Inventory of Synthetic Cognition

Chimeras: Inventory of Synthetic Cognition, a collection of essays edited by Ilan Manouach & Anna Engelhardt, is finally up for pre-order at It features an essay from me on “Artificial Dementia” and so, so much more. From essays to visual contributions, this feels like one beastly publication. (Full list of contributors TBC.)

For those interested, the PDF version of this book will be open-access, and it will also be available in bookshops towards the end of year. There’ll be more information to follow on the Onassis Publications website, or you can read the short blurb below:

This volume attempts to disassemble and reformulate what one might understand as AI by taking apart both notions of ‘artificiality’ and ‘intelligence’ and seeing what new meaning they produce when recombined. We summon the trickster of the natural order, chimera, both a mythical creature and a genetic phenomenon. Drawing upon chimerism allows us to broaden ‘artificial intelligence’ into ‘synthetic cognition’?—an approach that highlights the duality of ‘artificial’ and ‘authentic’, amplifies non-human methods of cognition and anticipates modes of symbiosis.

With this aim, the editors, Ilan Manouach and Anna Engelhardt, assembled an inventory in which one can find contributions from scholars and artists with interspecies, disability, monstrous, feminist, and decolonial approaches, as well as thinkers and technologists engaged in a broader field of AI. By questioning fabricated norms that constitute and maintain notions of ‘artificial’ and ‘intelligence’, this inventory acts as a toolbox one can use to merge these terms into a novel chimera.

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