Dr. Ed Finn: Founder of the Center for Science and the Imagination at ASU

Dr. Finn explores how we can reassert our active agency and imagination in an age of passive technology. Find out how the Academy can be a site of radical futurist re-imagining, particularly through interdisciplinary thinking that combines approaches from the sciences, technologies, and humanities. Dr. Finn pushes for a privileging of curiosity, creativity, and permission to disrupt the ‘tyranny of the average.’ Dr. Finn asks us to imagine a culture akin to a ‘Centaur Match’ in chess games in which teams of humans collaborating with AIs compete to create, in his words, the most ‘beautiful’ version of the sport.    

Ed Finn is the founding director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University where he is an associate professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the Department of English. He also serves as the academic director of Future Tense, a partnership between ASU, New America, and Slate Magazine, and a co-director of Emerge, an annual festival of art, ideas, and the future. Professor Finn’s research and teaching explore digital narratives, creative collaboration, and the intersection of the humanities, arts, and sciences. He is the author of What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (MIT Press, spring 2017) and co-editor of Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers and Creators of All Kinds (MIT Press) and Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (William Morrow, 2014). He completed his PhD in English and American Literature at Stanford University in 2011 and his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University in 2002. Before graduate school, Ed worked as a journalist at Time, Slate, and Popular Science.

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