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Curated List of SXSW 2024 Sessions Featuring Creativity Squared Guests

The iconic tech and culture festival SXSW kicks off this week for eight days of bold ideas, cutting-edge technology, thought-provoking art, comedy, music, and film. 

This year’s keynotes will touch on some of the biggest topics in our current zeitgeist, including female representation in business and culture, the creator economy, privacy in the digital age, and artificial intelligence. 

Austin’s annual get-together of movers and shakers is set to be one to remember, especially with so much attention on artificial intelligence, which has its own “track” or category of events.

It’s a busy week for anyone attending, whether online or in-person. With countless presentations, performances, exhibitions and networking events, the possibilities are endless. 

Here’s a preview of some of the events we’re looking forward to at this year’s festival, curated from guests who’ve been on Creativity Squared and will be gracing the stage at SXSW, too. 

Credit: Damon Webster

Hugh Forrest Welcoming Remarks

Featured Session by SXSW Co-President and Chief Programming Officer Hugh Forrest

First things first, start off SXSW with remarks from one of the people who’s made it what it is today. Hugh Forrest may sound familiar to listeners. He joined episode 17 of Creativity Squared to talk about the festival, the hype around A.I., and the importance of building community through events like SXSW. 

Hugh officially kicks off the SXSW with welcoming remarks. This short address covers some of the new elements for 2024, while emphasizing the ideals of creativity and community that are central to the event’s rich history as well as its exciting path forward.

Hugh gives his remarks in Ballroom D of the Austin Convention Center on Friday at 9:45 a.m.

Also, check out Creativity Squared Ep17. Hugh Forrest: A.I. Hype Cycle or Not?

AI Next Frontier: Breaking the Chains of Colonial Algorithms

Panel Session by Karen Palmer, Kambale Musavuli, Jason Edward Lewis, and Ruha Benjamin

Amid all the A.I. hype this year, don’t miss this critical conversation on the societal implications of Artificial Intelligence,  explored through the powerful lenses of decolonization, eradicating bias, indigenous A.I., techno-activism, and futurism as activism.

One of the panelists, Karen Palmer (aka “The Storyteller from the Future”), was our guest on episode 21 of Creativity Squared, where she discussed the dystopian possibilities of A.I. as a surveillance tool, the importance of democratizing access to powerful technology, and the lessons from the future we need to learn today. One of her signature works, Consensus Gentium, immerses participants in a dystopian future environment where the government limits mobility and uses A.I. to identify non-compliant citizens by analyzing their body language. 

The panel promises an immersive experience that challenges existing paradigms, ignites critical conversations, and envisions a future where technology serves as a catalyst for justice, equality, and liberation.

This panel is scheduled for March 12 at 10 a.m. in the Hilton Austin Downtown.

Don’t miss Creativity Squared Ep21. Karen Palmer: A Message About A.I. from the Future.

From the Fireside to the Future: Stories in a Changing World

Conference presentation by John Gauntt, Natalie Monbiot, and Kate Bauchere

Creativity Squared guests John Gauntt and Natalie Monbiot take the stage on Tuesday for a panel discussion about the future of storytelling. 

John is a Seattle-based serial podcaster, writer, and storyteller who joined us on episode 30 of Creativity Squared to discuss his award-winning sci-fi audio narrative project, Burner Face, which he produces with A.I. voices and generated imagery. He believes that A.I. is bringing a renaissance moment for audio storytelling and is passionate about using emerging technologies to tell human-centered stories. 

Natalie is our guest this week on Episode 39 of Creativity Squared! She’s an accomplished brand strategist and a pioneer in what’s being called the “virtual human economy” made possible by A.I. cloning. She believes in the not-too-distant future most of us will be able to outsource a lot of our unwanted tasks to our own personal digital clone, which looks, sounds and behaves exactly like their human counterpart. She doesn’t believe in replacing humans, but rather in enhancing our interactions through technology. 

Their discussion with crypto and blockchain expert, Katre Baucherel, will cover how stories help people embrace new technology, whether and how our ways of storytelling will change with new technology, and how the stories we tell ourselves can impact the future. 

This panel is scheduled for 10 a.m on March 12 at the JW Marriott. 

Be sure to check out Ep30. John du Pre Gauntt: ChatGPT 1-Year Anniversary and Ep39. Natalie Monbiot: GenAI & the Virtual Human Economy too.

Integrating AI into Your Creative Process

Workshop Session hosted by Tim Desmond (aka “J Thorn”)

J Thorn is a bestselling sci-fi author, professor, podcaster, radio DJ, business owner, and our guest for episode 40 of Creativity Squared (coming out next week!). 

Join his session at SXSW as he unveils a proven system for integrating AI into your creative process. Move beyond “prompting” and discover how to instruct AI for optimal results. This session uncovers how AI can become your creative ally, amplifying your unique voice rather than overshadowing it. 

Mentor: Helen Todd (Sociality Squared & Creativity Squared)

Mentor Session hosted by Helen Todd

And of course, it’s not too late to sign up for Helen’s mentor session! Book a time with her between 4 and 5 p.m. on Monday for expert guidance in artificial intelligence/machine learning, marketing/advertising/PR, content creation, entrepreneurship in the creative world, and much more! 

You can find her at the Hilton Austin Downtown on March 11, rooms 400-402.