The Research Centre of the Postgraduate Department of English at Mehr Chand Mahajan DAV College for Women, Chandigarh, under the aegis of Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University, organised a lecture titled ‘Literature in the Age of Intelligent Machines’. Prof. John Shanahan, Associate Dean, Director of Liberal Studies and Professor of English, De Paul University, Chicago, USA was the resource person for this enlightening lecture. Prof. Akshaya Kumar, Chairperson, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University, graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour. Principal Dr. Nisha Bhargava, in her welcome address, highlighted the contemporary relevance of the topic of the lecture. She drew attention to the fact that artificial intelligence is encroaching upon human consciousness and creativity, and asserted that it is important to weigh the pros and cons of the same.
In his riveting lecture, Prof John Shanahan shed light on the changing scenario in today’s post-press literary world wherein flipping pages has become a new part of heritage. Citing examples like the poem ‘Taroko Gorge’, Jennifer Egan’s short story ‘Black Box’, etc., Prof. John discussed the highlights of electronic literature. He elaborated on the practical applications of artificial intelligence in the realm of literature like augmented reality literature, automated text generation, etc., and also discussed the challenges of electronic literature in terms of literary analysis and literary theory. The lecture was well-received by the audience and culminated with an interactive session wherein the participants put forth their queries that were suitably addressed by Prof. John.
By: Madhur Vyas