AI – A Threat to Artistic Freedom of Expression?

23 May 2023

11:05 – 12:30, Birkebeinersal 2

Complex matters call for open discussions and dialogue. This workshop is a coming together of artists’ perspectives on how the use of artificial intelligence (AI) may (or may not) impact authors’, translators’ and illustrators’ freedom of expression in the literary realm.


The increasingly rapid development of artificial intelligence has literary communities around the world racing to keep up. As we are all grappling to understand the technology and its potential uses (and misuses), one worry is whether it may promote censorship or affect artistic rights in other ways.


At this point in time, it is impossible to know how AI language and image generators will impact world literature, but unless we openly address and discuss possible concerns and outcomes, unless we address the ethics of AI, unless we talk about the reasoning and rules governing this technology and how it might (or might not) impact artistic freedom, how will we become any wiser?


Wishing to focus more on ethics than technology, we have invited Norwegian writer and professor of philosophy Lars Fr. H. Svendsen to kick off the discussion by sharing some thoughts on freedom of speech, AI, ethics and writing. He will be followed by Jan Christopher Næss from The Norwegian Association of Literary Translators and Eystein Hanssen from Forfatterforbundet before the floor is open to all.



Lene Renneflott, Grafill – Norwegian Organization of Visual Communication will facilitate the session.



This workshop is a collaboration between the following organisations:

Grafill – Norwegian Organization for Visual Communication

Norwegian Association of Literary Translators

The Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Association

The Norwegian Society of Authors

Norwegian Writers for Children

The Norwegian Writers Union

Writers’ Guild of Norway



Eystein Hanssen

Eystein Hanssen

Author of ten crime novels, and one of the founding forces behind The Norwegian Society of Authors, Forfatterforbundet. 

Hanssen is debating the use and misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) in literature and is particularly concerned about the use of AI as a tool for editorial processes and censorship.

 Prior to his debut as a fiction writer, in 2010, he worked 15 years as a television producer and director. 


Atefe Asadi

Atefe Asadi

Atefe Asadi is a writer, editor, translator, and songwriter from Tehran, Iran.

She holds a BA degree in English Translation and has worked as editor and translator with various publication and magazines, including underground ones. Asadi’s literary work is set in the context of Iranian society and addresses the country’s social, political, and religious issues, including gender, sexuality, and women’s rights while challenging conservatism, religion, war, and their consequences.

Lars Fr. H. Svendsen

Lars Fr. H. Svendsen

Professor of philosophy at the University of Bergen.

He has published several books, on topics such as boredom, evil, fear, work, freedom, loneliness, animal minds, lies and hope. His books have been translated to 31 languages.


Jan Chr. Næss

Jan Chr. Næss

Jan Chr. Næss (58) is a Norwegian writer of fiction for adults and children, and a freelance translator.

He is vice chair of the Norwegian Association of Literary Translators and a council member of the International Federation of Translators (FIT).


Lene Renneflott

Lene Renneflott

Lene Renneflott is managing director of Grafill and devoted to working for designers and illustrators in Norway.

Experienced in strategy, leadership and organizational development within academia, the cultural sector, and the creative and tech industries, she has an MA in English literature and an MSc in organizational psychology.