I Am not a Robot: The Entangled Futures of A.I. and the Humanities  

George Washington University, April 14, 2023 [Official Website]

Generative Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) tools have the potential to alter profoundly the ways we work, create, think, and behave. They raise such questions as: 

  • What makes humans distinctive? 
  • Can machines have consciousness? 
  • What is intelligence? 
  • Are the methods used to create A.I. tools ethical? 

    In this symposium, we hope to open a discussion on the philosophical, ethical, political, and cultural, challenges that A.I. poses for our society. The event is premised on the conviction that the perspectives offered by the humanities are essential to ensuring a future in which A.I. is developed and deployed in thoughtful and ethical ways.

    When: Friday, April 14, 10am to 4:30 pm. In-person event.

    Where: University Student Center 309 (800 21st St. NW)


Speakers and Topics

Part I: Artificial Intelligence and the (Non)Human Condition 

10:15-11:30 AM | Is ChatGPT a Mind, and What Can It Know? 

    – ChatGPT, the Turing Test, and the Symbol-Grounding Problem
Tadeusz W. Zawidzki, GW Philosophy Dept.

    – ChatGPT Epistemology: Can It Know Things and Transmit Knowledge?
Marianna B. Ganapini, Union College

Moderator: Eric Saidel, GW Philosophy Dept.

11:35 AM-12:50 PM | What is the Moral Status of A.I.?

    – A.I. Futures and Religious Values
Robert M. Geraci, Manhattan College

    – Buddhist Ethics on Humanity in the Post-ChatGPTEra
Eyal Aviv, GW Religion Dept.

Moderator: Irene Oh, GW Religion Dept.

12:50-1:45 PM | Lunch (provided)

Part II: The Future Is Now

1:45-3 PM | Cultural Transformation

    – A.I. and Racial Capitalism
Neda Atanasoski, University of Maryland

     – Performing Humanity: Realities and Fictions of Artificial People
Despina Kakoudaki, American University

Moderator: Alexa Alice Joubin, GW English Dept.

3:05-4:20 PM | Looking Back, Looking Forward

    – A.I. in Historical Context
Jamie Cohen-Cole, GW American Studies Dept.

    – It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times
Ryan Watkins, GW Educational Technology Leadership

Moderator: Eric Arnesen, GW History Dept.

4:20-4:30 PM | Closing Remarks: Where Do We Go From Here? 

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