AI Provocateurs

Oct 5, 2023 3:00-3:50pm Eastern/12:00-12:50pm Pacific

Generative AI is emerging as the latest technology to disrupt the arts, design, and media fields. How are creative faculty responding, sometimes in unexpected ways? This webinar brings together working artists, educators, researchers, and technologists to discuss how they are exploring AI from diverse perspectives—ethically, creatively, and productively.

This panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Yvonne Houy, the Editor of Tradition-Innovations in Art, Design, and Media Higher Education. The inaugural edition of this new a2ru peer-reviewed digital journal – out in late Fall 2023 – will focus on Artificial Intelligence and possible futures for the Arts.

Please note: To foster an authentic and safe discussion of this controversial emerging technology, this session will only be offered live, and will NOT be recorded. A live remote session allows panelists to freely discuss their ideas, challenges, and fears in the face of a rapidly evolving issue. A summary of the discussion will be available to registrants and a2ru members after the session. 

The image at the left was generated by the AI platform Imagine using the prompt “University professors trying to figure out how to use AI in their classes.”


Registration for a2ru webinars is free for a2ru individual members and those affiliated with a2ru institutional and departmental members. Please use your institutional email when registering.

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Registration for non-members is $20. Registration for non-member students is $10.

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Sarah O’Connell, MDra (she, her, hers)

Sarah O’Connell (MDra, Directing, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) is an international theatre director, producer and cultural strategist who advises public and private stakeholders on matters related to the Creative Economy. She is the Artistic Director of The Asylum Theatre in Las Vegas, and co-owner of Axislights Inc, a commercial lighting company that serves the live event industry.


Personal Website

Julian Kilker, Ph.D. (he, him, his)

Julian Kilker’s work focuses on the intersection of visual media, social issues and innovation. He has published research in academic journals (including Visual Communication Quarterly, Social Identities, Convergence, IEEE journals, and The Public Historian) and has exhibited solo photography exhibits in Switzerland, California, and Nevada, while also receiving awards from the Broadcast Education Association, Management Communication Quarterly, the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Nevada Press Association, and KNPR’s Desert Companion. 



Joshua A. Fisher, Ph.D. (he, him, his)

Joshua A. Fisher, Ph.D., is an expert in interactive non-fiction storytelling through XR. He is an Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Design and Development at Ball State University. There, he teaches classes on Immersive Media design and development. Fisher has published at various IEEE, Springer, and ACM conferences, including ACM Multimedia, International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, Virtual Reality 4 Good, CHI-Play, and IEEE VR. His research explores the design of XR platforms for interactive non-fiction and the ethics of producing immersive media. Fisher recently released an edited collection entitled Augmented and Mixed Reality for Communities by CRC Press. His latest research has addressed the ethical challenges of Generative AI in the interactive storytelling and immersive media domains. 

Center for Emerging Media Design and Development, Ball State University

Research Portfolio

Heidi Boisvert

Heidi Boisvert is an interdisciplinary artist, experience designer, creative technologist, and researcher who interrogates the neurobiological and socio-cultural effects of media and technology. She architects expanded reality and transmedia storytelling experiences and devises networked dance and theatre to examine the role of the body, the senses, and emotion in human perception and social change. Boisvert founded futurePerfect lab, a creative agency and think-tank that harnesses pop culture, emerging technology and neuroscience to ignite culture change. She designed the first 3D social change game, ICED, to shift the frame around immigration and America 2049, an alternative reality game about pluralism. She also co-founded XTH, a startup developing open-source biocreative instruments. Boisvert has been a TED speaker, Rockefeller Creativity + Technology = Enterprise Fellow, and a cultural ambassador in Turkey. Presently, she is working with David Byrne on Theater of the Mind, an immersive theater piece and co-curating EdgeCut, a live performance series exploring human-digital relationships. Boisvert is Assistant Professor of AI and the Arts at the University of Florida, a Senior Research Fellow at the Norman Lear Center, a research affiliate in the Open Documentary Lab at MIT, and a member of NEW INC’s Creative Science track.


Yvonne Houy, Ph.D.

As Learning Technologist for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts, Dr. Yvonne Houy supports faculty in all of its seven areas (Architecture, Art, Entertainment Engineering Design, Dance, Film, Music and Theatre)—over 120 tenured and tenure-track faculty, part-time professors of practice and graduate teaching assistants. Her goal is to improve faculty satisfaction and student learning outcomes through a wide variety of online educational resources for in-person, hybrid and fully online courses.

A graduate of Cornell University (M.A. & Ph.D.) and the University of California, Berkeley (B.A.), and former Visiting Assistant Professor at the highly selective, liberal arts-focused Pomona College, Dr. Houy understands the needs and challenges of higher education institutions that value research, teaching, and diversity. This is enhanced by her interdisciplinary career: After earning her Ph.D. in the Humanities with a media studies emphasis, she followed her interest in online learning technologies and computer programming to become a learning technologist and professional development facilitator.

Believing deeply in the power of learning to drive equity, she is an active member of the international Computer Science For All movement, and, since 2016, a national professional development facilitator for the Code.org Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles curriculum. At the regional level, she has produced events such as the Las Vegas Maker Faire,  the local STEAM educators’ showcase Explore.Learn.Inspire., the interdisciplinary Las Vegas Make-a-thon 2.0 on the future of experience design, and online transdisciplinary design charrettes to transform arts education. In all these projects and her courses she enjoys teaching artists and designers how to use coding and mobile app development as a new creative “canvas.”

Influenced by Aikido and transformative mediation, she is known in the UNLV community as a resource who bridges divergent perspectives for productive collaborations. She facilitates challenging and complex conversations such as for Design Sprints and conflict mediations. She serves on the UNLV Faculty Technology Advisory Board and as the UNLV Faculty Senate representative for the UNLV AI policy committee, and is the founding editor of Tradition-Innovations in Arts, Design, and Media Higher Education, a new peer-reviewed digital journal.

Her scholarship focuses on socially and culturally disruptive mobile technologies, propaganda technologies and techniques, and research-based best practices for online student engagement, which is intertwined with her interests in Flow experiences, mental states conducive to productivity and creativity, and her 15+ years of experience in Aikido, the martial art known for balancing conflict resolution and collaboration.