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Humanities in the Age of AI Lunch meeting

January 8 @ 12:00 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 210


The Humanities Institute Research cluster, “Humanities in the Age of AI,” is pleased to invite you to their first lunch meeting of the quarter scheduled for January 8th (Monday) at noon in HUM 210.

The research cluster boasts a diverse group of core participants. This includes six esteemed faculty members from various disciplines, graduate students representing politics, history, literature, philosophy, feminist studies, and film and visual studies, and undergraduate scholars from computer science, computational media, and creative writing.

The Humanities Institute (THI) will graciously cater lunch. Once we have obtained our meals, we will gather and take our seats. 10 minutes have been set aside to elucidate the cluster’s overview. Following this, we will go ahead with individual introductions. After a short five-minute recess, Magy Seif El-Nasr and Mark Howard will begin their presentations, anticipated to last for approximately 20 minutes. A structured dialogue on the topic will follow.

Magy Seif El-Nasr is a professor and department chair of computational media at the Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She directs the Game User Interaction and Intelligence (GUII) Lab. Dr. Seif El-Nasr earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Computer Science in 2003. Her research focuses on two goals (a) developing automated tools and techniques for authoring, adapting, and personalizing virtual environments (e.g., interactive narrative, believable agents, and games), and (b) developing evidence-based methodologies to measure the effectiveness of game environments through the development of novel process mining and visual analytics systems. During her tenure, she worked in AI, data science, and HCI. She has explored the impact of AI technologies and their designs from a humanistic and social science perspective toward understanding how to design better AI systems that can be useful for users.

Mark Howard is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Politics and History of Consciousness departments at UC Santa Cruz. He previously studied philosophy at Macquarie University and International Relations Theory at the LSE, and prior to that worked as a technology management consultant in the financial services industry. Disciplinary interests include political economy, political and social theory, critical theory, and continental philosophy. His dissertation is a critical study of venture capital as a means, mode, practice and process of social reproduction and renewal. His primary concern with AI stems from current attempts (backed by venture capital) to win market dominance and monopoly over the AI space, and how commercial tools are being framing as a part of a socially necessary future. Also of interest is how proponents of AI tools are promoting complementary facilities to deal with social dislocation, such as a cryptocurrency-based Universal Basic Income to soften the blow of AI-induced “post-employment.”

For those who prefer to schedule in advance, please note the dates for our brown bag meetings throughout the academic year: 10/2 (lunch provided), 11/6, 12/11, 1/8 (lunch provided), 2/12 (featuring Davide Panagia), 3/4, 4/8 (lunch provided), and 5/6. THI will graciously cater on the three specified dates. For the remaining meetings, attendees are cordially invited to bring their lunch. We are honored to have Professor Davide Panagia from UCLA present on 2/12; arrangements are underway to secure another external speaker for a subsequent session.


January 8
12:00 pm


Humanities 1, Room 210
1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States
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