It is now a given that what we think of as “AI”  is simply software which has not yet become so  pervasive that it is baked into our everyday experience.. Yet AI retains a whiff of mystery which begs to be explored and illustrated  through artistic and scientific videos which can range from absurdist to ominous to  visionary. Without any prior coordination 4 out of the 5 panels at the recent SCALL  Institute offered videos to enhance, contrast, amuse or amaze the audience.

The Southern California Law Library Association hosted  their annual Institute which focused on “AI and Machine Learning Demystified”  in Santa Barbara at the Hyatt Centric on February 22 and 23rd. I was honored to be invited to give one of the presentations at the Institute. I have reassembled to the best of my ability a representative collection of the videos which were shown at the SCALL Institute.

As part of my presentation “Not the robot apocalypse: AI as Opportunity for Librarians and Knowledge Professionals” I highlighted the risks and opportunities of AI with 2 videos.

One of my favorite recent  “binge watches” is a British Mockumentary called W!A which is a hilarious send up of  organizational dysfunction at the BBC – and of course one of the recurring gags is the malfunctioning AI system. In the following  clip AI system is mangling the world news  audio to  text translation of world leaders names.


A Ted talk from Dario Gil shows Watson responding to research queries and populating a data matrix comparing companies

June Liebtert Moderated a panel “So Bright You’ll Need to Wear Shades: Practical Appliations of AI in the Legal Space.” AI experts from  Lexis,-Serena Wellen, Westlaw- Tonya Custis and BloombergLaw – Clint Stauffer, participated in the lively discussion. June used videos of  IBM’s Project Debater and a computer generated Sci Fi Movie script to illustrate the possibilities and limitations of AI.


She also showed a video of a SciFi movie Zone Out with a screenplay  written by a computer named Benjamin which had been fed thousands of SciFi Scripts.

Matthew Turk a Professor at University of California Santa Barbara presented  a terrific keynote “Flowers and Light” What to Expect from AI.” provided foundational concepts and misconceptions about AI. His videos included a dark Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man” and a series of awesome robotics videos.


Here is a link to a payload  of Boston Dynamics Videos.

Michael Saint-Onge delivered his 23rd annual presentation of “30 Sites in 30 Minutes” for SCALL. His list included AI text editor deemed “too dangerous to release by its creators. Here is a link to a story and video.

Richard Re, of UCLA gave a thought provoking and video-free presentation “Preparing for Artificially Intelligent Justice.”

Thanks to the SCALL Institute Chair, Eric Adams and Committee Members Paul Mooreman Jennifer Berman, Jim Senter, Patrick Sullivan and Michael Saint-Onge for inviting me to speak and providing such a memorable program.