Coming Events

In Our Image: Artificial Intelligence and the Humanities

In Our Image: Artificial Intelligence and the Humanities

April 7–22, 2021   #AIHumanities2021

A virtual conference exploring the critical intersection between the humanities and artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence has infiltrated our daily lives—in the ways we conduct business, govern, provide healthcare and security, and communicate. The large-scale cultural and societal implications of these changes—and the ethical questions they raise—pose a serious challenge as we embrace a future increasingly shaped by the implementation of AI technology.

Join us for a series of virtual events—presentations, conversations, webinars, film screenings, and an art exhibition—highlighting perspectives from leading humanists, scientists, engineers, artists, writers, and software company executives collectively advancing inquiry into key emerging questions. With events and convenings spread out over three weeks, this series of events is intended to foster future cooperation and exploration. All events will be live-streamed and archived for future dissemination.

Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, this conference is offered free of charge. However, registration is required to access conference sessions, view films, and explore the online art exhibit.

Schedule (all times are EDT)

April 7, 2021
7:00pm
Webinar for Educators: “Teaching Artificial Intelligence: Exploring New Frontiers for Learning”
  • Andy Mink, Moderator, Vice President for Education Programs, National Humanities Center

Note: separate registration required

April 13, 2021
2:00–3:00pm
Panel Discussion: Can Artificial Intelligence Create, and What Is the Role of the Artist?
  • Marian Mazzone, Moderator, Professor of Fine Arts, College of Charleston
  • Ahmed Elgammal, Professor of Computer Science, Founder and Director of the Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Rutgers University
  • Carla Gannis, Interdisciplinary artist and educator, NYU Tandon School of Engineering
April 14, 2021
2:00–3:00pm
Welcome and Introduction: Robert D. Newman, President and Director, National Humanities Center
Keynote Address: “Regressing to Eugenics? Technologies and Histories of Recognition,” Wendy Chun, Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media, Simon Fraser University
3:00–5:00pm Panel Discussion: How Has Artificial Intelligence Challenged the Boundaries of Humanistic Thinking and How Might the Humanities Provide New Models for Artificial Intelligence?
  • Matthew Booker, Moderator, Vice President for Scholarly Programs, National Humanities Center
  • Wendy Chun, Chair, New Media, Simon Fraser University
  • Safiya Umoja Noble, Associate Professor, Departments of Information Studies and African-American Studies, UCLA
April 15, 2021
2:00–3:00pm
Demonstration of IPsoft’s Amelia, “The Most Human Artificial Intelligence Platform on the Market,” Chetan Dube, CEO, IP Soft
3:00–5:00pm Panel Discussion: Can Morality Be Built into Computers?
April 19, 2021
3:00–4:00pm
Panel Discussion: In Whose Image? Envisioning an Inclusive and Vibrant AI Future
  • Marsha Gordon, Professor of Film Studies, North Carolina State University
  • Wesley Hogan, Director, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
  • Natalie Bullock Brown, Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, North Carolina State University
April 21, 2021
3:00–5:00pm
Panel Discussion: How Do We Address Privacy in the World of Artificial Intelligence?
  • Matthew Booker, Moderator, Vice President for Scholarly Programs, National Humanities Center
  • Sarah E. Igo, Andrew Jackson Professor of History, Professor of Law, Professor of Political Science, Professor of Sociology, Vanderbilt University
  • Ross Andersen, Deputy Editor, The Atlantic
  • Nita A. Farahany, Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law & Philosophy, Founding Director of Duke Science & Society, Chair of the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, Duke University
  • Dr. Louis J. Muglia, President, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
7:00–8:30pm Special Session: “Shakespeare in High Dimensional Data Spaces,” Michael Witmore, Director, Folger Shakespeare Library
April 22, 2021
1:30–2:45pm
Conference Summary Breakout Discussion
Session Focus (registrants choose one):
  • Will Education Be Impacted by the Introduction of Artificial Intelligence into the Classroom?
  • How Has Artificial Intelligence Altered the Idea of Creativity?
  • Is Privacy Even Possible in the World of Artificial Intelligence?
  • Is ‘Morality’ Programmable?
April 22, 2021
3:00–5:00pm
Concluding Panel: Where Do We Go from Here? The Future of Artificial Intelligence and the Humanities
  • Robert D. Newman, Moderator, President and Director, National Humanities Center
  • Tobias Rees, Reid Hoffman Professor at the New School of Social Research and Director of the Berggruen Institute
  • Abby Smith Rumsey, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences
  • Şerife (Sherry) Wong, Artist, Icarus Salon and Researcher at the Berggruen Institute
  • Paul Alivisatos, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, University of California, Berkeley

Presenters and Panelists

Read the Biographies


  • Paul Alivisatos

    University of California, Berkeley


  • Ross Andersen

    Deputy Editor, The Atlantic


  • Matthew Booker

    National Humanities Center


  • Meredith Broussard

    New York University


  • Natalie Bullock Brown

    North Carolina State University


  • Wendy Chun

    Simon Fraser University


  • Chetan Dube

    IPsoft


  • Ahmed Elgammal

    Rutgers University


  • Nita A. Farahany

    Duke University


  • Carla Gannis

    Pratt Institute


  • David Theo Goldberg

    University of California, Irvine


  • Marsha Gordon

    North Carolina State University


  • Wesley Hogan

    Duke University


  • Sarah E. Igo

    Vanderbilt University


  • Elizabeth Langland

    Arizona State University


  • Hsien-Hao Sebastian Liao

    National Taiwan University


  • Marian Mazzone

    College of Charleston


  • Andy Mink

    National Humanities Center


  • Dr. Louis J. Muglia

    Burroughs Wellcome Fund


  • Robert D. Newman

    National Humanities Center


  • Safiya Umoja Noble

    University of California, Los Angeles


  • Tobias Rees

    The New School for Social Research and the Berggruen Institute


  • Abby Smith Rumsey

    Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences


  • Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

    Duke University


  • Michael Witmore

    Folger Shakespeare Library


  • Şerife (Sherry) Wong

    Icarus Salon, Berggruen Institute


  • Michelle Zimmerman

    Renton Prep

Registration

Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, this conference is offered free of charge. However, registration is required to access conference sessions, view films, and explore the online art exhibit.
Please note: separate registration is required for the April 7 webinar, “Teaching Artificial Intelligence: Exploring New Frontiers for Learning”