What Makes Us "Human" in the Digital Age? A CHR & IDIA Joint Symposium

Friday, October 20, 2023 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Horizon Hall 2014

What Makes Us "Human" in the Digital Age? A CHR & IDIA Joint Symposium

Register for the symposium

The Center for Humanities Research (CHR) is partnering with the Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA) to bring faculty from across George Mason University to engage on some of the thorniest, transdisciplinary problems of our times that must be addressed both humanistically and technologically.

This CHR-IDIA partnership launches in October 2023 with a symposium that will feature two panel discussions, each of which brings together faculty members from the humanities, computing, and engineering to debate consequential questions. Together, panelists, moderators and attendees will take up fundamental questions about the status of both “the human” as a concept, and actual humans, in the digital age.

Where does the human end and the computer begin? Or might we more accurately theorize a human-machine continuum? Is “the human” an outmoded or necessary category? How are culturally informed categories that constitute the human--like gender, sexuality and race--at stake in human-technology relationships? And finally, what role does language, in its various iterations, play in constituting both the human and the machine? By taking up these questions, this symposium engages directly with the CHR’s annual theme for AY 2023-4, “Democracy, Disposability, Repair.” Two panel discussions around this theme will be the first in what we hope will be a series of CHR/IDIA discussions and events.

Event Schedule:

1 pm Opening remarks (Ken Walsh, Alison Landsberg, Amarda Shehu)

1:15 pm Panel One: "What Makes Us Human in the Digital Age?” (moderated by Alison Landsberg)

2:30 Panel One Q&A

3:00 pm Panel Two: "Language and Humans in the Age of Chatbots” (moderated by Amarda Shehu)

4:15 pm Panel Two Q&A

4:45 pm Closing

A light reception, generously sponsored by Mason's Institute for Digital InnovAtion and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will follow.

Register for the symposium

Add this event to your calendar