“WATSON, an IBM supercomputer, spectacularly beat its human rivals in a 2011 edition of “Jeopardy!”, an American quiz show. It has got smarter since then. Its components have shrunk from room-size to briefcase-size; its processing speed has more than tripled. The sleeker, faster Watson is now being put to commercial use: its first application is suggesting treatments in cancer clinics. Many people fear that Watson exemplifies a trend toward the displacement of human workers by machines.”
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An inspiring conference “European Audiences: 2020 and beyond” took place in October 2012, brought together some 800 culture professionals in Brussels, discussing on how to engage more meaningfully with the audiences of today and tomorrow.
Organised by the European Commission, the conference presented examples of projects such as Robots and Avatars that have taken their audiences very seriously, sometimes from the very early stages of the creative process.‘
The level of participation and debate clearly showed what is considered by some to be a new cultural revolution: audiences are hungry for engagement, for shared experiences, for a sense of community. There is thus a need to stimulate exchange of practice in this field, to support cultural organisations to learn faster by peer learning in order to adapt more quickly to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.’
Audience development is one of the priorities of the EU’s future funding programme for the cultural and creative sectors, “Creative Europe”, which will replace the current Culture programme in 2014.
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