Seymour’s “Locomotion” receives new analysis by Princeton freshman

Grace Liu, class of 2023, shared this link to the five minute video she created to accompany her paper on self-driving cars for the 2019 writing seminar “Living with AI” taught by Lecturer Will Penman with support from Anuradha Vedantham, Assistant University Librarian for Research Services. Liu called the assignment “one of the highlights of my first semester.”

This writing seminar came to see various items in the graphic arts collection including Robert Seymour’s two part satirical etching Locomotion: Walking by Steam, Riding by Steam, Flying by Steam, ca. 1830.

Here is the abstract for Penman’s class:

“Searching YouTube, unlocking our phones with our faces, seeing advertising on Facebook, asking Siri to turn up the music: we already actively and passively use artificial intelligence (AI) daily. How does AI promise new kinds of interactions? Why are some industries turning to AI while others are not? How are the risks and benefits of AI shaping the future design of these technologies? This Writing Seminar explores the complex dynamics taking shape between humans and artificial intelligence. We begin by examining ImageNet, a dataset used to develop object-recognition software, in order to analyze how human biases become encoded in machine learning.

Next, we turn to self-driving cars as we question the economic, ecological, social, political, legal, and moral implications of artificial intelligence in the public sphere. For the research project, students select their own area of AI development and make an argument about its relationship to a specific population that engages with it. Possible topics include: romantic love with Samantha in the film Her; AI’s use in diagnosing skin cancer, people’s relationships with robotic pets, and the use of AI in financial trading. At the end of the semester, students each translate their research findings into a short video to share with nonexperts.”

Congratulations to Grace and the whole class. See the other wonderful videos for the writing seminar program WRI 176: Living with AI, now posted on YouTube.