Pat Pataranutaporn on exploring the intersection of humans and artificial intelligence

By Neetinder Dhillon

From his audacious fashion choices to his ground- breaking research, the MIT researcher’s narrative is a compelling journey into the future of human-AI synergy.

Pat Pataranutaporn has a flair for the dramatic, and is obsessed with dinosaurs. Dressed in a cabernet- hued jacket adorned with spikes that evoke a kentrosaurus, he defies quick categorisation.

The jacket catches your eye, but his character holds your attention; his dimpled smile and thoughtful words captivate. Then, realisation dawns and the audacious jacket serves as a potent storytelling device – a sartorial bridge – for the time traveller Pat to connect the past to the present, which is nothing but a conduit to the future. His time machine is the “story”, the “narrative”.

At just 28, Pat is a graduate researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, and he’s the first Thai national to earn this distinction in two decades. He’s also the co-founder of the Futuristic Research Group (Freak Lab), a Bangkok-based anti-disciplinary research cluster that blends art, science, and technology to investigate the interplay between humans and emerging technologies. He is part of several projects with NASA, NTT DATA, IBM, KBTG, UCSB, Stanford, Harvard, and even Netflix (in a soon-to-be aired science fiction series).

Focused on the creative synergy of human power and Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is essential, says Pat, that we “note the stories and understand how story-making happens and impacts people”. This idea resonates in the words of theorist Donna J. Haraway, author of A Cyborg Manifesto, who says: “It matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories”. And in a world where stories define reality, Pat understands the profound power of the narrative he weaves into his research.

Related Content