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Eyes on the Horizon - Updates from the Ecsite President May 2024

With only one month to go to the Ecsite 2024 Conference, I am pleased to inform you of some great developments we have this year and to announce our two outstanding keynotes.

Registration is going well, the organisation by our hosts Kersnikova and the Ecsite team is well on track and I’m looking forward to welcoming you to another inspiring Ecsite Conference in a region of Europe we haven’t visited together before.

Let me quote the Slovenian national anthem “A Toast” written by the poet France Prešeren. A perfect foreward for our conference.

“Gods blessing on all nations,

Who long and work for that bright day,

When o’er earth’s habitations,

No war, no strife shall hold it’s sway.

One of the key developments in all our lives in the last 12 months is the increased presence of AI, which will also feature strongly in our Conference, during sessions, at the newly created AI Showcase and in a keynote. I am pleased to inform you that, on Saturday 8 June, Keynote speaker Jill Walker Rettberg, will talk to us about AI and machine vision, exploring topics such as AI bias, and with a focus on how art and culture and social aspects influence the development of technologies of AI. Jill is an author, two-time European Research Council (ERC) Grant recipient, and professor of Digital Culture at the University of Bergen in Norway. This keynote is supported by ERC.

On Friday 7 June, we will hear from Art and Science Keynotes Dr Hugh Herr and Dr Ana Rajcevic who work together at MIT. Ana is an artist, designer, lecturer and researcher, working at the intersection of sculpture, prosthetics and technology. Hugh is a Professor at MIT, coined by Time Magazine as the ‘Leader of the Bionic Age’ because of his revolutionary work in the emerging field of Biomechatronics - technology that marries human physiology with electromechanics.

Thanks to the support of Simons Foundation, we will welcome 15 Ukrainian colleagues to the Conference. We have received such generous exhibition donations for Ukraine already and if you would like to meet and show your support for Ukraine, please visit them at their Ecsite Tradeshow booth.

Looking forward to catching up with you all.

“Who long to see,

That all men free,

No more shall foes, but neighbours be!”