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Ayhan Aytes

Email: aaytes@ucsd.edu



Ph.D., Communication and Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, 2012

Master of Design, Institute of Design, Chicago, 2000


 “Return of The Crowds: Mechanical Turk and Neoliberal States of Exception” in Digital Labor:The Internet as Playground and Factory. Ed. Trebor Scholz, Routledge, 2012.

“Cognitive Labor, Crowdsourcing, and Cultural History of the Mechanization of the Mind,” Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Volume 17, (2011) Issue: 1


My research focuses on the cultural history of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Labor in relation to subjectivity, body, autonomy, temporality, religion, and race. My dissertation, The ‘Other’ in the Machine: Oriental Automata and the Mechanization of the Mind, is an inquiry into a long-term cultural relationship between intelligent automata and Orientalism.

In mapping this intersecting history of intelligent automata and Orientalism, I primarily use constellation of approaches and methods that are often grouped under Media Archaeology.

My research is inherently interdisciplinary as it considers the central questions of Media Studies; Cultural Studies, especially those focused on race and technical media; and Histories of Science and Technology, especially those focused on the interface between the human body and technology.


Invited Speaker

May 2010, Cognitive Labor and Crowdsourcing, GSEIS, University of California Los Angeles, CA

February 2010, Crowdsourcing, Mechanical Turk, and Cognitive Labor Apparatus, Literature.Culture.Media Center, University of California Santa Barbara, CA

November 2007, Simulations of Time and Life in Medieval Automata,  Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota, MI

February 2003, Remembrance of Media Past, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, CT

Conference Participation

September 2012, We have always been Posthuman: Composite Alterity in Cognitive Automata , SLSA 2012 Conference, NonHuman,Milwaukee, WI

April 2012, Circuits of Cognitive Automaton, Network Archaeology, Miami University, OH

November 2009, Cognitive Labor, Crowdsourcing, and Cultural History of human/machine Assemblages ,  The Internet as Playground and Factory, The New School, NY.

April 2009, Crowdsourcing, The State of Things: Towards a Political Economy of Artifice and Artifacts, University of Leicester, UK.

May 2008, Mappamundi, TechnoTravels: HASTAC in Motion, UCLA, CA

Honors and Awards

Wikimedia Foundation Virtual Community History Fellowship, 2011

Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems Summer Institute Scholarship, 2011

Dean of Social Sciences Travel Fund Award, 2010

UCSD Friends of the International Center Scholarship, 2009-2010

NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Grant with SCGMA, 2008

Christensen Fund Grant with Ramesh Srinivasan (UCLA), 2007-2008

University of California Start-up Grant for agoraXchange.net with Jacqueline Stevens (UCSB), 2007-2008

University of California Transliteracies Project, Research Fellow, 2006-2007

UCHRI Scholarship for SECT Seminar, August 2006

CalIT2 Graduate Fellowship, 2004-2005