Workshop 1: Human Obsolescence

This workshop took place on January 20 2017 and focused on forms of cognitive
automation that inspire contemporary concern about a ‘rise of the robots’, anxiety
concerning the replacement of human labour by computational processes, algorithms
and machine learning. Methods and resources evaluated here data-led analysis of big data and automation anxiety as an historical topos.

Schedule for the day and abstracts:

9.00 Tea / Coffee
9.30 Workshop Introduction
10.00 Round Table: Automation and Work

Karen Gregory (Edinburgh), ‘UBI: A Rubric for Analysis

Matthew Willis (Oxford Internet Institute), ‘Human Labour and Automation in Healthcare

Patrick Crogan (UWE Bristol), Phil D Hall (Elzware) and Rik Lander (UWE Bristol), ‘The Echoborg Media Art Project

Chair: Rachel Thomson (Sussex)

11.30 Tea / Coffee
11.50 Round Table: Automation Now and Then

Caroline Bassett (Sussex), ‘The first time as argument: automation fever in the 1960s

Ben Roberts (Sussex), ‘Automation, Utopia and Postcapitalism

Chair: Sharon Webb (Sussex)

12.50 Lunch in MFM Social Space, Third Floor
13.50 Digital Methods Workshop: Sixties and Contemporary Automation Texts

Led by David Weir and Jack Pay (Text Analysis Group, Sussex)

15.20 Tea / Coffee
15.40 Round Table: Automation, Thought and Method

Gerald Moore (Durham), ‘Automations, Economic and Nervous

Eric Meyer (Oxford Internet Institute), ‘The Algorithmic Academic

Dominic Smith (Dundee), ‘Redirecting Automation Anxiety: Is Philosophy of Technology Deeply Biased and Complacent on Automation?

Chair: Beatrice Fazi (Sussex)

17.10 Wrap Up / Drinks in the MFM Social Space
17.50 Performance: ‘Job Vacancy: Echoborg’