The task:

Please write a short analysis (about 1000-1500 words, equals two to three pages written in font size 12, 1.5 line spacing in word) of a text that deals with the subject of (Big) Data / data societies / Artificial Intelligence.

Your primary text can be a newspaper article, an academic text, a novel, a film, an episode from a TV series, a youtube tutorial / presentation or other. You can also look into a text from the 19th century and analyse how it deals with data.

Try to look at how (Big) Data / data society / AI … is represented in your text (level of context, structure, style, choice of words, visual level if applicable).

Also use some of the guiding questions that will come up in the course of the seminar to focus your analysis (data and power, data and the construction of the individual, ideologies surrounding data, data society and AI, chances and problems of these phenomena…).

Please cite at least two secondary sources in your analysis.

In general this is roughly how you should proceed:

– short introduction (or in the case of the essay some introductory sentences) about what you are going to analyse

– if applicable theoretical part (where for instance, you can introduce concepts you are going to use in your analysis, in your case e.g. AI and the Singularity, for the longer paper possibly also other theoretical concepts you might need such as ideology or myth)

– analysis of the films (choose few short scenes for a close reading; in the case of the essay, focus on one aspect, in the case of the longer paper you can choose several (interconnected) aspects to analyse)

Your analysis should always keep the focus of your paper in mind. So if you deal with the representation of AI, keep (some of) the following questions in mind: How is AI represented in the scenes? Does it have a human form or does it look differently? Why is this form of representation chosen?/What is its function? What effect(s) might this form of representation have on audiences? Does the film use any devices (style, camera, colours, music…) to support its message?

If you set out to compare two movies, you should try to find scenes which are comparable, i.e. either rather similar, or focused on different aspects or representations of AI and then comment on these similarities or differences and the different functions they might have / effects they might create.

– in the end briefly summarise your findings (for the shorter essay, a few sentences are sufficient, for the paper you should write a conclusion of about one page.)

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