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Sandra Rodriguez, “Creating and Interacting with Virtual Entities: Combining VR and AI to Reflect on Human Experiences”

Thursday, May 20, 2021 @ 5:00 pm 6:30 pm EDT

Drawing from recent creative experiences Chomsky vs Chomsky (Sundance 2021) and Future Rites (Creative XR, UK-Can Immersive Exchange, Philharmonia, IDFA DocLab Forum), Director Sandra Rodriguez (Canada) explores how artificial intelligence (AI) and human creativity meet at a crucial junction, to create compelling virtual worlds and characters that invite interaction, discovery and play. Between technology and carefully crafted storytelling, it is the human imagination that remains at the core of any immersion.

Sandra Rodriguez

Sandra Rodriguez, Ph.D., is a creative director (interactive, VR, XR, AI), producer and a sociologist of new media technology. For the last four years, she was founder and head of the Creative Reality Lab at EyeSteelFilm (Emmy-award company based in Montreal), where she explored futures of non-fiction storytelling in VR/AR/AI. Her work as creative director and producer (DoNotTrack, DeprogrammedVR, Big Picture, ManicVR, Chomsky vs. Chomsky: First Encounter) have garnered multiple awards, including a Peabody (DoNotTrack, 2016), best immersive experience (IDFA DocLab 2016; Leipzig DokNeuland 2018, Numix 2018), best storytelling (UNVR and World Economic Forum tour 2018), and the first Golden Nica award given to a VR project at Ars Electronica (2019).

Her most recent works span from immersive dance performance, multi-user XR theater and large scale installation, but always explore the sparks that fly at the crossroads of AI, VR, and human creativity. Rodriguez is also a lecturer at the MIT CMS/W since 2017, where she leads the course HackingXR, MIT’s first course on VR and immersive media production. Her experience combines immersive know-how, award-winning productions and human-centered design.