Past Events

Summer term 2022 Lecture Series

Philosophy of AI: Optimist and Pessimist Views

Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently living another golden period. Recent progress in machine learning applications, such as image recognition and natural language processing, have raised the level of optimism that one day an AI can exhibit genuine intelligence. In games like Go and chess, human players have been surpassed by computers. As during earlier periods of AI optimism, there is increasing talk about domain-general artificial intelligence being possible. But just how intelligent are current AI’s, and what can we expect in the future? What will a world with an increasingly important role for AI’s be like? Which shifts with regard to the concept of intelligence as well as the societal order do these developments have? In this lecture series, we hear from speakers with different views on the present and future of AI research and the role of AI in society. We want to invite diverse discussion on AI and the many ways our lives are influenced by it. 

06.04.22Stefan Buijsman (TU Delft): Scientific Explanations from Machine Learning? (abstract)
13.04.22Steve Fuller (University of Warwick, c:o/re Fellow): What is the value-added of being human? The beginning of a conversation (abstract)
20.04.22Samuel Bianchini (ENS Arts et Design Paris): Behavioral Objects, Agonistic Objects. How and why to design art robotic objects fighting against and for their being conditions? (abstract)
27.04.22Ana Bazzan (c:o/re, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul): Traffic as a Socio-Technical System: Opportunities for AI (abstract)
04.05.22Jean Lassègue (EHESS Paris): Space, Literacy and Citizenship in the Digitalization of Law (abstract)
11.05.22Kim Guldstrand Larsen (Aalborg University): Explainable and Verifiable Machine Learning. A Grand Challenge for Computer Science (abstract)
18.05.22Jose Hernandez Orallo (Univèrsitat de Politècnica Valencia): Calibrating expectations about AI: A renewed endeavour towards the measurement of behaviour (abstract)
25.05.22Jakub Szymanik (University of Amsterdam): Reverse-engineering the Language of Thought.
01.06.22Ophelia Deroy (LMU Munich): How will humans treat AI? Or, Human social intelligence meets artificial intelligence (abstract)
15.06.22Lena Kästner (University of Bayreuth): Explaining AI Through the Scientific Perspective (abstract) – Cancelled!
28.06.22 (Tuesday!)Gabriele Gramelsberger (c:o/re) / Markus Rautzenberg (Folkwang University Essen): Mind the Game! AI and Computer Games – Cancelled!
13.07.22Joost-Pieter Katoen (RWTH Aachen University): Demystifying Probabilistic Programming (abstract)

Winter term 2021/22 Lecture Series

Cultures of Research – Digitalization of Research

Please find here the program to our 2021/22 lecture series “Cultures of Research – Digitalization of Research”. Thank you to all participants and our speakers.

01.12.21Joffrey Becker (Fellow c:o/re Aachen, Collège de France): Humans, Machines and the Anthropology of Cybernetic Practices
08.12.21Franck Varenne (Université Rouen Normandie): Computer Simulations Seen from the Standpoint of Symbols
15.12.21Bernd Carsten Stahl (Monfort University Leicester): Artificial Intelligence for a Better Future. An Ecosystem Perspective on the Ethics of AI and Emerging Digital Technologies
12.01.22Johannes Lenhard (TU Kaiserslautern): Traveling with TARDIS. Prediction, Parameterization, and Ontology in Molecular Modeling and Simulation
19.01.22Markus Pantsar (Fellow c:o/re Aachen, University of Helsinki): Developing Artificial Human-Like Numerical Cognition (and Why)
26.01.22Alexandre Hocquet (Fellow c:o/re Aachen, Archives Henri Poincaré): “Only the Initiates Will Have the Secrets Revealed”. The Politics and Materialities of Open Science
02.02.22Jobst Landgrebe (Founder Cognotekt Köln): Certifiable ‘Artificial Intelligence’ for Reliable Systems


Parameters and Computer Simulations

organized by Alexandre Hocquet

WHEN: January 12th and 13th, 2022 I WHERE: RWTH Aachen University, Theaterplatz 14, room 303 and online

The workshop explores the role of software and code in computational research. Alexandre Hocquet (Archives Henri-Pointcaré, c:o/re) and Frédéric Wieber (Archives Henri-Pointcaré) will give a talk on “Software as the Elephant in the Room”. The presentation is followed by commentaries by Gabriele Gramelsberger (c:o/re director) and Johannes Lenhard (TU Kaiserslautern). In the evening, Johannes Lenhard gives a talk on “Traveling with TARDIS. Prediction, Parameterization, and Ontology in Molecular Modelling and Simulation” as part of the c:o/re Lecture Series “Cultures of Research – Digitalization of Research“. As part of the workshop, the group is working on a Panel proposal for for SPSP Conference in 2022.

Explainable AI and explanations in AI

organized by Markus Pantsar and Frederik Stjernfelt

WHEN: February 2nd to 3rd, 2022 I WHERE: RWTH Aachen University, Theaterplatz 14, room 303 and online

The objective of the event is to explore the functions of AI and its relationship to humans. The workshop pays attention particularly to the analogies which characterize intelligent systems design and to the mental processes they give rise to. Leaning on ethnographic case studies, it tries to show that intelligent systems are devices of a recursive kind which convey norms, representations and various ideas about the life processes and the social relations they intend to imitate. As part of the workshop, Jobst Landgrebe (Founder Cognotekt Köln) gives a talk on “Certifiable ‘Artificial Intelligence’ for Reliable Systems” within the c:o/re Lecture Series “Cultures of Research – Digitalization of Research“.

Confirmed speakers are: Jobst Landgrebe (Cognotekt Köln), Markus Pantsar (University of Helsinki, c:o/re), Frederik Stjernfelt (Aalborg University Copenhagen, c:o/re), Joffrey Becker (Laboratoire d‘Anthropologie Sociale, c:o/re), Daniel Wenz (CSS Lab RWTH Aachen), and Andreas Kaminski (High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart).

Computational Reproducibility and Open Science

organized by Alexandre Hocquet

WHEN: March 23rd & 24th, 2022 I WHERE: FZ Jülich & c:o/re Aachen, Theaterstr. 75 (Stadtpalais)

The workshop is part of the “Engineering Practices” Series in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University.

Interdisciplinary Research in Robotics and AI

organized by Joffrey Becker

WHEN: April 20th, 2022 I WHERE: Theaterstraße 75 and online

This event is planned as a short workshop that brings together different experts on the topic of Robotics and AI.

Enlightenment Now!

organized by Steve Fuller and Frederik Stjernfelt

WHEN: April 21st, 2022 I WHERE: Theaterstraße 75 and online

In this seminar, we would like to draw a line between recent intense research into the intellectual history of the Enlightenment and our present situation. What would Radical Enlightenment mean today? How would a 17-18th century Enlightenment view on our present predicament look like? – given pressing issues of academia today, the fate of the universities, the development of AI, tech, the new West-East cold war, populism, globalization, post/trans humanism, the future of humanity?

Beside talks by c:o/re Fellows Frederik Stjernfelt and Steve Fuller, the seminar will include contributions by historian Jonathan Israel (Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton), Rens Bod, professor of Digital Humanities and History of the Humanities (Amsterdam) and scholar of cultural studies Cheryce von Xylander (Lüneburg).

Check out the program and learn more about the talks:

The Human Measure and the Measure of all Minds

organized by Steve Fuller

WHEN: May 18th to 19th, 2022 I WHERE: Theaterstraße 75 and online

The workshop addresses the big questions that post- and transhumanism are tackling with: What does it mean to be ‘human’? To what extent does being human depend on the existence of the ‘non-human’? Can a being transition in and out of being ‘human’? Can qualities such as mentality and personhood, which have been seen as distinctly human, be realized – perhaps even more fully – in non-human beings? The workshop title is inspired by Jose Hernandez Orallo who will also give a presentation.

An opening statement on the topic of the workshop by Steve Fuller can be found in our blog.

The Use of Networks in Humanities and Social Sciences. Model, Metaphor, Method

WHEN: May 30th to June 1st, 2022 I WHERE: Theaterstraße 75 and online

organized by Ana Bazzan with Phillip H. Roth and Alin Olteanu

The workshop charts the use of networks in humanities and social sciences and the consequences of their use for the way we perceive and understand science, society and the world.

Lecture: An-Archaeology and Spectral Realism

with Hilan Bensusan

WHEN: 14 June 2022, 17h I WHERE: Theaterstr. 75 (Statdpalais), and online

An-archaeology is a procedure to reshape the official foundational accounts of thought through adding virtual and counterfactual narratives. It springs from a certain mistrust in the capacity of any starting point to ground what comes next – and from the idea that no beginning is oblivious to its others. As such it is an attempt to think through the unruled; it comes close to what Emmanuel Levinas meant when he wrote “true as only fiction can be”.

Spectral realism is the belief in what haunts – even though, as Juliana Martinez professes, it is worth paying more attention to the haunting than to the ghost. It is an attempt to look towards the past through its effects in lores, traumas, inheritances and recurrent images. Saidya Hartman is engaging with specters when she tries to narrate what the past has systematically obliterated. Spectral realism is a stance towards the memory according to which the past is its salient mode of existence.

Both endeavors relate to the Aristotelian quest for the drawing line between remembering and imagining. Both draw on how memory cannot be thought through without the mutual imbrication of retention and retrieval – to refer to the main characters of the philosophy of memory that John Locke once rehearsed. This talk will explore what both an-archaeology and spectral realism have to say together about the past and what we could do with it.

Art’s Realism in the Post-Truth Era

organized by Amanda Boetzkes

WHEN: June 21st to 23rd, 2022 I WHERE: Theaterstraße 67 (Haus Matthéy) and Theaterstraße 75 (Stadtpalais)

The last decade has seen a growing preoccupation with philosophies of realism from artists, curators, theorists and historians. But while the arts benefit from this domain of philosophical inquiry, the reverse is also true: the significance of realism in an era characterized by global warming, migrations, and fake news can only be fully understood by attending to the ways that art mediates, visualizes, and even shapes reality. Taking art’s constitutive relationship to realism seriously, this workshop intervenes on contemporary debates about realism by demonstrating that the arts do not simply illustrate philosophical theories, they require its redefinition. The contributors will demonstrate such reconceptualizations of realism and through its aesthetic dimensions not only in the visual arts, but also in sound art, performance and scientific imaging. Bringing together advanced scholars from art history, media studies,philosophy, literature and visual arts, the workshop foregrounds the importance of art’s realism in a global ecology that crosses the boundaries of discipline and medium.

Open Scholarship, Responsible Innovation and Anticipatory Governance

organized by René von Schomberg and Andoni Ibarra

WHEN: June 29th to 30th, 2022 I WHERE: Theaterstr. 75 (Stadtpalais) & online

The workshop tackles some ‘lead questions’ in open science, responsible innovation and anticipatory governance. Some of those are: Can open scholarship make science more reliable, responsive, credible and inclusive? And does open scholarship lead to a better scientific practice? How should open scholarship be incentivised? What is the significance of anticipatory governance for open science and responsible research and innovation? How do we conceptualize “anticipation” in such a way that it leads to open anticipatory governance? How can we assess anticipatory governance?

These and other questions will be discussed at an open round table.