The Festival of Curiosity promises AI and brain tracking

The celebration of science, arts and technology begins in Dublin on Thursday

One of the events in the Festival of Curiosity at Smock Alley, Dublin. The international festival of science, arts, design and technology, gets underway  on Thursday.

One of the events in the Festival of Curiosity at Smock Alley, Dublin. The international festival of science, arts, design and technology, gets underway on Thursday.

 

The Festival of Curiosity, an international festival of science, arts, design and technology, gets underway in Dublin on Thursday, with events happening at 14 different venues across the city centre.

“We want to create a culture of curiosity in Dublin and beyond,” says Vince McCarthy, who co-founded the festival with Ellen Byrne.

The festival encourages people to find new ways to interact with science, art and technology, through activities that bring these practices together.

The events are divided into two groups: Playful Days, a programme suitable for the whole family, and Curious Nights, a series of activities aimed at older audiences.

The theme of this year’s festival is the connection between body and mind, and the events on the programme promise to stimulate both in all sorts of curious ways, the organisers say.

In keeping with this theme, attendees will be able to monitor the effects of festival activities on their physical and emotional states through brainwave tracking and biosensor technology.

These technologies will show how your brain changes throughout the experience, and will track whether you find it relaxing, said Mr McCarthy.

Urban Escape

One of the events, Urban Escape, is an immersive experience at the Atrium, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios.

The different rooms will include a mirrored infinity garden that will make your brain believe it is fully surrounded by nature.

There will also be an adult colouring room, where it will be possible to paint everything from floor to ceiling, including the furniture.

You will also be able to join the Yawn Chorus, an installation featuring artificial intelligence (AI) which can learn to detect your yawns and record them.

Once it has done so, it will add them to the yawns of previous attendees to create a chorus, while getting better at teaching itself how to become a yawn harvester.

Other activities include the Dublin Maker, a celebration of inventors, which will take place at Merrion Square, and the Finding Dory Treasure Hunt, in partnership with Disney, which explores themes of memory.

The festival runs from Thursday, July 21st, through Sunday, July 24th.

Vanesa Martinez is on placement at The Irish Times under the BSA/SFI media fellowship programme