Graduate Seminar: “The Semiotics of Artificial Intelligence”, University of Turin / Shanghai University (Shanghai, 21 June – 2 July, 2021)

Graduate Seminar, Shanghai University

Massimo LEONE & FACETS, University of Turin / Shanghai University

Shanghai, 21 June 2021 – 2 July 2021

Seminar Contents

Artificial intelligence is increasingly present in contemporary human existence. Its applications are everywhere, in private as well as in public life, in entertainment as well as in education. The course aims at interrogating the various signs, languages, and texts that compose artificial intelligence and its interaction with human beings. Specifically, the course seeks to familiarize participants with the most established theories and methods of digital semiotics, and to transmit interpretive sensibility and skills to those who mean to work in the world of AI-based communication. The central question of the course is: what is the status of meaning and language in artificial intelligence and in its interaction with human cognition, behaviors, desires, and needs?

At the end of the course, students a) will know the essentials of semiotic theory as applied to digital communication and will be able to understand the semio-linguistic characteristics of complex communicative phenomena and artifacts involving artificial intelligence; b) will be capable of applying the methods of semiotics to the analysis of various kinds of signs and texts revolving around artificial intelligence, with particular reference to the world of present-day communication and media; c) will develop the ability of autonomously interpreting the semiotic ideologies behind the algorithms of AI; d) will perfect the capacity to formulate and expose their interpretations in a technical language, suitable for a professional audience; they will also train in the comprehension of the technical English of digital semiotics; e) will be put in contact with a new discipline, thus bettering their comprehension skills in English.

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