History Colloquium: Massimo Mazzotti’s “Algorithmic Life”

16 Apr 2018
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

3335 Dwinelle Hall

Event Type
Non-CSTMS Event

Massimo Mazzotti

This History colloquium will discuss an essay that came out last year in the LA Review of Books. It is my first step into a new project on the history of automation. The essay maps what I see as some key issues and promising lines of research. In particular, I’m interested in figuring out what is the specific contribution that historians can bring to current discussions on data, algorithms, and automation. So far, the historical dimension has been remarkably absent from such discussions (unlike, say, the economic, sociological, or ethnographic dimension). The essay aimed also at engaging historians themselves. My goals are indeed twofold: 1) arguing that the processes of quantification and automation powered by digital algorithms are constitutive of social life; 2) turning digital algorithms into historical objects (How can it be done? What is the payoff?). Your feedback at this early stage of the project would be enormously appreciated.

This event is sponsored by: History Department

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