Queer Affects at the Origins of Computation

Gaboury, Jacob
JCMS: Journal of Cinema and Media Studies

Much has been written on Alan Turing and the origins of artificial intelligence (AI) some seventy years ago. Turing's "imitation game" set the foundation for research into what has become the future promise of nearly all AI-driven industries today.1 At the heart of Turing's work is the notion of intelligence as performative, that is, as an effect that need not demonstrate any internal awareness of intelligence as an abstract or conceptual goal. Turing famously likened this performative quality of intelligence to gender, which he imagined as equally transmutable and inessential—a comparison that opens up the possibility of a queer reading of AI through the discourses of performance, language, and affect. Nonetheless, in our hagiographic treatment of Turing as the so-called father of modern computing, we often miss those queer objects and relations that constitute the broader milieu of experimental mathematics during this period...