Humanities@Home: What Does AI Mean for Literature?


For the first time in human history, we have invented machines that can produce essays, poems, plays, and short stories that are often as well written as human authored texts. How should we react to these machine-authored works? Dr. Katherine N. Hayles will explore some literary strategies appropriate for thinking about these texts and some of the broader implications of Large Language Models and Generative AI for literature and reading.

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For 50 years, New Hampshire Humanities has been connecting people to culture, history, places, ideas, and one another. Each month, Humanities@Home will highlight a topic that NHH addressed during its history that still resonates today. In 1988 and 1991, NHH ran “In the Beginning: Word, Text, Culture” and “Making Words, Interpreting Culture: A History of Writing and Reading,” which explored the place and value of written language and print. 1991 was also the year that Berners-Lee released his World Wide Web software, and the internet became publicly available. Today, writing and reading continue to be vitally important to our understanding of humanity, especially as we teach computers to reason and create.

About the presenter: N. Katherine Hayles is the Distinguished Research Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the James B. Duke Professor Emerita from Duke University. Her research focuses on the relations of literature, science and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries. She has published twelve print books, in addition to over 100 peer-reviewed articles and her books have won several prizes, including The Rene Wellek Award for the Best Book in Literary Theory for How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Literature, Cybernetics and Informatics. She has been recognized by many fellowships and awards, including two NEH Fellowships and a Guggenheim. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is currently at work on Technosymbiosis: Futures of the Human.

Event Details


Friday, March 8, 2024 5:00pm



Concord NH 03301

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New Hampshire Humanities

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