Research seminar in Cultural Anthropology with Morten Axel Pedersen

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Engelska parken Room Eng/3-2028
  • Lecturer: Morten Axel Pedersen is Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science (SODAS. Author or co-author of several monographs (including Collaborative Damage: An Experimental Ethnography of Chinese Globalization), he has played key role in the development social data science as an interdisciplinary research field and a degree program. As PI of the ERC funded DISTRACT project, he has edited a theme issue on Machine Anthropology in Big Data & Society, and published on attention economy and platform capitalism in Annual Review of Anthropology and Current Anthropology.
  • Organiser: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
  • Contact person: Chakad Ojani
  • Seminarium

Machine Anthropology: The potentials and pitfalls of making anthropology quantitative, again.

Can anthropological theories be combined with machine learning methods? Do recent advances within text mining allow for the realization of Levi-Strauss’ dream of a computer-driven structuralism? Might we go as far as saying that computers are becoming vehicles of social scientific analysis: are we about to witness the birth of distinctly anthropological forms of artificial intelligence? By presenting recent attempts to use data science methods for augmenting and automatizing the collection, processing and analysis of qualitative data, my hope is not only to discuss the retturn of quantitative and the rise of  computational anthropology in my own and others work, but also to unsettle epistemological boundaries between, and predominant assumptions among, computational social scientists and data scientists.