23 February 2022 10:00 KST
Mél Hogan (University of Calgary)
As media objects, the ‘data center’ and ‘the cloud’ serve as a kind of oracle; they are buildings that embody much of the hype and many of the anxieties that stem from our now globally wired planet, as well as our growing dependence on all things that enable this new way of life during times of growing political unrest and climate catastrophes. In this presentation, I speculate on what the cloud/data center – as the global nervous system and pulse of the world – is rendering material through advancements in highthroughput-science, artificial intelligence, machine-learning, etc, all in a culture led by influencers and brogrammers. I use AI and emotions (EQ) as a case study to better understand our current communications infrastructure, and, ultimately, what these hint to about our planetary futures.
Dr. Mél Hogan is Director of the Environmental Media Lab (EML) and Associate Professor in Communication, Media and Film, University of Calgary (Canada). Her research is situated in Critical Studies of the Cloud: Big Tech fantasies about the ‘code of life’ (genomics) and the ‘code of death’ (digital afterlives) – each understood from within the contexts of planetary catastrophe and collective anxieties about the future.