107 | CCN: 31946

Rhetoric of Scientific Discourse

Artificial Intelligence: Thinking the Future of the Human

Instructor: David Bates,

4 Units

This class will explore how Artificial Intelligence has emerged as a concept, a discipline, a problem, and an ideal in the modern era. We will look at how human intelligence has been entangled for some time in the question of technology, then focus on the ways in which computing and cybernetics initiated a revolutionary new approach to thinking. Rather than be limited to classic questions of imitating human cognition with computers, we will think more broadly about how intelligence is produced at the interface of minds, bodies, and networks of machines. The course will emphasize the philosophical, cultural, historical, and political ramifications of the development of machine intelligence, and track how humans have been incorporated into technical discourses and machinic languages of explanation. We will discuss primary source texts, cultural contexts, iconic films, and contemporary issues surrounding automation. Readings will include selections from Turing, Wiener, von Neumann, Simondon, Haraway, Latour, Hofstadter, Stiegler, and others; featured films will be 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner,  and Ex Machina.