GSFS Advising 


Dr. Luke Stark: Ordering Emotion: Scenes from History of Affective Computing

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 18:00to19:30
Dr. Luke Stark

Virtual/ Online Event with Professional Live Captions in English)

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“Ordering Emotion: Scenes from the History of Affective Computing”

Abstract: In fields ranging from health and wellness and advertising and marketing to public safety and security, and political campaigning, data analytics tools united with techniques from the psychological and behavioral sciences are being deployed in real-world application defining, tracking, measuring, and modulating our moods, feelings, and physical affective responses. Scandals like the 2014 Facebook “emotional contagion” study and the “psychographic profiling” of Trump campaign contractor Cambridge Analytica have brought these technologies into public consciousness. Yet despite their increasing centrality to digitally-mediated life, the historical genealogy of these technologies, and the broader role of psychological models of emotion and personality in computing, remains largely unexplored in the history of computing. In this talk, I connect the historical treatment of human emotion by computer science to parallel wider debates within psychology, psychology, and cognitive science from late 1940s up to the present, examining how the genealogy of cybernetic technologies for emotion measurement and tracking shaped the slow growth of affective computing as an organized field in the 2000s and its speedy growth today.

About the speaker:

Dr. Luke Stark is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies (FIMS) at Western University in London, Ontario.

He researches the ethical, historical, and social impacts of computational technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Stark is particularly animated by how these technologies mediate social and emotional expression, and are reshaping, for better and worse, our relationships to labor, collective action, and each other.

Stark's current book project, Ordering Emotion: Histories of Computing and Human Feelings from Cybernetics to AI, is a history of affective computing and the digital quantification of human emotion, from 1950s cybernetics to today’s social media platforms.

This event is part of the 5th Season of the Feminist and Accessible Publishing and Communications Technologies Speaker and Workshop Series, organized by Dr. Alex Ketchum.

Our series was made possible thanks to our sponsors: SSHRC, the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF), the DIGS Lab, Milieux, Initiative for Indigenous Futures, MILA, Dean of Arts Grant, ReQEF, and more (see our website!)

There is no fee required to attend this event. We will provide professional captions in english.

You can watch other past events here.

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