Symposium on use and development of Artificial Intelligence in the Arts and Education

JULY 17TH AND 18TH, 2024


17th July (Morning)

What AI?



Sofia Oliveira e Jared Hawkey


António Baía Reis

(Asterius VC, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Innovation on Digital Media research lab at Universidad Carlos III, Spain)


17th July (Afternoon)

If AI?



Amílcar Cardoso


Micaela Fonseca + Ana Pinha

(HEI-LAB – Digital Human Environment Interaction Lab – Lusófona University)

Charlotte Axelson

(Zurich University of the Arts, Dossier Learning and Teaching, Switzerland)


18th July (Morning)


ESAD.CR – Faculty projects; Charlotte Axelson; António Baía Reis


The ongoing transformation resulting from society’s abrupt adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) calls for a critical analysis of its implications in art and design education. AI ESAD.CR is a symposium that aims to encourage debate for informed reflection within our community on the technical, pedagogical and critical implications and applications of AI. Recognizing the widespread use of AI, the symposium highlights the need for renewed digital literacy to demystify it and integrate it into the different generational strata that make up our community. The symposium proposes a balanced perspective on the capabilities of AI, going beyond its initial impact and recognizing its limitations and porosities. The symposium emphasizes the importance of providing the academic community with the necessary skills to use AI as a collaborative partner in building a future in which human creativity, experimentation and empathy continue to thrive alongside technological progress, including exploring the applications of AI in art and design. Through a stimulating panel of consultants, experts and artists, the symposium aims to develop a set of guidelines to help us prepare students for a future in which AI is an integral part of our relationship with the world.

Guests Bios:

CADA (Sofia Oliveira e Jared Hawkey):

CADA is an art group that uses a variety of media to activate a space for experience. Its work is playful and often inspired by what in everyday life and in nonhuman environments can be inferred through patterns and what might otherwise be uncomputable. The group’s approach is collaborative and experimental. It also organizes Human Entities, an annual programme of public talks focused on technological change and its impacts, and runs workshops and residencies to examine narratives of computation and extend participation in new media. Formed in Lisbon in 2007 by Sofia Oliveira and Jared Hawkey, CADA has exhibited across Europe and in Brazil. CADA has received public funding from the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, the Directorate-General for the Arts (DGArtes) of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and Lisbon City Council.

Micaela Fonseca:

Micaela holds a PhD in Physics. Micaela is a Principal Researcher at HEI-Lab R&D unit (Digital Human-Environment Interaction Lab), HEI-Lab Vice-Director and Wellbeing Interactivity Nexus Coordinator: research group in games and psychology. Micaela has been engaged in several VR-applied games and co-founded VR4NeuroPain and Games for Good.  Micaela is the editor of the International Journal of Games and Social Impact and was conference general chair of the GLOW Conference, she has served in many conference program committees and is track chair for FGD24’.

Ana Pinha:

Ana Pinha has a Bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Technologies and Master’s degree in Computer Science from the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Lisbon. Her Master’s research project involved software development using Virtual Humans to train students and professionals in Pharmaceutical Sciences. She has gained practical experience working as a software developer in various IT companies, where she honed her programming skills and gained experience with various development frameworks. She is fluent in English, and received French language training in the work environment. Currently, Ana is pursuing a PhD in Computer Science – New Media and Pervasive Systems at Lusófona University, where she works on topics related to Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction. She also serves as a co-supervisor for undergraduate students’ internships and teaches programming classes in the Video Games Bachelor’s degree program. Ana has gained extensive experience in developing activities and games within virtual environments using Unity, VR and psycho-physiologic signal acquisition toolkits for various studies. She is also a student researcher at HEI-Lab R&D Unit and received research scholarships for the “UCore” project from ILIND in February 2022 and the “SexHealth & ProstateCancer” project from FPCEUP in partnership with HEI-Lab in September 2022. Currently a member of the GameTable Cost Action (

António Baía Reis:

As an innovation strategist, researcher, professor, and interdisciplinary artist, my commitment is to transcend traditional boundaries using creative, critical, and human-centered approaches, aiming for a significant societal impact. My diverse academic journey includes a BA in International Relations, focusing on Diplomacy and International Negotiation, a Professional Acting Diploma, a Certificate in Business Internationalization, an MA in Communication Sciences with a major in Science, Culture, and Heritage, and a Ph.D. in Digital Media with a specialization in Industry, Publics, and Markets. My doctoral research, conducted in collaboration with the University of Porto and Stanford University, focused on virtual reality and creative processes.
In my current role as Head of Research, Development, and Innovation at Asterius VC, Madrid, I lead innovative agendas, manage R&D initiatives, and foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement. My duties include driving the company forward with innovative solutions, forging strategic partnerships, and elevating Asterius VC’s international profile by participating in key national and international events and collaborations. Besides my professional role, I am an Invited Assistant Professor at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a researcher at Universidad Carlos III’s Innovation on Digital Media lab. Additionally, I direct and lecture at MIAT (Multiverse Institute of Arts and Technology) in Milan and contribute creatively to the internationally awarded XR theatre collective, The Ferryman Collective. My academic work involves researching, developing and teaching advanced programs in Entrepreneurship, Business Innovation, Education Innovation, Creativity, Arts, Emergent and Interactive Media, Communication, and XR (Extended Realities).
Recognized for my work in immersive and interactive media with a Seal of Excellence from the MSCA Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2021, I also contribute as Director and Editor-in-Chief of Cinema & Territory and am on the editorial board of the Q1 scientific journal Media Practice and Education. My journey is defined by a relentless pursuit of knowledge, creativity, and innovation, breaking barriers and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration.

Charlotte Axelson:

Head of E-Learning, Dossier Learning & Teaching at ZHdK. As a studied communication designer and educator, she worked as a freelance UX designer, teacher and photographer. At the Institute of Education UZH, she explores a “tender digitality” and its implication for the learning/teaching and university development. She is the vice-chair of the DIZH’s Education Promotion Coordination Committee, lead the federal project LeLa together with LET ETH & teaches UX in Education at SfG Zurich.
Because the E-Learning at Zurich University of the Arts stands for more than just electronic learning. Charlotte and her team are reinterpreting the “E” in E-Learning, opening up a kaleidoscope of possibilities: E consists of explore, experiment, e(i)rregular, electronic, education, easy, emancipate, engage, empathy, ethernet, establish, endless, exit.For Charlotte, it is important to discuss this digital transformation not only within the university, but also externally, throughout Switzerland and internationally, in order to develop common strategies in a time when the job market is changing rapidly and radically, educational institutions are facing profound challenges, and individuals are seeking answers to key questions about their purpose in the context of artificial intelligence.This is the reason why she is politically active, such as with the federal project LeLa, LernLabor Hochschuldidaktik, which she initiated and helped to develop, or as deputy chair of the Coordination Committee for Educational Promotion of the DIZH. She was recognized as one of the Digital Shapers 2022 & 2023 and is a keynote speaker at national and international events to spread the word of this superpower of aesthetic practice as a tender digitality.

Amilcar Cardoso: 

PhD and Habilitation in Informatics Engineering, Full Professor at the University of Coimbra, where he teaches Artificial Intelligence, Computational Creativity, Programming for Design, Sound Design and other topics to the BSc. and MSc. in Design and Multimedia and to the Doctoral Program in Design and Computational Media.
He was Vice-President of Instituto Pedro Nunes, the knowledge transfer and incubation interface of University of Coimbra, from 2017 to 2023. He was Academic Ombudsman of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra since 2016 until 2022.
He developed pioneering work on Computational Creativity in the 90’s, ever since assuming an active role in the establishment of a Computational Creativity community. In particular, he was co-founder of the “International Conference on Computational Creativity” (ICCC) [2010-present] and “The Association for Computational Creativity” (ACC). He was member of the Steering Committee of ICCC (2006-2020), Treasurer of ACC (2015-2022), and current chair of the Supervisory Board of ACC (since 2022). He is co-editor of the book “Computational Creativity – The Philosophy and Engineering of Autonomously Creative Systems”, published by Springer at 2019.
He was General Chair of two ICCC editions (2016, in Paris, and 2020, online). He was co-chair of the IJCAI-2023 Special Track on AI, Arts & Creativity, held in Macau, and is currently co-chair of the 2024 edition of the same Special Track, to be held in Jeju, South Corea. He is currently involved in the PRR funded project “NextGenAI – Centre For Responsible AI”, a nationwide partnership with companies and Universities, and in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action “EA-Digifolk”. He was involved in the FET Coordination Action “ProSECCo – Promoting the Scientific Exploration of Computational Creativity” (2013-2016), in the FP7-ICT STREPS project “ConCreTe – Concept Creation Technology” (2013-2016), and in the Erasmus+ KA201 project “Co-Poem – Platform for the Collaborative Generation of European Popular Music” (2019-2022). His research interests also extend to the Affective Computing and Multi-Agent Systems, especially in contexts of creative systems, automatic music composition, sound and music computing, sonification and interactive music. He has been involved in FP7, FET and H2020 evaluations panels (2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2022).
He was President of the External Evaluation Commission for the HE Polytechnics programs in Informatics (2010-15). He was also Director of the Centre for Informatics and Systems of the University of Coimbra, CISUC (2008-12), and coordinator of the Cognitive and Media Systems Group, CMS (2007-15).
He serves in the Program Committees of IJCAI, ICCC, CogSci, EvoMusArt, SMC, CMMR, ISEA and other conferences. He is a member of the Association for Computational Creativity (ACC), the Cognitive Science Society and the Portuguese Association for Artificial Intelligence (APPIA).

The present event has been supported by LIDA – Laboratory in Design and Arts, by means of national funds FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, in the framework of LiDA´s Programmatic Funding (UIDP/05468/2020)

Visual identity credit: João Dias, Matilde Pedro, Hanna Khabaz, Margarida Ricardo (Undergraduate 2nd year students). Implemented by Paulo Costa (GGOE) with supervision of Professors António Silveira Gomes and Cláudia Pernencar.