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Book Talk: “Algorithmic Reason" with Claudia Aradau and Tobias Blanke

Event: 2nd November 2022; 4pm (online)

Algorithmic Reason: The New Government of Self and Other

Claudia Aradau (King's College London) and Tobias Blanke (University of Amsterdam)

Are algorithms ruling the world today? Is artificial intelligence making life-and-death decisions? Are social media companies able to manipulate elections? As we are confronted with public and academic anxieties about unprecedented changes, this book offers a different analytical prism through which these transformations can be explored. Claudia Aradau and Tobias Blanke develop conceptual and methodological tools to understand how algorithmic operations shape the government of self and other. They explore the emergence of algorithmic reason through rationalities, materializations, and interventions, and trace how algorithmic rationalities of decomposition, recomposition, and partitioning are materialized in the construction of dangerous others, the power of platforms, and the production of economic value. The book provides a global trandisciplinary perspective on algorithmic operations, drawing on qualitative and digital methods to investigate controversies ranging from mass surveillance and the Cambridge Analytica scandal in the UK to predictive policing in the US, and from the use of facial recognition in China and drone targeting in Pakistan to the regulation of hate speech in Germany.

The book is open access and available via this link.


Claudia Aradau is Professor of International Politics in the Department of War Studies, King's College London. Her research has developed a critical political analysis of security practices at the intersection of international relations, political theory, and science and technology studies. She co-authored, with Rens van Munster, Politics of Catastrophe: Genealogies of the Unknown (Routledge, 2011) and co-edited, with Jef Huysmans, Andrew Neal, and Nadine Voelkner, of Critical Security Methods: New Frameworks for Analysis (Routledge, 2014). She is Principal Investigator of the ERC Grant '"SECURITY FLOWS", Enacting border security in the digital age: political worlds of data forms, flows and frictions'.

Tobias Blanke is Distinguished University Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Humanities at the University of Amsterdam and the Institute of Logic, Language, and Computation. He is also affiliated with King's College London as Professor of Social and Cultural Informatics. His academic background is in computer science and political philosophy. Blanke's principal research interests lie in artificial intelligence and big data devices for research, particularly in the human sciences. He has also extensively published on ethical questions of AI such as predictive policing and algorithmic othering, as well as critical digital practices, and the critique of digital platforms.




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