Thinking about the state of technology today necessarily means thinking about a number of interrelated but distinct entities. Considering the nuts and bolts of a news story in which, say, some corporate machine vision technology was found to be racially discriminatory can often mean having to study business practices, data sciences, specific suites of tools that can lay a claim to the moniker of AI, assemblages of hardware and software, platform infrastructures with machines slotted away in hot data-center basements in tax havens, human-computer interactions and perceptions, and academic/industry discourses within any of the aforementioned, not to mention the geopolitical and historical situation of it all, which may further call into question where, say, “American” literature can uniquely intersect with technologies splayed awkwardly across, and not always along, the traditional geopolitical and cultural fault lines. In such a scenario, the flag of “Critical AI and (American) Literature,” by its...
What Do We Critique When We Critique Technology?
Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal is Ruth and Paul Idzik College Chair in Digital Scholarship and Assistant Professor of English and Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. His research—situated at the crossroads of media theory, science and technology studies, and literary criticism—can be found in venues such as Critical Inquiry, Configurations, and Design Issues. His current book project, Rendering: A Political Diagrammatology of Computation, shows how our cultural narratives, politico-economic formulations, and epistemic beliefs get crystallized into computational hardware and software architectures.
Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal; What Do We Critique When We Critique Technology?. American Literature 1 June 2023; 95 (2): 305–319. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00029831-10575091
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