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How Human? Cyborgs, Robots, and Artificial Intelligence

Semester and Year SU 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1979
Section 001
Instructor Cyd Cipolla
Days TR
Time 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SCI


Session I: May 21 - July 1.


“Robots Are Coming for Your Job Sooner Than You Think,” declared VICE in a September headline. Two months later, physicist Stephen Hawking said AI could be the “worst event in the history of our civilization.” What do we make of these proclamations: is this pragmatism, or doom-and-gloom? What do our concerns about robots say about our own humanity? What does it mean to consider post-humanity when the definition of the “human” is unclear? In this course, we examine the changing boundaries between artificial and real bodies through readings in studies of science and technology, feminist theories of embodiment, studies of race and ethnicity, posthumanism, futurism, and science fiction. Topics include the machine/human boundary, potential machine futures, and the ethics of our technological present (and future). Students will also experiment with their own cyborg identity through the creation of a piece of wearable technology or an interactive object.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)