Mary Shelley’s famous invocation of human experimentation gone wrong is 200 years old, but remains as vibrant an analysis of the human implication of scientific insight as it did when it was first published; perhaps more so in an age on the verge of breakthroughs in both AI and bioengineering. This conference will approach the intersections of intelligence, life, and the human from a unique perspective, through the concept and practice of the “experiment,” both today and in the past.
Since the incorporation of the Royal Society in the 1660s, the experiment has been a central locus of both knowledge creation and design in our cultures and societies. Poets, engineers, scholars, entrepreneurs, and scientists all conduct experiments, and have done so for centuries. Today, experiment embraces information and data in new ways to create a host of new devices and vehicles. In this era of emerging AI, it is timely to ask practitioners in all these fields to reflect on what it means to “experiment.”
Sponsored by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, and Department of English Language and Literature.