Deep Humanities Symposium & Student Poster Session – May 1

Frankenstein 200 LogoIntroductionDr. Shannon Miller, Dean, College of Humanities & the Arts, San Jose State University

Organizer: Dr. Revathi Krishnaswamy, Professor, Department of English & Comparative Literature, San Jose State University


King Library, Room 225/229 – Free & open to the public (SJSU Parking & Directions to SJSU)
Follow us on Twitter @Frank200yrs
Follow the live-tweeting hashtag: #deephumanities

10-12pm, Panel 1 moderated by Dr. Revathi Krishnaswamy. This moderated panel focuses on the integration of Humanities & Arts into the way artificial intelligence is conceived and contributes to “human-centered design,” and more based on the panelists’ interests


  • Dr. Daniel Susser (Philosophy, SJSU – privacy & data ethics)
  • Dr. Janet Stemwedel (Philosophy, SJSU – ethics in science)
  • Dr. Winncy Du (Director of the Robotics, Sensor, and Machine Intelligence Laboratory, SJSU)
  • Andrew Blanton (Digital Media Arts)
  • Neeti Mehta (VP, Brand Strategy & Initiatives, Automation Anywhere – Role of AI in Organisations and Ethics in Corporations)

Student Poster Session: 12-2pm, During the break between panels, this poster session takes place after the first panel & lasts for 2 hours with up to 50 students drawn from classes all over San Jose State University with posters focusing on the larger contemporary context of science, technology, artificial intelligence, and/or Silicon Valley. (See Call for Posters & Pedagogical Resources for Student Poster Session)

2-4pm, Panel 2 moderated by Dr. Katherine D. Harris. This moderated conversation focuses on building algorithms powered by emotional data, algorithmic bias, use of inclusive design methodology, and human-centered design from a multi-disciplinary point of view.


  • Dr. Anand Vaidya (Philosophy, SJSU – embodied cognition & robotics)
  • Dr. Claire Komives (Chemical Eng/Biomedical Ethics, SJSU)
  • Martin Ford (author of Rise of the RobotsTED Talk)
  • Rhonda Holberton (Digital Media Arts, SJSU — technology & bodies)
  • Manjula Menon, (fiction author; Physics, Electrical Engineering, Finance)

7pm, Talk by Martin FordDisruptive Technology Do Robots Want Your Job? @ The Tech Museum of Innovation

What is “Deep Humanities”? 

– By Revathi Krishnaswamy –

Silicon Valley’s tech titans have not only dazzled us with their brilliant technological inventions and innovations, but also captivated us with their idealistic talk of social justice and utopian visions of a brave new world.  For decades, the immense economic, political, and cultural power of Silicon Valley has gone largely unquestioned.  But the alarming invasion of privacy, “fake news,” sexual harassment and discrimination, have raised a number of urgent questions about the Valley’s tech titans.  Is Silicon Valley really promoting social justice or rapidly widening the gulf between the haves and the have-nots?  Are the tech titans creating inclusive communities or embracing a radical libertarian individualism hostile to women and other minorities? Are they optimizing for profit and disrupting for dominance at the expense of democracy, civility, morality, ethics, and empathy? Is Silicon Valley the answer to humanity’s problems or a threat to humanity as we know it? How are artificial intelligence (“AI”) and other emerging technologies redefining what it means to be human in the digital age?  What role can the humanities play in making technological innovation human centered?

All too often, the Humanities and Arts are reduced to “soft skills,” “business ethics” and “product design” while humanistic traditions of creativity and contemplation are appropriated to boost productivity and profit. But as technology changes what it means and how it means to be human, we need to redefine H&A’s relationship to tech and integrate/embed the Humanities/Arts deeply into every aspect of tech, from conception, design, and development to use, abuse, and disposal. Paralleling the notion of deep learning in computer science, the concept of Deep Humanities deals with the deep structures of culture, communication, and interpretation, networks of affect, belief and bias, representations of cognition and consciousness, as well as theoretical models of ethics, aesthetics, and humanism.  As such,“Deep Humanities and Deep Arts” aims to bring our cumulative accumulated knowledge about the practice of being human to engage the urgent issues raised by emerging technologies and the tech industry including:

Bias — not only social or cultural bias but also algorithmic bias

Design — affective, empathic, inclusive, and human centered approaches to design.  

Ethics – ethical ways of conceiving and connecting human with nonhuman

Culture —  not as a stable set of practices to be manipulated or overcome, but as a dynamic site of struggle for meaning

2 thoughts on “Deep Humanities Symposium & Student Poster Session – May 1”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s