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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description


Instructor(s): Oscar Perez-Hernandez, World Languages and Literatures

From the very first one created, machines have been a source of both excitement and unrest for humans. At any given time, machines have been admired as the expression of humanity’s genius and feared as the embodiment of our deepest flaws. The mere existence of machines has posed recurrent questions: should we love them or hate them? What should be the role of machines, as they get more complex and autonomous, in our present and future? What makes us human and what, if anything, separates us from machines? In this course, students will examine how such questions have been answered by people around the world in different fields, from scientists and engineers to humanists and science fiction writers, by looking at a variety of texts that include essays, short stories, films, and TED talks. Beyond how we feel about it, the relationship between humans and machines has shaped and will continue to shape our history, our identities, and our planet.


Course Offered: