The history of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in movies is often presented as a hero’s journey. Starting in the 1980s, a scrappy group of computer scientists went up against the large, powerful, but inert, Hollywood studio empire, and forever changed how movies are made. Our guest, Professor Theodore Kim, will present that history, and a counter-history that reads like this: Starting in the 1980s, a scrappy group of computer scientists ensured that historical biases towards young, white skin and straight, blond hair embedded in film and photography technology would be carried over from the analog era into the digital.
Kim will conclude with efforts to confront and counter these racially charged biases after the murder of George Floyd. This is a multi-year, multi-institution effort spanning the sciences, arts and humanities, and includes his group at Yale.