Choose answer1 of following 2 questions
Question 1.1 Imagine you are writing a (long!) email to a friend or family about your Human,
Animal, Machine (and the environment) class. In this email, explain 3 of the concepts brought
to you by the Letter A anthropomorphism, avatars, abjection, alterity, animation, aliens,
algorithmic bias/harm, artificial intelligence, the Anthropocene. What critical analysis does each
of these terms bring to your understanding of the relationships between humans, animals,
machines and the environment? Why is it important to understand these concepts? What are
some connections you can make across these concepts? Your answer should be 350-400 words.
Directly reference 3 texts from weeks 6, 7, 10, 11.
You might start your email like this:
Subject: Human, Animal, Machine (and the environment)!
This semester I am taking a [great, weird, hard, awesome, etc. J ] course called Human,
Animal, Machine (and the environment). Do you know how many core concepts about
the relationships between humans, animals, machines and the environment start with the
letter A?! For example, anthropomorphism is the….
Question 1.2 Across our readings in the past 4 weeks, we have learned many reasons why we
give human characteristics to non-human and more-than-human phenomena, and how humans
have built or programmed human characteristics (gender, racial bias, etc.) into artificial
intelligence. Referencing at least 3 course readings or other materials from weeks 6, 7, 10, 11,
answer the following 3 questions: 350-400 words
a) According to our readings and other course materials, what is anthropomorphism and
why do humans do it? Why is it important to understand this concept?
b) According to our readings and other course materials, what is algorithmic harm and
algorithmic bias and how does it happen? Why is it important to understand this concept?
c) Based on your own understanding of these concepts/practices, what do you think might
be the relationship between anthropomorphism and human bias in AI?
Question 2.1 Answer 2 of the following. Total 350-400 words
a) Define intersectionality. According to Safiya Umoja Noble, why it important to bring
an intersectional analysis to our study of technology?
b) What is the job of commercial content managers? Identify and explain some of the
problems that Sarah T. Roberts raises in her analyses of this new form of digital labour.
c) According to any of the readings or videos and lecture-sodes in Week 9, what is a
cyborg? What is a cyborg imagination? How might the hybrid figure of the cyborg help
us to think beyond binaries between human/animal, human/machine?
Question 2.2 Referencing any 3 of our readings or other materials in Weeks 8, 9, 11 and
drawing from your own experience, write a short essay, lecture, video or podcast in which you
discuss the significance of and draw connections between three of the following concepts:
Coltan Mining, Content Managers, Intersectionality, Cyborgs, Companion Species and the
COVID-19 virus. If you choose, you can record this as a video or podcast and submit the video
or sound file (AND please submit your written script it does not have to be in formal academic
prose). Videos and Podcasts no longer than 3-5 min. Total 350-400 words
Question 3.1 Referencing at least one course reading from Weeks 6-11 and one of the following
assigned films, answer the following question: How does this film engage with you one of the
following key concepts that we have developed in Human, Animal, Machine (and the
environment)? Remember: Do NOT use outside readings. 300-400 words
Films (Choose 1) Key Concepts (Choose 1)
Dirty Computer Algorithmic Bias/Fairness
Coded Bias The Anthropocene
The Anthropocene Cyborgs
Question 3.2 Remember all the way back in Week 1?! In your Introductory Discussion Post for
this course, you were asked to write about your favourite movie, novel, comic, game, piece of
visual art or other kind of media that thematizes the intersections of Human, Animal, Machine
and to discuss how it to course themes. Referencing at least one key concept and one course
reading from this course, reconsider your answer: How does this movie, novel, comic, game,
visual art, etc. relate to course themes? Build an analysis based on one key course concept. What
does what you have learned in this course, add to your understanding of this movie, novel, etc.?