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Ockham Lecture: James Goggin on New Fuzzy Logic

In this Ockham Lecture, James Goggin considers the contemporary drive for artificial intelligence to be more precise, “more human” (if not quite yet entirely sentient), and takes the opportunity to revisit Fuzzy Logic, an intentionally imprecise computational theory.

By exploring prominent applications of the theory in 1980s bubble economy Japan, from subway trains to speech recognition, James takes inspiration from Fuzzy Logic’s timely emphasis on nuance and context with some more humane examples of what we might call a “New Fuzzy Logic” in his own graphic design work alongside some broader art and design case studies.

James Goggin is a British and/or Australian graphic designer from London via Sydney, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Arnhem, Chicago, and Providence. He runs a Tāmaki Makaurau-based design practice named Practise together with partner Shan James, working on books, typefaces, websites, exhibitions, videos, textiles, posters, magazines, identity systems, signage, signs, and symbols in Europe, Asia, Australasia, and North America. James has taught at École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ÉCAL), Werkplaats Typografie, and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and occasionally writes for architecture, art, and design publications.

James Goggin in action, during a Pop Culture Colour Theory lecture.

Ubi Sunt, a diaristic Covid-times meta-novella designed by James Goggin in collaboration with the author, Google AI researcher Blaise Agüera y Arcas, published by Hat & Beard Press, Los Angeles, 2022.