Dr. Teresa Heffernan (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax) is scheduled to give a public lecture January 17, 2018 at the University of King’s College on “Imagining Automatons: Images of Robots in Fiction and Science.”
News headlines, government reports, scientific journals, and museums often use fiction to frame discussions of the robotics and artificial intelligence industry, implying a direct trajectory between the fiction and the science. Yet when it comes to real-world policies, the literary imagination is marginalized in discussions of a technological future with the oft-voiced argument that we need to keep the “fiction” out of science. There are all sorts of ways in which fiction and art more generally are mobilized in the service of the robotics/AI industry in order to prove the “creativity” and autonomy of artificial intelligence; what gets shut down, however, is the critical potential of art. Resisting the tendency to read science as fiction coming true, Dr. Heffernan will consider the very different ways science and fiction imagine robots, artificial intelligence, and technological futures.
When/Where: 7:00 PM, January 17 at Alumni Hall, University of King’s College, Halifax.