Staff news

Film festival celebrates 60 years of Computer Science and AI with screenings and discussions

Staff are invited to explore the debate around AI during a week-long series of panel discussions and film screenings - part of the University’s year-long celebration of 60 years of Computer Science and AI research.

‘Imagining Futures: AI on Film’ runs from 6 – 10 September in Adam House on Chambers Street, showcasing classic and contemporary films about AI. It also features three panel discussions exploring issues around AI and games, storytelling and ethics. 

Poster for the Imagining Futures poster shows a cartoon robot eating popcorn.

Panel discussions

‘Mind Games: Games and AI’ features Professor Ram Ramamoorthy and Dr Alex Doumas discussing how games were intrinsic to the first explorations of fundamental AI technology and how they continue to influence those systems. 

Mind Games: Games and AI | The University of Edinburgh 

‘Only Connect: Storytelling and AI’ sees Professor Mirella Lapata, John Yorke and Dr Pavlos Andreadis exploring how stories can teach AI to have new ideas, and explore how AI might influence storytelling. 

Only Connect: Storytelling and AI | The University of Edinburgh 

‘Moral Coding: Ethics and AI’ asks Dr Atoosa Kasirzadeh, Dr Mark Sprevak and Dr John Zerilli to explore the many ethical questions surrounding the new technology. 

Moral Coding: Ethics and AI | The University of Edinburgh 

All the panel discussions are designed to complement screenings, and you need to buy a ticket for both a panel and a screening. 

Professor Lapata said: ’I'm looking forward to discussing the realities of how AI is depicted on screen. Discussions at Imagining Futures: AI on Film festival will no doubt explore the current issue of if and how AI should be used in filmmaking.’ 


Sixteen films will be screened across the five-day festival from the 1927 silent masterpiece Metropolis to 2022 Sundance London’s audience favourite Brian and Charles.  The programme spans decades and genres, including sci-fi, anime cult classics, comedies, thrillers and documentaries. 

Imagining Futures: AI on film

Dr Ana Salzberg, a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies said "At a time when the impact of AI is being so urgently debated within the film industry itself, Imagining Futures reminds us of the generations of cinematic works that have explored - and anticipated - such pressing questions." 

Sixty years of Computer Science and AI 

The film festival is sponsored by the School of Informatics and the Edinburgh Laboratory for Integrated Artificial Intelligence (ELIAI). It continues the 60 Years of Computer Science and AI anniversary celebrations at the University of Edinburgh.   

In 1963 the University established its first research hubs in these disciplines. A year-long programme of events marks achievements over the past six decades and looks to the future of computer science and AI at Edinburgh.  

Sixty years of Computer Science and AI