s algorithms, and working at its threshold, enables the research/ers to expand what they, as a more-than-human research collaboration, can do.

We will then perform a short piece of speculative fiction, which appears as a codetta in a recent writing collaboration. The codetta is temporally located in a 2040’s university and provides a critical lens through which to question current positioning of AI in relation to research and teaching.

This performance acts as segue into a group discussion about how speculation, when coupled with digital methods such as social listening, creates challenges and possibilities – including time travel. We will thread this conversation into an AI assisted mini making session, where attendees are invited to put thinking into practice by making-with pulp-o-mizer.

Follow MDAP on Twitter @MDAP_Unimelb


Sarah Healy is starting a Melbourne Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Prior to this Sarah has been a Lecturer in Artistic and Creative Education at MGSE and a Research Fellow at the Deakin University node of the Centre of Excellence for Digital Childhoods. Sarah works at the intersection of studio pedagogies, affect theory, digital methods and the posthumanities. A focus on practice is at the heart of Sarah’s teaching and research endeavours, as is a critical and creative approach to ‘doing da(r)ta’ in a more-than-human world. Follow Sarah on Twitter @eduTH1NK

Amanda Belton is a Data Scientist working with education and arts researchers to visualise data. She works with playful approaches and empathetic design principles to communicate research data visually, into the digital realm. Her work uses animation and mixed reality in accessible information designs. Amanda works in the space between science and art. Her practice is built on agile, iterative data science practices, powered by computational approaches for digital humanities. Amanda’s work embodies strong belief in the power of art to communicate those truths that can change our lives. Follow Amanda on Twitter @mazinbriz

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