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Member Profile

Spencer Kaplan

CASTAC-Net Member

PhD Student, Yale University

Contributor, Platypus, The CASTAC Blog

Research Interests

AI | Algorithms | Ethics | Finance | Media Anthropology | Robotics | Science & Technology Studies |

About Spencer

I’m a PhD student in the Yale Department of Anthropology, where I study technology and culture in North America and Europe. I research how the development of emerging technologies enact culturally specific beliefs about what it means to be human and what it means to be a better human. I now study how San Francisco's AI researchers and developers figure human values computationally in their "responsible AI" projects.



Contributions to Platypus, The CASTAC Blog

View all of Spencer's posts on Platypus, The CASTAC Blog.

Tokens, Voids, and Archives: Locating Berlin’s NFT Projects

I’m standing on the train platform of U Schloßstraße, an U-Bahn station in Berlin’s Steglitz neighborhood. In front of me is an artwork: a beauty advertisement depicting a smiling woman. The model’s image has been altered with chemical solvents, giving her skin a brushwork-like texture and her complexion a ghostly paleness. I observe the dark, graffitied station around me. The arrivals board says the time is 5:20, but I’m unsure whether it’s early morning or evening. Commuters are wearing winter jackets and KN95 masks. Some read books as they wait for the train. Four young men play a game of tag. I hear the hum of an incoming U9 train and watch its arrival soon after. The doors open and the announcement blasts: Zurückbleiben bitte. Passengers leave the yellow train cars before new ones enter. After a beep, the doors close and the train hums away. The platform empties, leaving (read more...)