Research | Writing | Digital Humanities | Biblical Studies

Get Weekly Updates

Joshua Mann

Machine Override: Artificial Intelligence and Human Agency

Machine Override: Artificial Intelligence and Human Agency

One of the concerns that many share about training computers to perform certain tasks (like driving) is when or whether to allow a human to override the machine’s decision(s). I have encountered three recent discussions of this to serve as some food for thought. First, the example that gets trotted out frequently is a self-driving car that must… Continue Reading

Chad Wellmon on Reading, From Augustine to Digital Humanists

Chad Wellmon on Reading, From Augustine to Digital Humanists

Chad Wellmon, in “Sacred Reading: From Augustine to the Digital Humanists,” recounts various shifts in the conception of reading over the centuries–how we read, for what we read, the telos of reading, etc. Underlying the compelling narrative Wellmon crafts is a comparison of ‘close’ and ‘distant’ (sometimes equated with ‘computational’) reading: Continue Reading

A Brief Description of Digital Humanities

A Brief Description of Digital Humanities

I reflected once before on the issue of defining the ‘digital humanities’. Here’s the description I typically give now: The digital humanities is a field that (i) applies the questions and methods of computing to the humanities (e.g., sentiment analysis of 19th century Scottish literature); and/or (ii) applies the questions and methods of the humanities to computing (e.g.,… Continue Reading

Today’s Degrees Cost More, Worth Less

Today’s Degrees Cost More, Worth Less

A friend of mine shared an article repeating a familiar narrative, namely the plight of freshly minted PhDs looking for work. Today’s academic degrees cost far more than they used to but are worth far less. So who is cashing in on the difference? Related to this, I have deep reservations about the nearly unqualified encouragement given… Continue Reading

Questioning DRM and Encrypted Media Extensions

Questioning DRM and Encrypted Media Extensions

Danny O’Brien from the Electronic Frontier Foundation says: There is more encryption in the protected pathway that you have built in (without asking) for Hollywood movies to be presented on your screen without you being able to somehow tap them between the computer and the screen…than any of the encryption that actually protects your communications. It’s… Continue Reading

Where is a text’s meaning?

Where is a text’s meaning?

A classic hermeneutical question is, Where does meaning lie, in the author, text, or reader? One exercise I have given students when I taught hermeneutics courses a few years ago is a play on the old ‘if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it’: If a book falls open in the middle of a… Continue Reading