Call: Chatbots and Philosophy Workshop Symposium at Temple University

Call for Participation

Chatbots and Philosophy Workshop Symposium
Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Friday, October 29, 2021 at 9 am – 4 pm

Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 9 am – 4 pm

Free in person event; register at links above

Join us for this two-day workshop symposium introducing you to state-of-the-art chatbot technology and other NLP machines. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Center for Hybrid Intelligence in the College of Science and Technology and the Department of Religion in the College of Liberal Arts. Feel free to stop by for any or all of the sessions.

Ever since Turing proposed the imitation game in 1950, the idea of defining intelligence through natural language communication has inspired research and popular culture. By conjuring the illusion of human presence, chatbot algorithms can be applied to a wide range of uses. Many commercial websites now feature chatbots as a first contact point for customers, and in 2013, Library Technology Reports ran a special issue on chatbots in libraries.

On Friday, meet us to test/play/try out different chatbots, look into the architecture of advanced language models such as GPT-3, and get an overview of the classic positions regarding computed speech.

On Saturday, scholars will present on the technical, social, and philosophical issues surrounding chatbots. Short papers will be followed by long discussion.

All programs are free and open to all.


Charles Library Event Space
1900 N. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122


The schedules for each day are at the links above and include:

Friday, October 29:

  • Overview of Chatbot History (Marcus Bingenheimer, Temple)
  • Talk to the Classics: Eliza, Alice, Mitsuko (Simon Wiles, Stanford, & Bingenheimer, Temple)
  • GPT-3 and Beyond (Alex Wermer-Colan, Temple Libraries)
  • AI Chatbots for Customer Service, Employee Coaching, and Managerial Decision Making (Xueming Luo, Temple)
  • Adventures in Programming GPT-3 (Justin Brody, Franklin & Marshall College)
  • Using Human Language in an AGI System (Pei Wang, Temple, & students)

Saturday, October 30:

  • Bodies Matter: A Barthian Critique of Why Chatbots Ultimately Fail (Noreen Herzfeld, St. John’s University)
  • Does Siri Think? Introducing Models of Responsiveness and Reciprocity (Gereon Kopf, Luther College)
  • Does a Chatbot Need to Understand Itself? (Justin Brody, Franklin & Marshall College)
  • Using GPT-3 to Help Patients Understand Their Doctors (Slobodan Vucetic, Temple)
  • Chatbots in US Libraries: History and Prospects (Soo-yeon Hwang, Sam Houston State University)
  • Teaching Machine Learning in the Library (Simon Wiles, Stanford)
  • Roundtable—Chatbots in Libraries (Joe Lucia, Temple Libraries; David Lacy, Temple Libraries; Hwang, Sam Houston State University; Wiles, Stanford)
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