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Histories of Artificial Intelligence: A Genealogy of Power


HoAI Syllabus and Synthesis

Time: Wednesday 16 June @ 15:00-17:00 BST

Co-facilitated by: Jonnie Penn (University of Cambridge), Jenny Moran (University of Cambridge), Rebecca Charbonneau (University of Cambridge) and the HoAI organisers.


The HoAI Seminar was convened to develop an interpretive community capable of offering a structural, historical perspective on the promises and problematics of AI and machine learning. In service of that goal, we are excited to share a product of the seminar for your consideration: a template for a graduate-level course on the histories of AI!

The link below takes you to a working draft that we invite you to comment on directly via Google Docs. We invite your crowd-sourced recommendations for readings, student activities, and thought provoking primary source materials. Most of all, we invite your feedback on how best to satifsy the critical aims of this Seminar in a single course—this breadth is challening to compress. We will spend the first hour of the Seminar Virtual Event discussion the following working draft.

Histories of AI: A Model Syllabus is a template graduate-level course ready for your adaptation and comment. It is designed to equip students with the conceptual tools needed to situate and critique artificial intelligence (AI) and AI ethics in relation to historical trends dating back to the sixteenth century. Students assess the materials, methods, power, and rhetoric behind evolving claims of manufactured cognition.

During the second hour of the Reading Group, we will collectively assess all that we have learned over the past year. We welcome your personal reflections on insights that stood out to you. To improve future offerings, we also want to speak frankly about lingering gaps and inadequacies. We will end with discussion about next steps for the HoAI community.

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