Posthuman Pedagogy – Think Like a Robot

Think like a Robot Think like an Octopus Think like Skynet

See http://atate.org/mscel/think/

When discussing the nature of an individual’s beliefs about intelligence, knowledge or the learning process, I have noticed in a number of discussion forum threads on EDEDC and ULOE11 where it can be a useful device to put oneself into the position of an artificial intelligence agent, knowledge-based computer system or a robot. Or go further and think like a creature, or even a disembodied network.

Please add any comments you have here.

Comments
  • Jeremy Keith Knox says:

    Great work Austin. I like how you have posed the ‘artificial’, the ‘animal’ (both contestable terms), and the network as frameworks with which to consider notions of ‘being’ and the nature of knowledge. I’d certainly like to be part of such a conversation!

    It does, however, get me thinking about objectivity. To what extent can we really perceive beyond the cultural knowledge and sensory receptors available to us? I wonder, can we really think *as* a non-human, not just *about* a non-human? Furthermore, is the project of posthumanism about achieving an objective viewpoint, an anti-human perspective on thought, being or knowledge?

  • Austin Tate says:

    I think our “embodiment” does give us a “context” that it is difficult to escape from… let alone our cultural indoctrination. But we can try. I thought it was disappointing that some authors who argue the value of embodiment did not take on some sort of argumentation like that rather than just making culturally narrow assertions. Maybe there is such literature?

    I do think we are equipped with a brain that allows us to creatively “project” our identity into another frame of mind. This is something I am exploring in my EDEDC final assignment. You can take a peek at http://atate.org/ai/pi/

  • Jeremy makes a good point about how objective our perspective can be, but I’d agree with Austin that we can try to imagine different embodiments. In fact I’d argue that as technology changes us, we are continually experiencing a modified state of consciousness and a new and plastic embodiment. Carol and I were discussing something similar last week and came to the conclusion that in many ways, the prefix “post” could be considered redundant given the fact that humanity is continually undergoing some type of change. Not sure that I could ever imagine myself as Skynet though Austin! To be completely disconnected from physical reality would be beyond uncanny and downright strange. A thought provoking piece, thanks!!

  • Grace Elliott says:

    Not unlike the adage, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Not an easy quest Austin. I think I could manage the robot but not the other two …but maybe I’m jus not trying hard enough or lack the imagination. I like the idea of them having a conversation Jeremy – so funny. :) Daniel’s right, a very thought provoking piece indeed.