How is AI changing the Cultural Landscape?

DARE Liberty Panel exploring how AI is changing our world. Hosted by Nick Ahad.

Wednesday 12 June 2024

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Join us for a fascinating conversation with industry experts looking at the relationship between AI, creativity and social ethics.

Multi award-winning writer and broadcaster, Nick Ahad leads the conversation as Professor of Cultural Interdisciplinary Practice Shawn-Naphtali Sobers, Lara Carmona (Director or Policy and Engagement, Creative UK), Dr Katie Gardner (DARE Academic-in-Residence and Lecturer in Arts-based Pedagogical Practices) and Professor of AI, David Hogg discuss how AI will impact copyright legislation, to what extent machines can be creative, the potential for societal harm, and and how creative thinking can influence the future of AI.

The event image was generated by Adobe Firefly using the prompt “a group of people listening to headphones in a futuristic art gallery”.

This Panel is presented as part of our DARE Liberty Lecture series, in collaboration with Smeaton300 and Foxglove.

£9 (including booking fee)
  • Howard Assembly Room


Start time

Under 30s Members
£6 (including booking fee)

The panel

Nick Ahad

Nick Ahad is a multiple award-winning writer and broadcaster working across TV, theatre and radio.

His most recent play is The Boy at the Back of the Class (Rose Theatre, Kingston, Children’s Touring Partnership, national tour 2024), TV writing includes an episode of Better, a BBC primetime drama made by Sister Pictures, and radio work includes four-part comedy Umbreen’s Junction for BBC Sounds (2021).

Nick is an award-nominated broadcaster for BBC Radio Leeds. In November 2020 he joined the leading Radio 4 arts programme Front Row as a presenter. Nick has appeared on BBC Breakfast as a cultural commentator and hosted dozens of live events for festivals and arts organisations. Former Arts Editor of the Yorkshire Post, he is currently the Yorkshire Post theatre correspondent and chief critic and his feature writing has appeared in the Guardian and The Independent.

Professor Shawn-Naphtali Sobers

Shawn is Professor of Cultural Interdisciplinary Practice at University of the West of England, Bristol. He is a visual anthropologist, working in film, photography and writing. His work has been published, exhibited and screened nationally and internationally, and he has directed and produced documentaries for BBC1, ITV and Channel 4.

His research interests often explore different aspects of belonging and community – in the forms of hidden histories, unheard stories, everyday life and material culture. As a researcher his work has spanned a wide range of topics, including; community media, creative education, trans-Atlantic slave trade, disability and walking, religion, Rastafari, Ethiopian and Caribbean cultures, and photography & generative AI. His recent book Black Everyday Lives, Material Culture and Narrative: Tings in de House’ was published by Routledge in 2023, and nominated by BBC History as one of the best books of the year.

Shawn will be joining us by video call.

Lara Carmona

With a career dedicated to tackling some of the UK’s most pressing policy and campaign challenges, Lara has worked for organisations such as Marie Curie, Rethink, and most recently the Royal College of Nursing as Associate Director of Policy and Public Affairs. In 2023, Lara completed a Masters in Global Political Economy, focusing on labour markets.

Katie Gardner

Dr Katie Gardner is the programme lead for the PGDip in Performing Arts Education, which is delivered in partnership with Opera North, and teaches across performance, musicology, and opera modules. Her research and creative practices are broadly situated at the intersection of opera and circus arts, with a particular interest in examining the interdependent relationships and tensions between voice, bodily action, and technology in live performance.

David Hogg

Professor David Hogg is Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Leeds. He is internationally recognized for his work on computer vision, particularly in the areas of video analysis and activity recognition. He works extensively across disciplinary boundaries, applying AI in engineering design, biology, medicine and environmental sciences. Together with many other prestigious positions, he has been a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Leeds (2011-2016), Chair of the ICT Strategic Advisory Team at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK, Chair of an international review panel for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence commissioned by EPSRC (2017), and a Turing Fellow.


John Smeaton, a self-taught engineer who built bridges, canals and lighthouses, was interested in the development of machine-based technology to benefit society. He kept most of his work patent-free to allow it to be improved on by others. Smeaton believed that when ideas and systems were freely shared there was no limit to the good purpose they could be applied.

Smeaton300 is a Foxglove project inspired by the work of John Smeaton, the UK’s first Civil Engineer born in 1724. The Smeaton300 creative programme takes Smeaton’s work as a leaping off point to help us understand how engineering has shaped our world today.

In 2024 Foxglove are partnering with the Cultural Institute at the University of Leeds to deliver Smeaton300 events, projects and research. Smeaton300 x University Of Leeds is a Foxglove partnership led by the Cultural Institute and the School Of Civil Engineering.

Howard Assembly Room

Howard Assembly Room

A year-round festival of music, performance and ideas, in the heart of Leeds.

Under 30s membership

Under 30s membership

Are you 16-29 years old or a full-time student? Get discounted tickets to brilliant shows at the Howard Assembly Room.



Open from Tuesday to Saturday, Kino is our restaurant and bar located below the Howard Assembly Room, presenting the best independent food, beers and wines.

How is AI changing the Cultural Landscape?

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