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Artificial intelligence and new forms of love

by Richard Meckien - published Aug 07, 2014 10:15 AM - - last modified Oct 28, 2015 12:41 PM

Love in Technological Times: "Her" in Solitude is the theme of the seminar that IEA-USP’s Research Group The Future Questions Us, newly created by the Institute, will hold on August 11, at 3 pm, at USP’s Faculty of Economics, Management and Accounting (FEA). This is the first meeting of the cycle Life Today: Love, Art, Politics, organized by philosopher Renato Janine Ribeiro, Professor of USP’s Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH) and coordinator of the research group.

The debut seminar will reflect on the theme approached by "Her", a romantic science fiction film which hit theaters earlier this year. Directed by Spike Jonze, the film tells the story of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely man who falls for the voice of the new, advanced operating system on his computer, called Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Equipped with an intuitive artificial intelligence, the program is capable of composing its own personality, reacting and expressing emotions.

The loving relationship between Theodore and Samantha will be the starting point to discuss the interactions between the contemporary man and technology, and more specifically love in the "post-human" era and the erotic expansion in digital culture.

The exhibitors of the meeting will be anthropologist Massimo Canevacci, visiting professor at the IEA-USP and professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, philosopher Olgária Matos, full professor at FFLCH and coordinator of the also recently created IEA-USP’s Research Group Humanities and the Contemporary World, and Renato Janine Ribeiro.


The cycle Life Today: Love, Art, Politics will comprise four seminars to be held from August to November. On the next meetings, Janine, Canevacci and Matos, all members of the Research Group The Future Questions Us, will discuss the relationship between performance art, life and death; the future of politics in the current context of profound changes in personal relationships; and the abandonment of metaphorical thinking in favor of literal language.

The event will be broadcast live on the web.