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SOH BUILD Conversation Night Does Artificial Intelligence make Smart Cities?

28 June 2023

In the Centre for Creativity | Workshops

BUILD is a new Creative Learning program that uses the lens of the Sydney Opera House building, its site and its story to explore STEM and built environment perspectives.

Image credit: Superorganism, ESEM Projects

Industry innovation to build better cities

SOH BUILD presents thought-provoking conversations, exploring new perspectives from design, architecture, engineering, science, the humanities and the arts to reflect on how these disciplines can creatively and collectively address the urgent issues of our time. Each conversation focuses on one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Tonight’s conversation explores industry innovation to build better cities – across alternative energy, smart cities agendas and new urban technologies. What role can Artificial Intelligence play in our future well-being, and how critical should we be of these pervasive yet ubiquitous technologies? This night is in dialogue with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9 - “Industry Innovation and Infrastructure”.

Hosted by SOH BUILD’s Joni Taylor in conversation with guest speakers Thea-Mai Baumann and Dr Sarah Barns.

Presented by Sydney Opera House


Thea-Mai Baumann

Thea-Mai Baumann is a creative executive, artist, creative technologist and producer of Vietnamese-Swiss heritage. She joined 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art as Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer in February 2023. Between 2019-2022, she was Manager and Senior Manager of International Engagement at the Australia Council for the Arts where she co-designed and led the launch of the International Engagement Strategy 2021-25, and provided oversight of strategic investments in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific. Between 2012-2019, Thea was CEO and Founder of world-first hologram brands Metaverse Makeovers® and 超宇美人® based between Melbourne, Shanghai, and Hong Kong where she led the commercialisation of augmented reality innovation Metaverse Nails.

Sarah Barns

Sarah has been exploring the potential futures of urban technologies since pre-iPhone days, and is passionate about the role of urban ethics in shaping how we navigate the role of urban technologies in cities. She is a writer, researcher and public artist, and has worked on many urban technology projects and partnerships across the built environment sector. Her book 'Platform Urbanism' published in 2019 explored the role of digital business models in transforming city services, and she was recently awarded a Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellowship in Digital Futures with RMIT.

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