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Suzanne van Geuns, Seduction, Scripts, and Self-Improvement

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Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

Larkin Building, 2nd Floor

15 Devonshire Place

Toronto, ON M5S 1H8

Canada

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Suzanne Van Geuns joins the Centre to discuss "Seduction, Scripts, and Self-Improvement: Antifeminist Forums and the Cultural Legacy of AI."

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Suzanne Van Geuns, Seduction, Scripts, and Self-Improvement: Antifeminist Forums and the Cultural Legacy of AI (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

Debates about AI usually revolve around the futures AI applications enable and support, often neglecting how past visions of the AI future continue to shape culture today. Antifeminist ‘seduction’ forums are one example of AI’s cultural legacy. Such forums provide men with detailed procedural instructions: from ‘models’ for making women laugh at jokes, to a predetermined ‘ladder’ along which physical touch is to be ‘escalated’ gradually. Seduction instructions promise that men can conquer feminist indoctrination and become sexually successful alpha males by internalizing the proper scripts. This talk shows how the historical entanglement between cybernetics and cognitive psychology in early AI efforts reverberates in seduction instructions’ rhetorical tendency to imagine men as machines that need to be ‘re-programmed’ in order to improve themselves. Cultural visions of a future governed by ever-improving algorithms persist long after computational applications: seduction forums’ procedural and instructional approach to the ‘problem’ of feminism is inextricable from the imaginary horizon of AI.

Suzanne Van Geuns

University of Toronto

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04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

200 Larkin

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Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

Larkin Building, 2nd Floor

15 Devonshire Place

Toronto, ON M5S 1H8

Canada

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