Seduction, Scripts, and Self-Improvement: Antifeminist Forums and the Cultural Legacy of AI

Centre for Ethics logo
Hosted by

Centre for Ethics

15 Devonshire Place, Room 200, Larkin Building

Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars

Seduction, Scripts, and Self-Improvement: Antifeminist Forums and the Cultural Legacy of AI

Debates about AI usually revolve around the futures AI applications enable and support, often neglecting how past visions of the AI future continue to shape culture today. Antifeminist ‘seduction’ forums are one example of AI’s cultural legacy. Such forums provide men with detailed procedural instructions: from ‘models’ for making women laugh at jokes, to a predetermined ‘ladder’ along which physical touch is to be ‘escalated’ gradually. Seduction instructions promise that men can conquer feminist indoctrination and become sexually successful alpha males by internalizing the proper scripts. This talk shows how the historical entanglement between cybernetics and cognitive psychology in early AI efforts reverberates in seduction instructions’ rhetorical tendency to imagine men as machines that need to be ‘re-programmed’ in order to improve themselves. Cultural visions of a future governed by ever-improving algorithms persist long after computational applications: seduction forums’ procedural and instructional approach to the ‘problem’ of feminism is inextricable from the imaginary horizon of AI.

☛ please register here

Suzanne Van Geuns
University of Toronto
Religion

04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
200 Larkin

For further information, please contact the Centre for Ethics at 416 946-6288