I. International Online Conference
25. - 26. 2. 2021, Online, Zoom

Amir Vudka

Doctor, Amsterdam University, Department of Media Studies
The Golem in the age of artificial intelligence
What can the Golem teach us about artificial intelligence? This paper explores the Jewish myth about an anthropoid figure of clay that was brought to life by virtue of kabbalistic theurgy, as one of the earliest AI prototypes and a myth that became a foundational story of sci-fi cinema. Whether real or imagined, the potential of creating intelligent, and perhaps one day even sentient machines, brings us a full circle back to the origin myth of humanity itself. Sci-fi classics that depicted AI humanoids, such as Metropolis and Blade Runner, eventually point to a blurring of the lines between the human and the machine, leading to the most fundamental question of these films: what does it mean to be human?
The Golem sets the parameters of opposition between men and intelligent or sentient machines, and at the same time points to possible third options beyond the dialectic of control.

The presentation is based on my recent publication under the same title, which can be found here: https://mediarep.org/handle/doc/15295