230 - 002 | CCN: 77043

Rhetoric and History

Artificial Intelligence and the Nature of the Human

Instructor: David Bates,

4 Units

Artificial Intelligence and the Nature of the Human
This seminar will look closely at how the human has been reconfigured in the wake of computing and other technologies in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will engage with Artificial Intelligence from a number of perspectives, philosophical, technical, and historical, and we will use the term broadly, to include the discipline itself but also other ways that minds, brains, and machines have been linked in intelligent systems. The course will begin with two historical sessions on the origin of the problem of artificial thinking in Descartes, the Enlightenment, and the age of Charles Babbage. We will then focus on conceptualizing human and machine intelligence in the age of cybernetics and the computer. The seminar will emphasize primary source readings, alongside selected secondary sources and relevant theoretical texts. The core reading list will include these authors: R. Descartes, A. Turing, N. Weiner, J. von Neumann, W. McCulloch, G. Canguilhem, G. Simondon, D. Engelbart, G. Deleuze, R. Brooks, B. Stiegler, H. Dreyfus, D. Hofstadter, B. Latour.