What’s BEYOND?

BEYOND is an annual R&D conference for the creative industries in the UK. The event presents a unique combination of rigorous research-led and industry-focused debates, panel discussions, showcases and demonstrations of the latest discoveries, innovations and inventions in the creative fields.

Last year, BEYOND reflected on the future interrelationship between the creative industries and technological innovation. The core topics of discussion included: the challenges and opportunities of narrative-building in the creative industries and the future of storytelling; the development of the UK Fashion industry; the skills necessary to build a future creative workforce that embraces innovation and digital technologies; and working on the intersection of the multiple fields that comprise the landscape of the UK’s creative industries.

The 2018 BEYOND programme also included shorter sessions focused on artist-led innovation and research, the significance of scientific discoveries for the creative sector and the impact of creativity beyond the creative industries.

BEYOND 2018 Keynote with Prof Alex McDowell – World Building Institute

This year, BEYOND returns as a two-day conference in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms on 20-21 November. Addressing the role of AI, machine learning, and creative-led data in the creative sector, a series of panels and debates will discuss the advances, applications, capabilities, limitations, and indeed failures of such technologies.

The conference includes panels and speaker sessions that reflect on themes exploring the role of AI in the creative industries, both as a tool and assistant, and as a creator itself. It explores whether AI can produce artwork and products similar to those humans have created and continue to create? Is AI simply a handy tool for the creative industries or does it open the door to a more comprehensive understanding of our own creativity and artistic approach?

Although BEYOND considers the benefits of applying AI and machine learning in the creative industries and artistic practices, it also highlights these technologies’ limitations and potentially negative impacts on culture-production and the creative sector. The conference explores algorithms that unlock the unforeseen value of substantial data sets, the implications of curated searches, recommendations and discovery on existing digital and media platforms. The ethical and moral questions that surround the emerging data economy and its relationship to the creative industries will also be addressed.

Keep an eye on the BEYOND 2019 agenda for the latest speakers and sessions.

Assembly Rooms Edinburgh
BEYOND 2019 takes place at Assembly Rooms Edinburgh

In addition to the full conference programme, delegates can also attend the Poster Exhibition and Innovation Showcase to experience demos and work from pioneering creative industry researchers and businesses.

There are also a number of fringe events taking place alongside the conference and open to BEYOND attendees – check the programme for details.

Funded by UK Research and Innovation as part of the Industrial Strategy, BEYOND discusses the most current concerns and issues on the interrelationship between the creative sector and the advances in AI technology – read more about the conference themes