The Cambridge Dictionary named ‘hallucinate’ as Word of the Year 2023. This is supposed to be what AIs do when they produce text such as "eggs can melt". In fact, this use of "hallucinate" is a category mistake: an AI producing such a phrase is behaving correctly according to its specification, which involves no meaning at all; and it is we, subjected to the psychodrama and spin that issue from technology corporations, who have been persuaded into thinking that there is any more going on inside these computer programs. Which is not to say that AI is useless. Or harmless. Through a thought experiment or two, I will examine AI and its spurious role in our society, all the way from illusion through delusion, to hallucination.

Tim Kindberg is a writer and digital creative. He is the creator of Sust, the digital platform for making more sustainable fashion choices, and author of the novel Vampires of Avonmouth, in which AI plays a pivotal role - second only to the occult.

Join us online on YouTube Live, or in the building on Friday 23rd February 2024 at 1pm for the talk and to take part in the Q and A discussion afterwards. 

The Pervasive Media Studio is a partnership between the Watershed, University of the West of England and University of Bristol. The lunchtime talks are partly supported by MyWorld, a project led by the University of Bristol to support creative industries in the region. Watershed is supported by Arts Council England.

Watershed, 1 Canon's Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX

The Lunchtime talks take place in the Pervasive Media Studio Event Space. To access the Studio, please go to the Main Watershed Box Office entrance and go upstairs to the Café Bar. Walk across the cafe bar, turn right and walk towards the double doors. Go through into the corridor and walk all the way down until you reach the Studio. A member of staff will sign you in, and check your ticket, if you have booked.

The Studio is wheelchair accessible, and the events space has a hearing loop. The last talk of every month is BSL interpreted. 

For more information on accessing the studio take a look here.

*Please note this is a hybrid event and will be live streamed so please be aware you will be in the live broadcast and recording when watching in the Studio.