Define Sentience

MA Interactive Technologies of Performative and Media Arts, CINETic (The International Center for Research and Education in Innovative Creative Technologies), University of Theatre and Film “I.L. Caragiale,” Bucharest, Romania.


Curator: Alexandru I. Berceanu (RO)

Define Sentience explores the impact of technological advancement on human emotions and social interactions. The project is the result of research conducted at the International Center for Research and Education in Innovative Creative Technologies (CINETic) in Bucharest. CINETic’s mission is to develop knowledge and to innovate at the international level in the fields of performing arts and film, as well as in the fields that lead to their growth and transformation. The knowledge acquired in theatre and film is expanded through research within interdisciplinary projects that bring together art, science and technology.

When it comes to robots and AI, techno-skepticism and dystopian discourses have been at the forefront of popular culture for the past decades. Hollywood movies embody the public fear of artificial machines taking over the world and exterminating humans (or at least humans as we know them). This project joins the debate on sentient machines and how they fit in today’s context and social order. Machines becoming sentient may lead to the necessity of including them in the category of personhood where members enjoy rights, freedoms and protection under the law. This leads to an ethical discussion regarding the development of sentient machines. Is humanity holding back on acknowledging emotions in machines in order to keep this new species at a subordinate level? The attempt to engineer consciousness might help humanity gain deeper insight into the background of this phenomenon.

Overview of projects


Project Credits:

  • CINETic International Center for Research and Education in Innovative Creative Technologies), Proiect B


Alexandru I. Berceanu (RO) is a theatre director, researcher and cultural manager. He is the director of CINETic of UNATC IL Caragiale, a Centre focused on digital interaction research and development. Based on his interested in extending performative space through digital augmentation, he participated in projects that focus on art, technology and science: Subversive and Submersible Installation 1958-1958, Mikey on Danube Graphic Novel or VR project Touch. His work is centered around deconstructing violence and discrimination and the consequences of politics at a personal level.