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First Digital Horizons Talk: Sylvester Johnson on "Will Intelligent Machines Become Human?"

April 5, 2022 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Digital Horizons, a new CESTA/SHC lecture series will launch on April 5, 2022, with a talk by Sylvester Johnson: Will Intelligent Machines Become Human? The History of the Fetish, the Future of the Cyborg, and Necropolitics

About this talk: From Aristotle’s ancient conception of the soul to Ibn Rushd’s 12th-century analytics of the intellect to the information theory underlying neural networks, scholars have queried the agency of things and the relationship between matter and its other (spirit?). Does agency inhere in material things? Can an assemblage of machine parts be a person? What distinguishes humans from mere objects? In this talk, Sylvester Johnson takes up these questions and proposes that the use of intelligent machines (in the form of artificial intelligence or machine-learning applications) for human enhancement has crystallized these age-old conundrums in a new key.