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Origin Myths of Artificial Intelligence: Histories of Technology and Power

30 November 2018
Pavilion Room, Hughes Hall, Cambridge

This is a closed event. For information please contact Susan Gowans.

On 30th November 2018, scholars of various disciplines will convene for a one-day workshop on how the diverse histories of artificial intelligence and intelligent systems more broadly fit in relation to the histories of science and technology. In keeping with this event’s title, "Origin Myths of Artificial Intelligence: Histories of Technology and Power,” we will interrogate questions related to justice, economics, disciplinarity, and anthropomorphism, among other related themes.

Generously supported by PwC.


Origin Myths of Artificial Intelligence: Histories of Technology and Power

09.00 Registration and Coffee

09.30 Welcome

09.45 Session 1: AI and Epistemic Injustice: Whose Knowledge and Authority?

Chair Mustafa Ali - School of Computing and Communications, The Open University

Genevieve Liveley - University of Bristol - Homer’s Intelligent Machines
Alison Adam - Sheffield Hallam University - Gender and the Thinking Machine - Has Anything Changed Twenty Years On?
Stephanie Dick - University of Penn - Title TBC
Jack Stilgoe - UCL - Learning to drive - History, society and data as instructors for self-driving cars

11.00 Coffee Break

11.15 Session 2: Systems of Labour - Bureaucracy, Economics, Efficiency

Chair Luke Stark - Harvard University/Microsoft Research

Elizabeth Yale - University of Iowa - Archival Intelligences: People, Places, and Materials
S. M. Amadae - MIT, University of Helsinki - Title TBC
Thomas Haigh - University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee & Siegen - Five Big Ideas in Ten Short Minutes
Nathan Ensmenger - Indiana University Bloomington - Chess, Cars, and Cognition: How Problem Choice Shapes a Discipline

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Session 3: Common Histories: Probing AI's Interdisciplinary Roots

Chair Momin M Malik - Harvard University

Andrew Hodges - Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford - Alan Turing: Thinking and Doing
Margaret Boden - University of Sussex - AI and Other Disciplines: A Historical Sketch
Andrew Pickering - University of Exeter - The Cybernetic Brain: Psychiatry, Robotics and Future AI
Pamela McCorduck - Author of Machines Who Think - Eye-Witness to 60 Years of Artificial Intelligence, from Fringe Science to Worldwide Existential Challenge
Jon Agar - STS, UCL - How to kill AI

15.30 Session 4: Automata, Computers, Robotics: The Legacy of Anthropomorphism?

Chair Simon Schaffer - University of Cambridge

Elly Truitt - Bryn Mawr College/Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, University of Pennsylvania - Medieval Automata: In Whose Image?
Ursula Martin - Oxford University - Ada Lovelace and AI Origin Myths
Matt Jones - Columbia University - Decision trees, knowledge bottlenecks and the genealogy of the black box
William Aspray - University of Colorado Boulder - Artificial Intelligence In the History of Computing

16:45 Coffee Break

17:00 Open Discussion: Next Steps

17:30 End

18:30 Wine reception (West Court Dining Room, Jesus College)

19.30 Symposium Dinner (West Court Dining Room, Jesus College)

Image Credit