Fiction Writing and Screenplays Reimagining AI Now and in the Future: A Roundtable with Student Creators
Moderated by Professor Sam Baker
Vanessa Aguirre is a fourth-year Psychology and Plan II major with a certificate in Creative Writing and a minor in Educational Psychology. She gets to combine her love of kids, magic, and books working as an Editorial Intern for HarperCollins Children’s Books and a First Reader for her favorite speculative fiction magazine. Vanessa plans on pursuing a career that promotes underrepresented voices, social issues, and joy as a form of resistance.
Grace Leake is a fourth-year student studying business and creative writing. She considers herself a jack of all trades but hopes to master some. In her free time, she enjoys beekeeping, fencing, rugby, and driving away to find unexpected places. Her favorite word is ‘heretic’, and she often ponders how to be a better one.
Namrata Prakash is a fourth year Radio-Television Film major with a minor in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Along with being a Good Systems Creative Fellow, she is currently working as a Development Intern at BBC Studios LA (through spirit and in time zone). Namrata is pursuing a career in screenwriting, and when she’s not workshopping drafts she is rewatching Succession and trying to understand why the theme song is that freakin’ good.
Scotty Villhard is a Senior at UT Austin studying film and creative writing. Outside of school, Scotty is co-producer of the Foot in the Door Theatre Troupe and president of the Longhorn Tabletop Gaymers, an LGBTQ+-centric tabletop roleplaying game organization. Scotty has acted and directed in a number of theatrical productions with Foot in the Door Theatre and their short films have been shown at the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase and the Texas Union Film Festival.
Non-Fiction Writing and Video Documenting AI Today: A Roundtable with Student Creators
Moderated by Professor Sam Baker
Annika Horne is an August 2020 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Radio-Television-Film. She is interested in directing and writing features informed by real historical events and examining social issues. Annika currently worksfor Samuel Goldwyn Films in Acquisitions. She also is a music lover and a singer songwriter. Her films have played at The Albuquerque Film and Music Experience, The Trinity Film Festival, and the Dallas Sight of Sound Film Festival.
Matthew Leger is an August 2020 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied English and Creative Writing. An aspiring poet, and recent winner of the 2020 Andrew Julius Gutow Prize, his work can be found here. When he’s not writing, he’s likely to be found holed away in his room recording music, courting the ire of his neighbors at strange hours of the night. He plans to pursue an MFA in Fall of 2021.
Colin Phillips is a fourth year Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Honors and Mathematics major. Outside of the classroom, he researches human-AI interactions and is collaborating with the Strauss Center for International Security and Law to explore the regulation of AI in defense. He’s passionate about the intersection of humanitarianism and technology, and is a former Project Manager for Projects with Underserved Communities -India. He’s helping launch the Humanitarian Engineering Institute at UT and is an avid water polo player in his free time. Colin is pursuing a career in machine learning and product management at socially-focused enterprises.
Raghav Vuggumudi is a senior studying Radio-Television-Film with a Business Foundations minor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is passionate about producing media regarding technology advancement, environmental preservation, and diversity inclusion. He has past experience working with digital marketing agencies, promotional content creation, as well as game development with Unreal Engine and Unity. He plans on pursuing a career in the intersection of media and technology post-graduation this December!
Demonstration and Discussion of Buddi-Bot, A Computer Game about the Perils and Possibilities of AI, and Summary Discussion and Q&A
Moderated by Professor Paul Toprac
Kevin Benavides is an August 2020 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Arts and Entertainment Technology and a minor in Business Foundations. He is an avid video game player and takes a special interest in competitive video games. As a part of his passion for games, he is pursuing a career in game design. He hopes to be able to bring the video game industry to the Rio Grande Valley someday.
Alexia Monique Carmona is an Arts and Entertainment Technologies Major at the University of Texas at Austin. She wants to inspire others to create and with her love of video games, she decided on achieving that goal by creating enjoyable video games anyone can play.
Donald Harris’s career has taken him from Titanfall to Goldman Sachs… and back into gaming with a renewed passion. He enjoys growing and leading business development, and project management teams. Getting to combine amazing people with great technology is what gets him out of bed in the morning. He’s always on the hustle to make experiences that inspire, entertain, and take you away from your everyday life!
Ivan Olin recently graduated from UT Austin with a degree in computer science and a minor in information studies. Ivan is passionate about game development and has three shipped games in his portfolio. He currently works as a software developer on the Application Insights team at American Express.
chip Sbrogna is a puzzle design specialist who has been designing games for over 20 years. Franchises he has contributed to include Metroid Prime, God of War, Tomb Raider, Counter-Strike, and Portal. He is currently Director of Design and co-founder of Proteus Games in Austin, TX.