HowTheLightGetsIn announces the programme for the London edition.
With its name taken from Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”, the boutique outdoor festival celebrates philosophy and music. Fittingly, the programme features shows and talks taking place on the premises of idyllic Kenwood House.
This year’s line-up combines perennial acts such as Badly Drawn Boy aka Damon Gough, an indie songwriter whose debut album The Hour of Bewilderbeast won Mercury Prize in 2000, and new names. Glaswegian glam rock collective Walt Disco emerged about two years ago but have already had quite a few moments in their career such as being a support act at the Duran Duran show and playing at Paris Fashion Week. Quirky music of self-proclaimed fairy tale singer Avice Caro resonates with the lush scenery of Hampstead Heath. Her stripped-down arrangement brings to mind the realm of Vashti Bunyan while some of the lyrics sound like spooky nursery rhymes.
One looking for a Eureka moment should pay attention to a tent hosting talks and debates. The list of speakers features experts from different fields. Here are some of the names: science communicator Sabine Hossenfelder, broadcaster Rory Stewart, Richard D.Wolff, former head of the Conservative Party Nadhim Zahawi and poker champion Liv Boeree. The discussions, as expected, will revolve around philosophical subjects – war, time, nihilism, the universe, democracy and gravity.
The list of the speakers features some tech experts such as Timothy Nguyen, AI researcher at DeepMind, and Rosalyn Moran, a Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Deputy Director of the King’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence at King’s College. Prof. Moran has been working on AI models capable of genuine self-understanding and novel problem solving. The former will take part in the panel discussion “The AI Apocalypse”, the name of which reflects an ironic attitude to the doom-mongering imposed by the world’s leading companies. The technology pundits will talk about ChatGPT and Microsoft involvement as well as ‘dumb algorithmic learning systems’ mistakenly interpreted as artificial intelligence. Hosted by researcher Stephanie Hare, the discussion will revolve around the following questions. Will general artificial intelligence be developed in the near future and should we take the threat of AI taking over from humanity as a genuine and real danger? Or is it alarmist rhetoric designed to distract from the immediate harms that Chat GPT and other learning systems already pose? Or is all talk of artificial intelligence a form of hype that should be renamed Dumb Learning?
HowTheLightGetsIn London will take place on 23 and 24 September 2023 at Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath.
More information about the festival is on the official site of the event.