Thor Magnusson
On AI prosthetics: Thinking with Machines

  • Sat 23.09.23 18 h

Free admission

Intelligent instruments are a result of how contemporary AI technologies are becoming integral components of our musical ecosystems. The application of creative AI can range from automatic music creation to the embedding of intelligent algorithms in the instrument itself. In this talk I will compare the Socratic elenctics, a philosophical method of inquiry, with the way we engage with modern creative AI systems. The new prosthetics are those of the mind as well as the body. Based on experience in practice-based research on creative AI systems, I will present a new mode of exploration and enquiry that emerges when we encounter an intelligent instrument and begin to discover their ergodynamics. The HCI notion of interactivity moves aside for autonomy and a stronger perception of agentical relations through dialogue, probing, curiosity, surprise, alterity and collaboration. When our musical instrument becomes an interlocutor with a strong agency our interaction shifts more to that of prediction, expectation, and confirmation, resulting in a heightened improvisational approaches.

The Lecture is part of the project I Am Your Body. As part of PEER TO PEER 
A Month of Media Art in NRW

Thor Magnusson ist Professor an der Iceland University of the Arts und an der University of Sussex. Er forscht zu den Auswirkungen digitaler Technologien auf kreative und praktische Prozesse in der Musik. Neben seiner theoretischen Arbeit hat er Audioprogramme entwickelt, die generative Musikkomposition und Anleitungen verfassen sowie musikalische Live-Coding-Umgebungen schaffen. An der Iceland University of the Arts leitet er das von der ERC-finanzierte Projekt Intelligent Instruments (

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