Alix Rübsaam

Faculty Fellow

Posthumanism, Artificial Intelligence

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Areas of Expertise

Ethics  •  Disruption  •  Artificial Intelligence

About Alix

Alix Rübsaam is a researcher in philosophy of technology, cultural analysis, and posthumanism. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA). There, she researches the collaboration between human and nonhuman (technological) agents at the intersection of humans and computational systems. As a Faculty Fellow at Singularity University she investigates the societal and cultural impact of exponential technologies. Her focus is on changing ideas about humanity in technological contexts such as Artificial Intelligence, (autonomous) robotics, information technologies, and digital environments. Additionally, Alix has written about cyberpunk and science fiction literature, autonomous weapons, and embodied robotics. She has an MA in Cultural Analysis and has graduated from Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program in 2015. Her most recent publication is a chapter in Augmented Intelligence: The Future of Work and Learning (2018).

Being Human in the digital age | SingularityU Mexico Summit

Speaking Topics

  • Critical Thinking, Decision Making & Ethics

    This interactive series on critical thinking, decision making, and ethics in the age of exponential technologies consists of three modules. Module 1 (Information) and 2 (Computation) can also be delivered as standalone sessions, Module 3 (Personalization) needs participants to have seen Module 1 and 2 (but not necessarily immediately before). For breakdown of specific modules, see below.
    90-180 mins + (optional) additional 60 (3 x 20) mins for interactive and active learning components

  • Module 1: Information - Making Sense of Abundant Information

    Converging exponential technologies have radically changed our relation to information. As available insights continue to increase and data-processing technologies become ever cheaper, we need a new skill set to make sense of this abundance of information. This interactive talk explores the shift of in how we build knowledge, and the skills we need to address this shift.
    20-40 mins + (optional) additional 20 mins for interactive and active learning components

  • Module 2: Computation - Living Life in the Computational Era

    As computers and information-processing technologies continue to influence ever more aspects of our life, it is difficult to think outside of the data-driven lense through which we understand the world around us. This interactive talk explores the entanglement of our culture and our digital technologies, discusses the risks and limitations of computational thinking, and offers skills to disrupt these risks.
    20-40 mins + (optional) additional 20 mins for interactive and active learning components

  • Module 3: Personalization - Personalized Decision Making

    Synthesizing learnings from Module 1 and 2, we now find ourselves in a time and space where each of us have the tools and the information available to us to be critical decision makers. This interactive talk empowers participants to utilize the tools they now have available to tackle decisions they face individually, as a leader, and as part of a company, while avoiding the pitfalls of computational reasoning.
    20-30 mins + (optional) additional 40 mins for interactive and active learning components

  • Redefining the Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

    While some predict that the rise of Artificial Intelligence will mean the “end of humankind”, others see no future without algorithms and data-driven systems. What sense can we make from these predictions and warnings? This talk unpacks the ways in which current computational systems have impacted our culture and sense of self, explore software as a metaphor for our humanity, and challenge existing ideas about what it means to be human in the digital age.
    20-40 mins

  • Technology is neutral, but doesn’t neutralize

    Our technological tools are often described as the agents that guarantee objectivity in the data they generate. But the cultural context in which our technologies are developed influences that technology. The often repeated phrase “Tech is neutral” is basically true. But the person inventing that technology, and the programmer who developed it, have a certain cultural background and ideas on how the world works. Machine learning algorithms are programmed by someone, and the programmes are trained on a good and a bad outcome. Technology is always created in a certain cultural context and it is important to be aware of that if these technologies are used for business- and government purposes.

  • Why artificial intelligence doesn’t mean that the end of human kind is near

    Several thinkers and innovators (Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Nick Bostrom a.o.) have predicted recently that the rise of Artificial Intelligence means that the end of humankind is near. They see our brain as a computer. For a long time, the computer has been used as a metaphor to explain the way we think. Alix explains why that view is too limited.

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