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Agencies in technology design: Feminist reconfigurations

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Abstract

In this paper the author considers some new resources for thinking about how capacities for action are configured at the human-machine interface, informed by developments in feminist science and technology studies. While not all of the authors and works cited would identify as feminist, they share commitments to a critical and generative interference in received conceptions of the human, the technological and the relations between them. The author interrogates the trope of innovation itself, to see how a fascination with change and transformation might be located, both culturally and historically, and in particular moments. He argues that through the figures of artificial intelligence we are witnessing a reiteration of traditional humanist notions of agency, at the same time - even through - the intra-actions of that notion with new computational media. The author also explores the question of what other directions our relations with machines, both conceptually and practically, might take.