Ways of Being - Beyond Human Intelligence

AI and Ethics Book Club - February 2024 reading



James Bridle’s “Ways of Being” is a profound exploration of intelligence in various forms—plant, animal, human, and artificial—and its impact on our perception of humanity’s place in the universe. Delving into the concept of intelligence, Bridle questions whether it is exclusive to humans or shared across diverse entities, including those made of flesh, wood, stone, and silicon. The rise of artificial intelligence, often perceived as an alien invention, raises concerns about its potential to decenter and surpass human capabilities. Simultaneously, Bridle highlights the overlooked intelligences in nature, such as animals and plants, revealing their complexity and knowledge. Drawing on biology, physics, literature, and philosophy, the book explores how understanding these intelligences can reshape our technologies, societies, and politics for a more harmonious coexistence with the nonhuman world.

About the author

James Bridle is an artist, writer and publisher based in London. Bridle coined the New Aesthetic; their work “deals with the ways in which the digital, networked world reaches into the physical, offline one”. Their work has explored aspects of the western security apparatus including drones and asylum seeker deportation. Bridle has written for WIRED, Icon, Domus, Cabinet Magazine, The Atlantic and many other publications, and writes a regular column for The Guardian on publishing and technology.

About the speaker

Michiel Baas is a Senior Research Fellow with the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Germany). He is currently working on a project that looks at questions of cohabitation and cocreation with artificial intelligence (AI) for which he engages with artists, creative professionals and data scientists in India. He is also the author of Muscular India: Masculinity, Mobility and the New Middle Class.

RSVP and venue

This is an in-person session in Bangalore. Virtual access will be provided exclusively for The Fifth Elephant members.
RSVP to participate.

About the AI and Ethics Book Club

This is a call for book suggestions to discuss under the AI and Ethics Book Club. The AI and Ethics Book Club is a monthly in-person discussion where a book is selected and discussed each month. The Book Club is open to practitioners from different disciplines, including AI, security, Machine Learning, law, legal-tech, health, health-tech, public policy, history, finance, and others.

How you can contribute

  • Suggest a book to discuss here. This should involve slides, and code samples to make parts of the paper simpler and more understandable.
  • Moderate/discuss a paper someone else is proposing.
  • Pick up a membership to support the meet-ups and The Fifth Elephant’s activities.
  • Spread the word among colleagues and friends. Join The Fifth Elephant Telegram group or WhatsApp group.

Code of Conduct

Hasgeek’s Code of Conduct applies to participants and speakers at this discussion.

About The Fifth Elephant

The Fifth Elephant is a community funded organization. If you like the work that The Fifth Elephant does and want to support meet-ups and activities - online and in-person - contribute by picking up a membership

Contact information

For queries about the meetups, contact Hasgeek at support@hasgeek.com or call (91)7676332020.


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