Reading the Algorithm

This course seeks to define the algorithm in terms of its cultural shadow, incorporating computational as well as philosophical understandings of how technical systems shape human activity to understand the stories we tell ourselves about algorithms. Students will learn a toolkit for “algorithmic reading” which they can use to analyze a modern algorithm and its footprint in society. The class will feature reading and writing assignments centered on science fiction, popular and news articles, and social media/other artifact analysis. 


Enter the Algorithm 


Turing Test

Laws and Languages

Deep Learning 

Relating to AI

Data and Noise

Black boxes

Second Order Cybernetics

Ethics of Search

Speculative Machine Ethics

Identities and Privacy

Material Production of Algorithms

Speculative Futures

Close Reading in the Age of Machines

Creativity and Imagination

Creativity and Imagination II

Culture Machines

Horizons of Machine Learning