Talking to Artificial Intelligence: An anthropologist’s perspective

Presented by ANU College of Science

We have been talking about robots and artificial intelligence forever, or so it sometimes seems. Images of smart machinery have inhabited our thinking and our literary/cultural imaginations long before technology made such objects possible. It is tempting to keep such things separate - the art and science of the robot, or of the artificial intelligence that underpins it. However, there are reasons to thread them back together. After all, the AI of our imagination, is the AI we have built. In this talk, anthropologist and technologist, Professor Genevieve Bell explores the meaning of "intelligence" within the context of machines & its cultural impact on humans and their relationships. She interrogates AI not just as a technical agenda but as a cultural category in order to understand the ways in which the story of AI is connected to the history of human culture.

There will be an hour talk followed by a panel discussion and light refreshments.

This Fenner Guest Lecture is free and open to the public. Registration is essential. 

About the speaker

Professor Genevieve Bell is the Director of the 3A Institute, Florence Violet McKenzie Chair, and a Distinguished Professor at The Australian National University (ANU) as well as a Vice President and Senior Fellow at Intel Corporation. She is a cultural anthropologist, technologist and futurist best known for her work at the intersection of cultural practice and technology development.

Genevieve joined the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science in February 2017, after having spent the past 18 years in Silicon Valley helping guide Intel's product development by developing the company's social science and design research capabilities. She now heads the newly established Autonomy, Agency and Assurance (3A) Institute, launched in September 2017 by the ANU in collaboration with CSIRO's Data61, in building a new applied science around the management of artificial intelligence, data, technology and their impact on humanity.

Professor Bell is the inaugural appointee to the Florence Violet McKenzie Chair at the ANU, named in honour Australia's first female electrical engineer, which promotes the inclusive use of technology in society. Prof Bell also presented the highly acclaimed ABC Boyer Lectures for 2017, in which she interrogated what it means to be human, and Australian, in a digital world.