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AI and Communism: Narratives of Intelligent Machines Behind the Iron Curtain

7 May 2021

The final workshop on AI Narratives in Central and Eastern Europe will take place on 7 May, 2021 and focus on the histories of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and cybernetics in the Communist Bloc, with an emphasis on Czechoslovakia and Poland.

A fascinating community of scholars, thinkers, and creators working at the intersection of technology, automation, and futures emerged in Central and Eastern Europe after the Second World War. On the one hand, there were those studying technology as a means of streamlining production and automation in a centralised economy, as well as enhancing citizen surveillance. On the other, there were the dissenting voices that relied on fictional accounts of technological futures to criticise the authoritarian regimes.

The online workshop consists of an expert panel on AI and Communism followed by a roundtable discussion. The organisers of the “Global AI Narratives: Central and Eastern Europe” programme will be joined by several speakers from the previous workshops to debate what historical visions of AI in the region can tell us about the perceptions of new technologies in Central and Eastern Europe today.

This event is part of a research project funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc.

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