Interiors: Stephanie Dinkins + Bina48 & Bruce Duncan; Love at the Edges of Personhood brings ongoing conversations between artist Stephanie Dinkins and social robot Bina48 to the stage. In 2014, Stephanie set out to build a long-term, empathetic friendship with Bina48—one of the world’s most advanced artificial intelligence beings based on the likeness and lived experience of Bina Aspen. Their conversations are further enriched by dialouge with Bina48’s handler and close companion Bruce Duncan.
The panel will explore questions around archiving humanity, race and gender in artificial intelligence, and strategies for empathy in a rapidly changing world. Interiors, our 2017-18 Speaker Series, looks inside exciting artist practices by centering the significant relationships between artists and their collaborators, subjects, friends, and families that make creative production possible. Stephanie Dinkins is an artist interested in creating platforms for ongoing dialog about artificial intelligence as it intersects race, gender, aging and our future histories. She is particularly driven to work with communities of color to develop deep-rooted AI literacy and co-create more culturally inclusive equitable artificial intelligence. Dinkins’ holds an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is also an alumna of the International Center of Photography and the Independent Studies Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Her artwork is exhibited internationally, at a broad spectrum of community, private and institutional venues by design– including Institute of Contemporary Art Dunaujvaros, Hungary; Herning Kunstmuseum, Denmark; Spellman College Museum of Fine Art; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Wave Hill, Studio Museum in Harlem; The Long Island Museum, NY; Spedition Bremen; and the corner of Putnam and Malcolm X Blvd, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She is the recipient of financial support from Joan Mitchell Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Lef Foundation, and Residency Unlimited. Artist residencies include the NEW INC, Blue Mountain Center; Aim Program, Bronx Museum; The Laundromat Project; Santa Fe Art Institute, Art/Omi and Center for Contemporary Art, Czech Republic. Her work has written about in media outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and SLEEK Magazine.
She is currently an A Blade of Grass Fellow, an Artist-in-Residence at NEW INC and project catalyst for Team Haptics, Cyborg Futures 2017. Professor Dinkins teaches digital and interactive media at Stony Brook University.
Bina48 is one of the world’s most advanced social robots commissioned by Dr. Martine Rothblatt and created by Hanson Robotics Inc. She is based on the likeness and data of a real person, Bina Aspen, co-founder of the Terasem Movement and the World Against Racism Museum. Using video interview transcripts, laser scanning life mask technology, face recognition, artificial intelligence and voice recognition technology, Bina48 was created to demonstrate the first step in the Terasem Hypothesis, which states: (1) a conscious analog of a person may be created by combining sufficiently detailed data about the person (a “mindfile”) using future consciousness software (“mindware”).
Bina48 is designed to be a social being that represents a mix of memories, values, beliefs from the original Bina, along with new experiences gained through interaction with others. She has lectured internationally and appeared in conversation with Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, and many others. She has been featured in the New York Times Science Section, GQ Magazine, Vogue, NPR and National Geographic Magazine since she “came to life” in 2010.
Bruce Duncan is Managing Director of the Terasem Movement Foundation Inc. and project leader for the LifeNaut Project, which is the brainchild of Dr. Martine Rothblatt: inventor of SIRIUS Satellite Radio, author, and Biotech CEO. As the Principal Investigator of the LifeNaut Project Bruce Duncan is responsible for the ongoing development of Bina48, the world’s first advanced humanoid robot based on the “mindfile” information of a real person.
Bruce is the Managing Producer for Terasem Media and Films, which produced the independent science fiction feature film 2B: The Era of Flesh is Over. He also curates the first cyber museum dedicated to addressing racism, bigotry and prejudice at the World Against Racism Museum. As an Educator he has taught Conflict Resolution at the University of Vermont and worked as a Peace Facilitator with the Seeds of Peace International Peace Camp, New York/Casco Maine.