Past Event

Orit Halpern - The Smartness Mandate: Neo-liberalism, Artificial Intelligence, and Politics

April 25, 2024
12:15 PM - 2:00 PM
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Online and in-person: Heyman Center (Second Floor Common Room), Columbia University, New York

Event Description

This talk interrogates the history of models of decision-making and agency in machine learning, neo-liberal economic thought, and finance in order to understand how reactionary politics, civil rights, and technology are being reformulated in our present. While the relationship between the Right, post-truth, suggestion algorithms, and social media has long been documented, rarely there has been extensive investigation of how ideas of choice and freedom become recast in a manner amenable to machine automation, financialization, and to particular brands of post-1970s alt-right discourses. An analysis of this history demonstrates a new logic within algorithmic and artificial intelligent rationalities that intersects with, but is also not merely a repetition of, earlier histories of reason, eugenics, sexism, and racism. This situation provokes serious challenges to political action, but also to our theorization of democracy, collectivity, and diversity.

Event Speaker

Orit Halpern, Professor of Digital Cultures at Dresden University of Technology

Event Information

Free and open to the public; registration required for in-person and online attendance. For more information, please visit the event webpage or email [email protected]. Please visit the Heyman’s Center website for directions. 

Hosted by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.