Seminar on Cultural Politics: Jeffrey Schnapp: “In the Company of AI (Cultural Computation)”

Location: CGIS South S354, 1730 Cambridge Street and on Zoom



6:00 pm

CGIS South S354, 1730 Cambridge Street and on Zoom

Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

Seminar on Cultural Politics

Jeffrey Schnapp
Carl A. Pescosolido Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature; Chair, Department of Comparative Literature, Harvard University

In the Company of AI (Cultural Computation)

CGIS South S354, 1730 Cambridge Street and on zoom. Please register online  to attend virtually.

Seminar Chair: Panagiotis Roilos, George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies and of Comparative Literature

Graduate Co-ordinator: Charlie Gaillard, Ph.D. candidate in the History and Theory of Architecture


AI will soon “replace all human labor,” “achieve sentience,” “automate all human thought processes,” save or destroy civilization: these are the now-familiar claims of a hype cycle propelled to the front page of dailies over the years since the launch of Chat-gpt. The reality of AI is different. However powerful and transformative, AI is aligned with and embedded in a much deeper and enduring history of technologies that prove transformative precisely because, rather than replacing human functionalities, they enable new models of human-machine collaboration, thinking, and interaction that gradually alter the fundamental contours of selfhood, society, culture, knowledge production, and creativity. In this talk, Jeffrey Schnapp will reflect on some experimental uses of AI and Machine Learning techniques in cultural historical projects such as metaLAB (at) Harvard’s Curatorial A(i)gents and in a course that he is teaching this semester: Computing Fantasy – Imagination, Invention, Radical Pedagogy (Munari / Rodari / Calvino).