Wishful Thinking & AI: An Evening with Ted Chiang and Dr. Emily M. Bender

11/10/2023 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM PT


  • $125.00  -  VIP Reception and Preferred Seating
  • $50.00  -  General Admission
  • $35.00  -  Financial Need Discount
  • $15.00  -  Student ticket
  • $15.00  -  Virtual Admission
  • Free  -  Accessibility Services Request


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*Late registrations should receive an email confirmation with the Zoom link and information to bring to Town Hall if you plan to attend in person. 

A Clarion West Fundraiser

Ted Chiang and Dr. Emily M. Bender in Conversation

Moderated by Tom Nissley

Hybrid Event: In-person at Town Hall Seattle and Online in Zoom

November 10 at 7:30 PM

UW Professor of Linguistics Emily M. Bender talks with award-winning science fiction author Ted Chiang about the hype, realistic expectations, and who should be involved in the conversation around AI. Moderated by Jeopardy! champion and Phinney Books owner Tom Nissley.

Proceeds from this event support Clarion West year-round programs for emerging and underrepresented writers. 

About Dr. Emily M. Bender

Emily M. Bender is a Professor of Linguistics and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Computer Science and the Information School at the University of Washington, where she has been on the faculty since 2003. Her research interests include  multilingual grammar engineering, computational semantics, and the societal impacts of language technology.  She is the co-author of recent influential papers such as Climbing towards NLU: On Meaning, Form, and Understanding in the Age of Data (ACL 2020), On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big??(FAccT 2021), and AI and the Everything in the Whole Wide World Benchmark (NeurIPS 2021). In 2022 she was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Together with Dr. Alex Hanna, she hosts Mystery AI Hype Theater 3000, a podcast which skewers AI hype.

About Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang's fiction has won four Hugo, four Nebula, and six Locus Awards, and has been reprinted in Best American Short Stories. His first collection Stories of Your Life and Others has been translated into twenty-one languages, and the title story was the basis for the Oscar-nominated film Arrival. His second collection Exhalation was chosen by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2019.

About Tom Nissley

Tom Nissley is the owner of Phinney Books and Madison Books in Seattle. He’s the author of A Reader’s Book of Days, has a PhD in English from the University of Washington, and was an eight-time champion on Jeopardy!

For information about accessibility at Town Hall, please visit their Plan Your Visit page or contact access@townhallseattle.org. To request ASL services, captioning, or other accommodations, please contact helpdesk@clarionwest.org. 

General Info

Doors open at 6:30 pm and the event begins promptly at 7:30 pm. 

Seating is assigned on a first-come first-served basis. VIP ticket holders have reserved seating near the front of the stage. 


  • Welcome & introductions
  • Conversation with Ted Chiang and Dr. Emily Bender, moderated by Tom Nissley
  • Audience Q&A

By registering for this event, you agree to follow the Clarion West Code of Conduct and Zoom policies