Evan Donahue

I am a scholar of computational media and a postdoctoral fellow in Tokyo College at the University of Tokyo. My current research focuses on the question of what makes machines seem human? I pursue this question through a combination of science, technology, and media studies, as well as computer science, all oriented around the field of artificial intelligence (AI), and in particular, natural language processing (NLP).

In my historical and critical work, I study the history of AI and NLP. I examine how researchers, now and in the past, have drawn on the human, social, and natural sciences to define "language" and "the human," and how those definitions have influenced the development of AI technologies.

In my computational work, I consider alternative histories and roads not taken to reconceptualize language and the human and with them the design of AI technologies. I build natural language interfaces that explore both the aesthetic and the functional dimensions of communication, and through these study what it means to communicate with a machine.