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Visions for our Future: A talk with the Science Fiction writer Chen Qiufan 陈楸帆

26.10.2023 | 12:00
Chen Qiufan

Chen Qiufan

In Mumbai, a teenage girl rebels because Artificial Intelligence (AI) gets in the way of her love interest. In South Korea, two students create avatars of their teachers. In Munich, a quantum computer scientist’s plan for revenge threatens the world. These speculative scenarios were published in the prize-winning book AI 2041: Ten Visions For Our Future (German title: KI 2041: Zehn Zukunftsvisionen) written by AI-expert Kai-fu LEE 李開復and science-fiction author CHEN Qiufan 陈楸帆, which won the German Business Book Prize (Deutscher Wirtschaftsbuchpreis) in 2022.

In their book, Chen and Lee address the effects of Artificial Intelligence on people’s everyday lives as we are more and more getting used to self-learning software programs, such as chatbots, digital assistants and navigation systems, controlling our lives, with artificial intelligence thus becoming more and more decisive for many areas of our future. At the same time, our future has never felt so uncertain with the climate crisis, wars and global geopolitical power shifts threatening our freedom. How will artificial intelligence have changed our lives in twenty years? And what perspectives do science-fiction and speculative literature offer us in imagining our future with AI? We will approach and discuss these and further questions in a conversation with CHEN Qiufan and by readings (in German) of selected texts by the author.

CHEN Qiufan 陈楸帆 is an award-winning science fiction author, translator, creative producer, curator and president of the World Chinese Fiction Association. His novel The Waste Tide 慌潮was published in German translation in 2019 by Heyne as Die Siliziuminsel (translation: Marc Hermann). A selection of his short stories has been published in different German science fiction anthologies. A collection of texts on the future use of artificial intelligence by Chen Qiufan and AI-expert Kai-fu Lee was published by Campus in 2019 under the title KI 2041: Zehn Zukunftsvisionen. Chen Qiufan is founder and CEO of the content production studio Thema Mundi and lives in Beijing and Shanghai. 

Petra Thiel studied Modern Sinology, Romance Studies and Religious Studies in Heidelberg and Shanghai. Her PhD thesis focuses on gender and the contemporary coming of age novel in China and in global contexts. She is the Director of the Confucius Institute at Heidelberg University.

Andreas Guder, Professor of Chinese as a Foreign Language, Chinese Linguistics and Literature at Freie Universität Berlin, is hosting this event.

This event has been made possible with support of the Writers Residency Programs of CLEC (Center for Language and Education Cooperation, Beijing).

Zeit & Ort

26.10.2023 | 12:00

Hörsaal 2.2051, Holzlaube,
14195 Berlin