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DSI Lecture Series | Predictions Without Futures / Of Cosmograms and Clockwork

Sun-ha Hong in Conversation with John Cheney-Lippold
Tuesday, February 20, 2024
4:00-5:30 PM
Room 1040 (Multipurpose Room) LSA Building Map
Our dominant technological futures help maintain decrepit horizons of the social. As Brecht once observed: "I stood on a hill and I saw the Old approaching, but it came as the New." Prediction supplies a powerful conceptual model for this dynamic of stasis through disruption by connecting the technical conceit of predictivity (that criminality or emotion can be anticipated through data-driven modeling) with the mythological use of prediction (where history is an extrapolation of known technological advancements). Drawing from theories of ritual and experiment, I examine the demonstrative, belief-building work that prediction does - from 18th century automata of Defecating Ducks to Amazon warehouses, from the 1956 Dartmouth Conference to the 10,000 Year Clock. What we call "tech" today serves as a legitimising function for capital, and crucial to this function is the active foreclosure of any political future other than more of the same.

Sun-ha Hong examines forms of uncertainty, doubt and (dis)belief around surveillance, smart machines & AI from critical and historical perspectives. He is Assistant Professor in Communication at Simon Fraser University, Canada, and was previously Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at MIT. Sun-ha is the author of Technologies of Speculation: The Limits of Knowledge in a Data-Driven Society (2020), and is working on his next book, Predictions Without Futures.

This will be a hybrid event, with options for both in-person and virtual attendance.

Register here to attend in-person: https://myumi.ch/PrVPV

Register here to attend virtually: https://bit.ly/46TsaCc

CART will be provided. If you anticipate needing accommodations to participate, please email Eric Mancini at dsi-administration@umich.edu. Please note that some accommodations must be arranged in advance and we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.

This event is co-sponsored by the following units:

Department of American Culture
Department of Communication & Media
Department of Film, Television, and Media
Center for Ethics, Society, and Computing
Science, Technology, and Society Program
Science, Technology, & Public Policy Program
Building: LSA Building
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: digital, Digital Culture, Digital Cultures, digital humanities, Digital Media, Digital Studies, Digital Studies Institute, digital technology, digitalization, digitization
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Digital Studies Institute, Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program, Department of Film, Television, and Media, Department of American Culture, Science, Technology & Society, Communication and Media

To submit an event to our calendar, please send an e-mail to dsi-administration@umich.edu.