Critical Computation: Digital Automata and General Artificial Thinking

Parisi, Luciana. 2019. Critical Computation: Digital Automata and General Artificial Thinking. Theory, Culture & Society, 36(2), pp. 89-121. ISSN 0263-2764 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Since the 1980s, computational systems of information processing have evolved to include not only deductive methods of decision, whereby results are already implicated in their premises, but have crucially shifted towards an adaptive practice of learning from data, an inductive method of retrieving information from the environment and establish general premises. This shift in logical methods of decision-making does not simply concern technical apparatuses, but is a symptom of a transformation in logical thinking activated with and through machines. This article discusses the pioneering work of Katherine Hayles whose study of the cybernetic and computational infrastructures of our culture particularly clarifies this epistemological transformation of thinking in relation to machines.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Cultural Theory; K. N. Hayles; Abductive Reason; Digital media, Automation, Machine learning, Non-conscious cognition, Techno-power

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


1 March 2018Accepted
22 January 2019Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2018 10:44

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 14:51

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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