Now in its fifth year, Chapman University hosts the annual Interstices series with a focus on artificial intelligence and human emotion. The Interstices series covers several events: beginning on February 7, all are welcome to a live taping of the Ask Science Mike podcast at 7 p.m., featuring Mike McHargue. Then, on February 13, attendees can enjoy a discussion on the pros and cons of artificial intelligence (AI) featuring a panel of experts and creative practitioners debating the cultural, psychological, philosophical and spiritual aspects of AI technology.

“Each year we try to address a cultural phenomenon in the humanities, arts, and social sciences with provocative material in the zeitgeist,” said Patrick Fuery, Ph.D., dean of Chapman’s Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the college putting on the Interstices event. “This year’s interstices focuses on the possibilities of artificial intelligence and how humanity is coming to terms with this technology. The goal is to present different ways of approaching the subject and create news ways of thinking and lively discussion.”

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Lisa Joy

The February 13 event, called Beyond Human: Emotion and AI, features the co-creator and executive producer Lisa Joy of HBO’s Westworld. Joining her on the panel is the Director of Virtual Human Research at USC Jon Gratch whose research focuses on the relationship between cognition and emotion. Rounding out the discussion is London-based Professor of Psychoanalysis and Culture from the University of Roehampton. This panel begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in Chapman’s Memorial Hall.

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Mike “Science Mike” McHargue

Both the Science Mike live podcast taping and the Beyond Human panel are free and open to the public. More information can be found at:

In addition to the two main events, a free screening of Blade Runner 2049 occurs on February 1 in the student union. Also, an Interstices book club with a discussion on The Positronic Man by Isaac Asimov on the 25 anniversary of the novel that examines the relationships between robots and humans takes place February 8 at 5 p.m.

Previous Interstices series have addressed: the end of the world, rewilding (featuring author Cheryl Strayed), the in-betweeness of ethics, and an exploration in creativity.

About Chapman University

As an academically distinguished center of learning, Chapman University attracts extraordinary students and faculty from around the globe. Its ten schools and colleges foster a vibrant intellectual community, and provide extensive opportunities for students to learn, grow and discover alongside remarkable faculty. The University is home to some 8,000 students pursuing bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, and is alma mater to more than 40,000 alumni found throughout the United States and the world. Now celebrating its 157th year, Chapman is known for its distinguishing strengths in leadership and civic engagement, in the arts and entertainment disciplines, and in specialized sectors of technology and science. The University is comprised of its main campus in Orange, California, and the Rinker Health Science campus for graduate health science programs in Irvine, California. Visit us at

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