Home About Subscribe Search Member Area

Humanist Discussion Group

< Back to Volume 33

Humanist Archives: June 2, 2019, 6:02 a.m. Humanist 33.63 - the space in-between

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 63.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-06-01 05:52:04+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty 
        Subject: the space in-between

Thanks to Jim Rovira for a good statement of our current ignorance about 
what an artificial intelligence would be or require. (I like to think in 
terms of one fully realised in its own terms rather than ours.) I was 
addressing the question of what we digitally preoccupied scholars,
technicians and scholar-technicians in the human sciences do at this
point to get further with that question, with turning our questions into 
better ones. I think we can do more than just sit and wait for others, 
e.g. the cognitive scientists, though paying attention to them is indeed 
part of the way beyond where we are.

So let me ask a methodological question: how do we probe a subject about
which little can be known at this point, or perhaps ever? (I note the
urgency of having something intelligent to say about research and
engineering that almost certainly will affect us all significantly.) The
old, indeed likely primaeval approach is to proceed by analogy. Where
else do we find the question I raised being asked, or if not asked then
even implicitly raised? Where else have scholars worked on situations in
which humans figure things out by means of manipulable things? How far
have they managed to go, and what have they discovered, or what
impediments have they encountered? If, as I believe, we must look
outside of the European-American cultural orbit and beyond the present
time, i.e. anthropologically and historically, then what sort of
activities come into focus, and what do we know about them?

Here, I think, is a golden opportunity to do some good in the world as
scholars who are uniquely positioned to address the purblindness in 
which Big Industry is working.

More comments?

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
(www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org)

Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted
List posts to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org
Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/
Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php

Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
Software designer: Malgosia Askanas (Mind-Crafts)

This site is maintained under a service level agreement by King's Digital Lab.