The Intelligence of Algorithms — before Electronic Computers
Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute
May 1, 2018 · 4:30 pm—6:00 pm · 106 McCormick
Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities and Eberhard L. Faber 1915 Memorial Fund in the Humanities Council
During the first age of mechanical calculation, roughly 1870-1970, humans and machines in astronomical observatories, government census bureaus, and insurance offices worked in tandem to reimagine one of the most ancient forms of human intelligence: how to calculate. What resulted was not an early form of Artificial Intelligence. Instead, the shift from human to mechanical calculation created new forms of intelligence as well as a tight connection between algorithms and the division of labor that has persisted ever since.