Between human & machines: Symposium recordings

View selected recordings from the 2023 Annual Academy Symposium, Between humans & machines, held in Melbourne on 16 & 17 November 2023.

This event was convened by Distinguished Professors Julian Thomas FAHA & Jean Burgess FAHA.


2023 Annual Academy Lecture

How should we understand the human in an Anthropocene world?

Presented by past Academy President Emeritus Professor Lesley Head FASSA FAHA

In the final lecture of her Presidency, past Academy President, Lesley Head, examines fundamental questions about our ideas of what it is to be human and critiques the concept of the Anthropocene, the current geological age where human activity is the major influence on the environment. 

Head highlights the tensions inherent in the concept of the Anthropocene and asks if we can reimagine ourselves in relation to the world. 

2023 Hancock Lecture

Artificial figures: gender-in-the-making in algorithmic culture

Presented by Dr Thao Phan

Digital assistants with feminised voices, deceptive female robots, all-male research groups: gender forms a fundamental part of how we imagine the systems, fields, and figures we call ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI). While gender unquestionably shapes and structures scientific objects and knowledge, rarely do we consider how these phenomena have the capacity to shape gender in return. 

In her lecture, Dr Phan will examine key figures in AI’s cultural history — from foundational figures like Alan Turing and the Turing Test to cultural and commercial figures like Apple’s Siri and Amazon Echo — and will demonstrate the role the humanities can play in understanding our past and reshaping our technological futures.


Keynote conversation:
Between humans & machines:  old questions, new challenges.

Dr Melissa Gregg, Malavika Jayaram & Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker.
Chair: Distinguished Professor Julian Thomas FAHA.

Seb Chan, Kimberlee Weatherall & Dr Joel Stern.
Chair: Dr Indigo Holcombe-James

Automating life & death

Dr Tatiana Bur, Adjunct Professor Roslynn Haynes FAHA & Dr Marc Trabsky. 
Chair: Associate Professor Joanne Tompkins FAHA. 

Machine memories, methods & histories

Emeritus Professor Richard Yeo FAHA, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington AO, Professor Gerard Goggin FAHA
Chair: Professor Victoria Haskins FAHA

Rights & revolutions

Distinguished Professor Emerita Maggie Walter FASSA
Professor Leanne Wiseman
Dr Jake Goldenfein
Chair: Professor Mark Andrejevic

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.