CALS Unprecedented Webinar: “AI and the Labor(s) of Writing”

CALS Unprecedented Webinar: “AI and the Labor(s) of Writing”

In recent months, the Writers Guild of America held a strike that, in part, protested the use of AI to replace or otherwise harmfully alter the work that screenwriters perform. Congress, too, held hearings to consider possible regulations of AI tools, including ChatGPT, in order to minimize their threat to jobs, national security, and intellectual property. Finally, universities are wrestling with "best practices" for AI in classrooms including, not least of all, writing-centered classrooms. Mindful that Penn State is the home of the Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence, this webinar will reflect on the ways in which AI is disrupting—for better and/or worse—the labor(s) of writing in Hollywood, the University, and the workplace at large. Is there a "socially responsible" role for AI to play in these various writing-centered labor spheres, or should AI be legislated out of existence—if such a thing is even possible—owing to the manifold threats AI poses to human "labor" in writing industries of all kinds?


Michele Elam, William Robertson Coe Professor of the Humanities, Department of English, Stanford University

Michele Elam is faculty associate director of the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and former director of African & African American Studies at Stanford University. Elam’s current book project, Race Making in the Age of AI, considers how the humanities and arts function as key crucibles through which to frame and address urgent social questions about equity and social justice in socially transformative technologies. 

Annette Vee, Associate Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh

Annette Vee serves as composition director at the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of Computer Literacy: How Computer Programming is Changing Writing (MIT Press 2017). Vee’s current book project, Automating Writing from Androids to AI, examines why and how humans have sought to automate writing across history

David Kersnar, Professor of Practice in Theatre, Penn State

David Kersnar is a founding ensemble member of the Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company (Chicago, Illinois) and has performed, designed, written, instructed, produced, and directed with the company since 1988. Kersnar also co-founded Shaking The Tree Interactive Productions, writing and directing filmed and live business case studies.


Morgan Hamill, Graduate Student, Department of English, Penn State

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Virtual Event