FHI & CMAC Virtual Talk: Synthesis in Generative AI

M. Beatrice Fazi
Dr. M. Beatrice Fazi
NOTE: This is a virtual talk; audience members are welcome to connect from their own device --or-- convene in Smith Warehouse @ 11:45am for lunch prior to lecture at noon.

Dr. M. Beatrice Fazi
Reader in Digital Humanities in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities
University of Sussex, U.K.

Monday, April 8, 2024
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Smith Warehouse, Bay 4, C104

Zoom link:  https://duke.zoom.us/j/99700461887

Much has been written about the generative potential of contemporary large language models and the applications they power. Less, however, has been said about the synthetic aspects of these systems, or on how their creative effects might depend on a capacity to synthesise. This talk will focus on the concept of "synthesis" to address it philosophically. It will discuss as "synthetic" not what artificial intelligence (AI) generates (that it, its outputs) but rather the processes that AI employs to produce these outputs. Synthesis in generative AI will then be understood as a search for unity that is fundamental to the making of a representational reality.

M. Beatrice Fazi is Reader in Digital Humanities in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Her primary areas of expertise are the philosophy of computation, the philosophy of technology and the emerging field of media philosophy. Her research focuses on the ontologies and epistemologies produced by contemporary technoscience, particularly in relation to issues in artificial intelligence and computation and to their impact on culture and society. She has published extensively on the limits and potentialities of the computational method, on digital aesthetics and on the automation of thought. Her monograph Contingent Computation: Abstraction, Experience, and Indeterminacy in Computational Aesthetics was published by Rowman & Littlefield International in 2018.

Organizers:  The Critical Machine Learning Studies Working Group
Co-Sponsors:  Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) and the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures (CMAC) PhD program