Creative AI Sydney Speakers

Oliver Bown is associate professor and co-director of the Interactive Media Lab at the School of Art and Design at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia. He is a researcher and maker working with creative technologies, with a highly diverse academic background spanning social anthropology, evolutionary and adaptive systems, music informatics and interaction design, with a parallel career in electronic music and digital art spanning over 15 years.

He is interested in how artists, designers and musicians can use advanced computing technologies to produce complex creative works. His current active research areas include media multiplicites, musical metacreation, the theories and methodologies of computational creativity, new interfaces for musical expression, and multi-agent models of social creativity. Follow Ollie here.

Professor Angie Abdilla is a palawa~trawlwoolway woman. She is the founder and CEO of Old Ways, New and works with Indigenous knowledges and systems in the design of places, experiences and deep technologies.

As a consultant, she works as a designer, and as a published researcher, she presents topics such as human technology interrelations and Indigenous design in the built environment. She is a member of the Global Futures Council on Artificial Intelligence for Humanity as part of the World Economic Forum, co-founder of the Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence working group (IP//AI), and is a Professor of Practice for the UNSW Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design.
Follow Angie here.

TL Uglow (‘Tea’) is Creative Director for Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney. She works with cultural and creative organisations around the world exploring the space between technology and the arts and what can happen where they intersect.

Tea has a history in the arts, a love of literature, and a problem with staying focused. She speaks graphics geek, a bit of web‑dev, some Python, a touch of digital strategy, remedial project management, and really bad French. Her likes include physical/digital, pen and ink, and carefully organised chaos doubt.
Follow Tea here.

Toby Walsh is a leading researcher in Artificial Intelligence. He is a Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW Sydney, and he is also an adjunct fellow at CSIRO Data61. He was named by the Australian newspaper as a “rock star” of Australia’s digital revolution. He has been elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a fellow of the ACM, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence.

He has won the prestigious Humboldt Prize as well as the NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Engineering and ICT, and the ACP Research Excellence award. He has previously held research positions in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Sweden. He has played a leading role at the UN and elsewhere on the campaign to ban lethal autonomous weapons (aka “killer robots”).
Follow Toby here.

Simon Cahill leads the digital architecture for the business at Warner Music, opening up the data driving fans to engage and consume to benefit their artists. He has worked in A&R, brand partnerships, marketing and sales.

Focused on fans, audiences and customers, he is obsessed by data, insights, and action. Cahill has previously worked at Sony Music, The Sound Campaign, BMG and lectured from time to time at the Australian Institute of Music. Follow Simon here.

François Pachet is director of the Spotify Creator Technology Research Lab, where he designs the next generation of AI-based tools for musicians. With the label Flow Records he released Hello World, the first music album composed with artificial intelligence. This album is the result of the collaboration between AI, Benoit Carré aka SKYGGE and many other musicians.

Prior to Spotify, François Pachet has been director of the SONY Computer Science Laboratory Paris. At SONY he set up a music research working on interactive music listening, composition and performance. There he conducted the ERC-funded Flow Machines project during which he developped technologies for style imitation under user constraints. This project produced the first mainstream music title: “Daddy’s car”. François is also a guitarist, and composed and published several albums. His latest book Histoire d’une oreille is an augmented book about how a musical ear develops through music listening. Follow François here.

Kartini is the Director of Kopi Su, an independent creative studio specialising in digital strategy, experince and design. She is an established Producer with a diversity of experience delivering projects at the cross-section of art and technology.

Her past contributions include working on interactive projects in AR, BR and AI for teams like Google Creative Lab, Lens Immersive and the Biennale of Sydney. Kane hopes to continue to foster project and inter-disciplinary collaboration with people and planet in mind. Follow Kartini here.

For over two decades, Caroline Pegram has worked as a producer for award winning companies and celebrated media personalities, with a specialisation in science communications. Most notable is her 20 years as producer for Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.

Always leading with curiosity, she ventured into the world of Artificial Intelligence in 2018, when she joined Uncanny Valley as their Innovation & Strategy Director, expanding their technology arm to form both commercial and academic global partnerships. In 2020 she led the team that won the very first global AI Song Contest. Caroline holds a Visiting Fellowship at UNSW and was a finalist in the Women in AIA Awards in 2022. She is currently collaborating with School of Cybernetics at the Australian National University. Follow Caroline here.

Ben is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist-programmer with interests and expertise in computational art & music, cybernetics, AI/machine learning, data vis/data science and human-computer interaction.

A unifying thread is the potential of liveness (human-in-the-loop interactivity with real-time feedback) in tools and workflows, especially in open-ended creative tasks. Follow Ben here.

Adrian Schmidt is an Educational Experiences Developer at the School of Cybernetics. Adrian is an experienced science communicator and tinker-space facilitator with a passion for science, interactivity and play.

In 2020, Adrian received a First Class Honours Degree in Physics, where he studied the efficiency of quantum information storage. A childhood of watching too much Mythbusters left Adrian fascinated by science communication and understanding the thought processes behind effective problem solving. While undertaking his degree, he worked as a science presenter at Australia’s national science centre Questacon, sharing his love of experimentation through both iterative design workshops and interactive science experiments.

While studying, Adrian also designed graphics for the ANU magazine, Woroni, and explored fields beyond physics including economics, design, and Bayesian statistics. He is particularly interested in the science behind the minutiae. In his free time Adrian enjoys learning and applying new skills – particularly in baking and programming. He finds making great sourdough, macarons, croissants and croquembouche just as satisfying as learning to build a web storefront or phone app. Follow Adrian here.

Bhautik is an experienced creative industry practitioner, focused on making tools for creative expression for artists and everyone alike. His work spans across CSIRO, Industrial Light and Magic/Lucasfilm, Flickr/Yahoo, Adobe Research and now Canva in Sydney.

Odd-jobbing as an artist, scientist and engineer Bhautik draws on 20 years of experience across research, TV, film, games and tech to build expressive artist tools and imagining the future by building it. Follow Bhautik here.

Jessica Edwards is a creative technologist at Canva, where she helps bridge the gap between design and engineering. In her spare time, she organises the Creative Technology Sydney meetup group. Follow Jessica here.

Tomasz is a Director of Strategic Researcher Engagement for APAC and EMEA at NVIDIA Corporation. Earlier he was a Director and Head of Visualisation at the Expanded Perception & Interaction Centre (EPICentre) at the UNSW Art & Design and UNSW Computer Science and Engineering. He was at the same time, a Research Team Leader at CSIRO’s Data61 (leading Visual/Hybrid Analytics Team, in Software & Computational Systems research program).

He also led the Simulation and Modelling Cross-Cutting Capability for CSIRO’s Future Science and Technology. Bednarz completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Physics and Applied Computer Science at the AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland. He completed his doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Engineering Sciences at the Kyushu University, Japan; and received MBA (Technology) from the AGSM (UNSW), Australia. Follow Tomasz here.

After his PhD in Applied Mathematics at the University of Namur (Belgium), Dr. Johan Barthélemy joined the SMART Infrastructure Facility of the University of Wollongong (Australia) where he was a Lecturer and the head of the Digital Living Lab researching and developing new AIoT solutions.

He led the development of embedded AI and IVA applications for smart cities, various industries, and environmental monitoring. Being passionate about applied AI and how to accelerate it with GPUs, he is now a Developer Relation Manager at NVIDIA, helping developers and scientists in their journey to build the next generation of AI-based solution. Follow Johan here.

Tamara Ogilvie leads Industry Initiatives for the National AI Centre, funded by the Federal Government and hosted by the CSIRO. Tamara has a background in innovation in business, and business strategy, and previously led industry research into the opportunities and issues faced by Australian creative businesses, as part of the Creative Industries Innovation Centre, hosted by UTS from 2009-2015.

Tamara is a Chartered Accountant (ACA) and has supported businesses in AI, manufacturing, financial services, creative industries and health sectors.
Follow Tamara here.

Pierre is a consultant, advisor, engineer and executive in the medical technology industry, and a musician and producer. After having explored the methods used in engineering design during his PhD, he left academia and France for an international career in the medtech industry.

He is passionate about transdisciplinary collaboration and ensuring the latest progresses in technology in general, and AI in particular, translate into beneficial and ethical innovations for humans. He advocates for more transparency in regulatory processes and in the institutions that implement them.
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Arul Baskaran is Strategic Lead with the ABC Innovation Lab, a team that focuses on future audience needs, challenges and opportunities for the ABC. The Innovation Lab uses research, design, and experimentation to develop new content formats, distribution methods and product offerings.

In prior roles Arul was responsible for digital engagement at the Powerhouse Museum, and helped develop ABC’s iview streaming service. Arul completed his MA at the Annenberg School for Communications, University of Pennsylvania and is Adjunct Professor with the UNSW iCinema team with a focus on immersive AR and VR experiences. Follow Arul here.

Dr. Maria Teresa Llano is a Lecturer and member of SensiLab in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University. Teresa holds a BEng in Computer Science from Icesi University (Cali, Colombia), and an MSc in Software Engineering and a PhD in Computing from Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, Scotland).
Dr. Llano’s research is focused on Computational Creativity, specifically in applying tools and techniques from different areas of AI to enable software systems to become creative collaborators, and for the development of tools that support designers and that make technologies more accessible.

Her research interests include co-creative systems, generative systems, explainable AI, applications of natural language processing, and creative aspects of formal methods. Her current focus is on investigating the development of novel models of human-computer co-creation in the arts where bidirectional communication channels play an intrinsic role in enhancing the interactions between humans and machines. Dr Llano’s work has been used for the production of the West End musical `Beyond the Fence’, conceived as the world’s first computer generated musical, and the TV documentary `Computer Says Show’ filmed by Sky Arts, an art-oriented television channel broadcasted in the UK. Follow Maria here.

Dr Emma A. Jane (formerly Emma Tom) is an Associate Professor in the School of the Arts & Media at UNSW Sydney. Blockchain, cognitive enhancement, online misogyny, cyberbullying, cybercrime, digilantism, and digital mobs are the foci of her ongoing research into the social and ethical implications of emerging technologies. She also researches and publishes on transgender-related issues, as well as on issues relating to gender more generally.

Emma’s work is interdisciplinary, informed by the fields of philosophy, cultural and media studies, internet studies, feminist and gender theory, discourse analysis, sociology, literary theory, and social psychology. Prior to her career in academia, Emma spent nearly 25 years working in the print, broadcast, and electronic media during which time she won multiple awards for her writing and investigative reporting. Follow Emma here.

Armin is a Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Wollongong (UOW). His research interests lie primarily within the fields of Technology and Law. More specifically, Armin is interested in the ethical and legal implications of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, genetics, and neuroscience.

Armin previously worked on two projects in the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, at the University of Technology Sydney. In one of these projects, funded by DFAT, he contributed to the development of teaching material on the Foundations of Ethics and AI. In his other capacity, he conducted research in the Technology and Society working group’s “Ethical AI: from Principles to Practice” project. Armin also joined the Australian Neurolaw Database Project (, analysing cases in the Australian courts that involve neuroscience.

Armin has a great sense of innovation in teaching and learning and currently investigating the potential benefits and perils of the use of AI in education. In 2021, he received the Faculty of Business and Law Sessional Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning (OCTAL). He was subsequently inducted as a Fellow into the Wollongong Academy for Tertiary Teaching & Learning Excellence (WATTLE). Follow Armin here.

Rodolfo Ocampo is a PhD student researching human-AI creative collaboration at UNSW Art & Design in Sydney. In addition, he currently works at the CSIRO developing AI and data science tools to assist indigenous rangers in environmental management, with a focus on culturally responsible technology deployment. He came to Australia as part of the second master’s cohort at ANU’s 3Ai Institute to study an experimental masters on safe, sustainable and responsible AI. Previously, he worked at Google, leading the deployment of machine learning-based advertising tools in Latin America.

Before joining Google, he worked at an early stage startup where he co-developed the flagship product, a machine-learning tool for predicting sales in new retail locations. His undergraduate thesis became a nationally touring installation repurposing face recognition technology to protest the war on drugs in Mexico. More recently, he developed Narrative Device, a GPT-3 viral storytelling tool that has been used by more than 300,000 users to generate more than 2 million stories. Follow Rodolfo here.

J. Rosenbaum is a Melbourne AI artist and researcher working with 3D modeling, artificial intelligence and extended reality technologies. Their work explores posthuman and postgender concepts using classical art combined with new media techniques and programming. J is a PhD candidate at RMIT University in Melbourne at the School of Art exploring Computer Perceptions of Gender and the nature of AI generated art and the human hands behind the processes that engender bias, especially towards gender minorities.

Their artwork highlights this bias through programmatic interactive artworks and traditional gallery displays. They speak at conferences worldwide about the use of artificial intelligence in art and have exhibited all over the world. J’s artwork has been supported by the City of Melbourne Covid-19 Arts Grants and has won the Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize. J works with classically inspired aesthetics with the latest technologies to create a speculative future grounded in the aesthetics of the past to show that gender minorities have always been here and will continue into the future. Follow J here.

Chris Danta is an ARC Future Fellow (2021-24) and Professor of English at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. His research operates at the intersection of literary theory, philosophy, science and theology.

He is the author of Literature Suspends Death: Sacrifice and Storytelling in Kierkegaard, Kafka and Blanchot (Bloomsbury, 2011) and Animal Fables after Darwin: Literature, Speciesism, and Metaphor (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Follow Chris here.

Deborah Lupton is a SHARP Professor in the Centre for Social Research in Health and the Social Policy Research Centre and Leader of the Vitalities Lab. Professor Lupton is also the UNSW Node Leader, Health Focus Area Leader and People Co-Leader of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society.

She has a background in sociology and media and cultural studies, and her research combines qualitative and innovative social research methods with sociocultural theory. Deborah is the author/co-author of 19 books and editor/co-editor of nine book collections, as well as over 240 book chapters and articles. She blogs at This Sociological Life. Follow Deborah here.

Chloe McFadden is a recent graduate and soon to be PhD student at UNSW researching approaches for creatively working with latent space in machine learning that account for both its constraints and its potential for novelty.

Currently she works at digital publisher and creative agency Kiindred, as a Creative Technologist and Content Creator. Follow Chloe here.

Anna Munster has been at UNSW Art and Design since 2001 on a full-time tenured basis. She is an active researcher with two sole published books: An Aesthesia of Networks (MIT Press, 2013), and Materializing New Media (Dartmouth College Press 2006). She also edited Immediation I and II ( OHP Press 2019). Her current research interests are: statistical visuality and radical empiricism, the politics and aesthetics of machine learning, more-than-human perception, new pragmatist approaches to media and art, new media art environments and ecologies; time, movement and sonicity.

Anna regularly collaborates artistically with Michele Barker. Barker and Munster have been working in multi-channel audiovisual environments exploring the relations between perception, movement and media.Their most recent work was the solo show, all the time in the world, 2019 for Ideas Platform, Artspace, Sydney. In 2017, they were commissioned for a multichannel audiovisual environment, pull, for Experimenta Media Arts: Make Sense, 2017–2020. They have been awarded New Work Grants, in 2012 and 2010 from the Australia Council for the Arts to realise their work. Other projects include: évasion (2014), HokusPokus (2011). Duchenne’s smile (2-channel DV installation, 2009), Struck (3-channel DV installation, 2007). Follow Anna here.