Collegium Helveticum
Fellow Project 2022–2023

Post-Artificial Writing
Authorship in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

In his fellowship project, Hannes Bajohr reconsidered authorship in the age of artificial intelligence. With the increase in texts written not by humans but by machine learning systems, new models of authorship must account for a text’s production and its reception. This leads to questions such as: Who is involved, to what degree, and in which social and technological contexts? And who is recognized as an author by virtue of which ontological assumptions?

The project called for a two-fold approach. From the production side, Hannes argued for a “nested authorship” that addresses the relationship between preprocessing, datasets, training algorithms, and other parts of the productive apparatus. From the reception side, the project investigated the speculative phenomenon of “post-artificial” writing, that is, the conditions under which the question of whether a text was written by a human or a machine is no longer relevant. In his project, Hannes theorized artificial authorship as social recognition, connect- ing media and literary studies with sociology and computer science.

Hannes Bajohr as a guest in the TV show Sternstunde Philosophie on SRF, engaging in a discussion around the question “ChatGPT: End of creativity or creative liberation?,” which aired on May 3, 2023 (in German).

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