Cat Royale by Blast Theory

Blast Theory has been announced as the embedded artist in residence for an ongoing research project that will help define the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI).

The University of Sheffield’s Framing Responsible AI Implementation and Management (FRAIM) project aims to guide organisations planning to adopt responsible AI in practice and improve public understanding of the human aspects of AI in our everyday lives. The research project is working with a cross-sector partnership of four organisations (Sheffield City Council, the British Library, Eviden, and the Open Data Institute) to learn about how they understand responsible AI and put it into practice, combined with an analysis of recent literature and policy to understand the dynamic ways that responsible AI is growing and changing to respond to real-world concerns.

As the embedded artist in residence, Blast Theory will engage in the different stages and dimensions of the research project, respond to and reflect on the ideas and perspectives surfacing, and create a publicly accessible artwork that can be exhibited or shared.

Multiple award-winning artists Blast Theory, led by Matt Adams and Nick Tandavanitj, draw on popular culture and new technologies to make performances, games, films, apps and installations.

Hannah Redler-Hawes, Associate Curator and Director of Data as Culture, says:

The ODI’s Data as Culture programme champions arts-led interdisciplinary research. The University of Sheffield FRAIM project offers a unique context for artists to help to shape fundamental questions and challenges surrounding the potential of data-informed AI in a range of public services, from a city council to major heritage offerings. Blast Theory has an exceptional track record for bringing challenging questions to the impact various technologies have in our lives in ways that delight, astonish and surprise audiences. We are excited to see where they take this.

Dr Denis Newman-Griffis, who leads the team in the Information School says:

We’re tremendously excited to be working with Blast Theory and the Data as Culture programme as a central part of our research. Blast Theory’s approach of creatively questioning and reflecting on the systems and processes we engage with every day perfectly aligns with our goal of understanding responsible AI in context, and their interactive style is a great fit for the nature of AI as human-driven systems. We came to Data as Culture at the start of the project because of their commitment to exploring data and people in creative ways, and working with the team and with Blast Theory will be an integral part of bringing creative visions to the field of responsible AI.
Cat Royale by Blast Theory
Cat Royale by Blast Theory, 2023 (previous work). Image by Stephen Daly. A utopia where cats live in harmony with artificial intelligence. Made possible as part of Blast Theory’s role as Cultural Ambassadors for the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub.

Blast Theory says:

As artists, we’re fascinated by the research in the FRAIM project that probes vital questions about what responsible AI looks like in practice. Amidst the hype and hysteria about AI, it’s refreshing to join up with a multidisciplinary team and see what Blast Theory can contribute. We can’t wait to get started.

FRAIM is a Bridging Responsible AI Divides (BRAID) scoping project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the broader UK Bridging Responsible AI Divides (BRAID) programme to bring arts and humanities perspectives to the forefront of work on responsible AI. The project was awarded a share of £100 million in government funding, announced in February 2024, to deliver next-generation innovations and insights into the use of artificial intelligence, underlining the UK’s commitment to maintaining a leadership position in AI research and its ethical deployment.

To find out more about the Framing Responsible AI Implementation and Management (FRAIM) project, please visit the website.