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With Steven Levy (Author of Facebook: The Inside Story & In The Plex), Mary Rasenberger (CEO, Authors Guild), Maya Shanbhag Lang (President, Authors Guild), Hari Kunzru (Author, What We Carry).
Wed, Feb 28, 2024 @ 07:00 PM   FREE   Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza
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BPL Presents is proud to partner with the Authors Guild to examine AI's impact on literary arts & culture. Featuring incisive commentary from Mary Rasenberger (CEO, Authors Guild), author Maya Shanbhag Lang (president, Authors Guild), author Hari Kunzru, & author Steven Levy, this panel will engage questions at the bleeding edge of the AI debate.
Writing & storytelling has defined humanity for millennia. The ability to write, record, & express individual & collective experiences is the foundation of human culture. What does the rise of generative AI technologies, capable of writing, mean for this quintessentially human faculty? How will machine-written narratives change the literary arts? Can AI truly replicate human creativity & speak to human experiences? As algorithms reshape publishing & unlock new possibilities for literature, what will authorship look like in 10 years?

Books will be available for purchase from Greenlight Bookstore, followed by a signing.

Mary Rasenberger is the Chief Executive Officer of the Authors Guild & Authors Guild Foundation. Prior to joining the Guild in November 2014, Mary practiced law for over 25 years in the areas of intellectual property, media & technology, with special expertise in copyright law. Most recently, Mary was a partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard where she counseled publishing, media, entertainment, internet, & other technology companies, as well as authors & artists in all areas of copyright & related rights, including licensing, litigation, infringement analysis, policy, enforcement & digital rights. From 2002 to 2008 Mary worked for the U.S. Copyright Office & Library of Congress as senior policy advisor & program director for the National Digital Preservation Program. Mary has worked at other major New York law firms & for a major record company. Photo credit Beowulf Sheehan

Maya Shanbhag Lang is the author of What We Carry, named a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice & a Best Of 2020 by Amazon. She is also the author of The Sixteenth of June, a modern reinterpretation of Ulysses that was long listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

Lang's essays have been widely published & anthologized. The American Civil Rights Museum named her a Woman You Should Know. Winner of the Neil Shepard Prize in Fiction, she serves as President of the Authors Guild.

After graduating magna cum laude from Swarthmore College, Lang earned her M.A. from NYU & her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from SUNY Stony Brook. Her dissertation, The Hypochondriac: Bodies in Protest from Herman Melville to Toni Morrison, won the Mildred & Herbert Weisinger Award. A passionate teacher, editor, & author advocate, she enjoys working with established & aspiring writers alike.

Lang is the daughter of South Asian immigrants & lives outside of New York City with her daughter. She is also a competitive-class weightlifter. Photo credit Beowulf Sheehan

Steven Levy has been covering the digital revolution since the early 1980s. He is currently Editor at Large at WIRED magazine, where he was one of its founding writers. During the height of the internet boom, he was the columnist & chief technology correspondent for Newsweek. He also wrote columns for Rolling Stone & Macworld.

His first book was the iconic history of computer culture Hackers (1984). His coverage of Apple includes Insanely Great (1994), the history of Apple's Macintosh computer; & The Perfect Thing (2006), the story of the iPod. Years before Bitcoin & the crypto explosion, Levy wrote Crypto (2001), the story behind that transformative technology. His definitive book on Google, In the Plex (2011), was a New York Times bestseller & Amazon's business book of the year. He also wrote a true-crime book, The Unicorn's Secret (1988), which was adapted into an NBC mini-series. Levy's most recent book, Facebook: The Inside Story, is the definitive story of the company that connected the world & reaped the consequences.

Earlier in his career, Levy interviewed Bob Marley & found Einstein's brain, but not for the same story. He lives in New York City with his wife, Pulitzer prize-winning writer Teresa Carpenter. Photo credit Andrew Levy

Hari Kunzru is the author of seven novels, Red Pill, White Tears, Gods Without Men, My Revolutions, Transmission, The Impressionist, & Blue Ruin, which will be published in May. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy in Berlin & the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, he is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books & writes the "Easy Chair" column for Harper's Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn & teaches in the Creative Writing Program at New York University. Photo credit Clayton Cubitt

BPL Presents programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor & the New York State Legislature.
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