Artificial Humanities: The Case of Language in AI

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
4:10 pm to 5:15 pm PST

Nina Beguš

In this talk, Nina Beguš will introduce “artificial humanities,” an approach that integrates the study of humanities into the creation of technologies. Beguš will present three case studies to demonstrate how humanities can offer crucial insights for our understanding of the concept of language in AI, focusing on virtual assistants and large language models. Beguš will examine how social epistemology of fiction plays a role in the way we imagine and build technology. This approach uncovers conceptual limitations of technology that predominantly focuses on the human model. Beguš will propose an alternative approach: equipped with historical and conceptual knowledge, humanities can help build technologies by forging a perspective that goes beyond the human.

Nina Beguš is a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley’s Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society. She holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University (2020) during which she spent a year at the University of Washington School of Medicine. As a senior researcher at the Berggruen Institute and the ToftH program, she consulted on AI for big tech companies and collaborated with an earth system science group in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In her first book on language in AI (under contract with the University of Michigan Press), she argues for an active engagement of the humanities in the creation of novel technologies.

Black and white headshot of Nina Beguš
Nina Beguš


If you have questions about this event, please contact Peter Marchetti.

Profile profile for pmarchetti

Peter Marchetti
Academic Personnel Manager
102 South Hall

Last updated:

March 9, 2023