Friday November 27th, 2020, 12pm (EN)
Artificial Intelligence as Culture: A Roundtable Discussion on Scales and Perspectives
with Bart Simon, Christopher Salter, Fenwick McKelvey, Orit Halpern and Ceyda Yolgormez

This roundtable will be brodcast on our YouTube channel and relayed on the frontpage of this website.


Artificial Intelligence is mainly considered to be a ‘technological’ discussion, as opposed to cultural or social. This view restricts intelligent systems to the domain of computational sciences and treats these technologies without any consideration of the context of their functioning and genesis. Following the arguments from the critical algorithm studies, we propose another perspective which would think of algorithms not as acting in culture, but as culture, “part of broad patterns of meaning and practice that can be engaged empirically” (Seaver 2017, p.1). This suggests the opening up of the black box of these systems and recognizing the multiple and heterogeneous make-up of these systems and make it possible to examine them as diffused to their pertaining cultures. In this panel, we will have 4 speakers from the Machine Agencies Research Group of Milieux Institute, and they will tackle this conceptualization from multiple fronts: cultural studies, computational art, policy design, and planetary infrastructures. We would like to host this event online, so that we could create a discussion with the participants and figure out how to work with this conceptualization that recognizes the already embeddedness of said technologies.