Preprint / Version 1

AI and the Anthropological Imagination: Rethinking Education in the Digital Age


  • Jasper Roe James Cook University Singapore


Anthropology, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Education, Teaching, Culture, Generative AI


This article proposes foundational concepts for teaching about Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems in the broad educational context of anthropology. This begins with an introduction to the current historical moment of AI in the early 2020s, followed by an examination of the development of AI systems within frameworks of the anthropology of technology. The second part of the article discusses Generative AI (GenAI) systems as unique producers of culturally mediated, Anglo and Eurocentric epistemologies of knowledge, and the implications from a perspective of decoloniality of knowledges. The final section details an educational activity which uses GenAI imagery as a focus for analysis as a cultural artefact, and a resource for debate and discussion in the teaching and learning of anthropology. This work highlights the importance of AI to learners of anthropology, and the importance of anthropologists to AI.


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