The era of artificial intelligence and the merging of human and machine: new perspectives of humanistic and socio-pedagogical knowledge.

September 19, 2024 - September 21, 2024
DISSUF, University of Sassari


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The speed of socio-cultural transformations resulting from the advent of the internet, social media and artificial intelligence together with the presence of growing economic interests around data traffic poses serious questions regarding the sustainability of these changes, which have and will have increasingly an impact on the development of cognitive, critical and participation skills in the public sphere of future generations. Alongside optimistic considerations on these technologies, which allow access to enormous quantities of data and communication almost without space-time boundaries, the dysfunctions linked to an uncritical use of the internet resource are increasingly evident. Artificial intelligence is able to process a mass of data that grows every day through the browsing of individual users (it is estimated that today the same mass of data is archived in two days that has been archived since the dawn of civilization to 2003, i.e. 5 million gygabite) which allows us to establish unthinkable correlations and provide very useful services ranging from simple search engines to our interactions on social media, from the choice of a purchase to the selection of political information up to, even, to medical diagnostics. However, this powerful tool has a strong impact on our ability to decide, argue reasons, dialogue with others and experience public and social space. The fundamental theme of this conference is to understand what remains purely human in the era of human machine merging. On the one hand, the more purely humanistic disciplines will have to update their way of using and understanding human resources through their digitalization. In this sense, the digital resource allows an extension of the possibility of using and studying digital documents, artistic works, architectural spaces and archives. The new frontier of the human sciences is now defined as digital humanities and scholars of these disciplines will increasingly have to develop skills in the use of digital resources to keep up with the times. The very notions of memory, historical memory and human civilization find themselves having to be rethought starting from considerations on the development of the web and the hyperconnection of users. Pedagogical practice also changes due to the increasingly massive use of devices connected to the internet by young people, what changes their way of interfacing with others, with the world and with knowledge. The philosophical disciplines instead question themselves, more critically, on how thought, cognitive abilities and participation in the social, political and economic space change with the increasingly massive use of algorithms that perform the function of filtering digital information and therefore of our ability to decide and develop an autonomous awareness of the practical-relational universe. This conference aims at investigating the social, political, cognitive, pedagogical and use of human resources consequences of that phenomenon which is generically defined as human machine integration.

Provisional list of confirmed invited speakers:

Luisa Damiano (Milan)

Marco Giunti (Cagliari)

Federica Malfatti (Innsbruck)

Sergio Micali (Boston)

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