Some critical readings on AI for my graduate students: an updated reading list

Earlier this month I blogged about finding good readings about AI for one of my graduate seminars.  I listed a few, then blegged for more.

In response, folks were very generous.  Suggestions flooded in through the comments, then also by social media and email.  So I wanted to corral all of them into one spot for my own use, and hopefully other people will find it helpful. If so, I can keep updated it over time, or migrate it to another platform.

About the list: I alphabetized it by author(s) but not into consistent subcategories.  I haven’t formatted it too rigorously, because I’m under the gun of several deadlines.

These are mostly articles, but also blog posts, short stories, Substack posts, a comic strip, and several books. I asked for readings, then violated that textual precondition by including a game. Respondents added items in other media, such as podcasts, web-based databases.  I asked for recent stuff, but people suggested older texts which were really useful, so I’ve included them as well.

university students working with an AI to create an annotated bibliography in a library setting

DALL-E: “university students working with an AI to create an annotated bibliography in a library setting”

Jiafu An, Wenzhi Ding, and Chen Lin, “ChatGPT: tackle the growing carbon footprint of generative AI,” Nature, March 21, 2023.

Brent Anders, The AI Literacy Imperative.  Sovorel Publishing: 2023.

The Artificial Intelligence Incident Database.

Emily M. Bender, Timnit Gebru, Angelina McMillan-Major, and “Shmargaret Shmitchell,” “On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big? 🦜”

“Blueprint for an A.I. Bill of Rights.”  White House, 2022.

Ian Bogost, “ChatGPT Is About to Dump More Work on Everyone” and “ChatGPT Is Dumber Than You Think”. The Atlantic, 2022 and 2023.

Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.  Oxford University Press: 2014.

Nick Bostrom and Eliezer Yudkowsky. “The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.” The Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence, Cambridge University Press, 2014. Free access:

James Bridle, “The Stupidity of AI,” The Guardian, March 2023.

Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think,” The Atlantic, originally published 1945.

Ted Chiang, “ChatGPT is a Blurry JPEG of the Web” and “Will AI Become the New McKinsey?”  The New Yorker, 2023.

Seán Clarke, Dan Milmo and Garry Blight, “How AI chatbots like ChatGPT or Bard work – visual explainer”. The Guardian, November 1, 2023.

Kathryn Conrad, “Sneak Preview: Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights for Education,” Critical AI 2.1., July 2023.

Eamon Costello, “ChatGPT and the Educational AI Chatter: Full of Bullshit or Trying to Tell Us Something?” Postdigital Science and Education, 1-6.(2023)

Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, “How to Learn and Teach Economics with Large Language Models, including GPT “  SSRN, last revised May 2023.

Kate Crawford, Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence. Yale University Press: 2021.

Yun Dai, Ang Liu, and Cher Ping Lim, “Reconceptualizing ChatGPT and generative AI as a student-driven innovation in higher education,” Procedia CIRP Volume 119, 2023, Pages 84-90.

Douglas Engelbart, “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework | Doug Engelbart Institute.” Doug Engelbart Institute.  Originally published October 1962,

Jason Fagone, “The Jessica Simulation”. San Francisco Chronicle, July 2021.

Tirse Filibeli, “Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning Algorithms: A Descriptive Analysis of the Digital Threats in the Post-truth Era,” Galatasaray University Journal of Communication, issue: 31, 91 – 110, December 28, 2019.

Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit. Princeton University Press, 2005.

Jason Furman, “Is this time different? The opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence.” Remarks at AI Now: The Social and Economic Implications of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in the Near Term, New York University, 2016.

Leon Furze, Teaching AI Ethics, blog post series, 2023.

Gartner Research, “What’s New in the 2023 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.”

“GenAI Practical Use Cases,”, 2023.

Chris Gilliard, “Friction-Free Racism.” Real Life, October 15, 2018.

Lauren Goodlad and Samuel Baker, “Now the Humanities Can Disrupt ‘AI,’” Public Books, 2023.

Sam Harris, “Can We Contain Artificial Intelligence?: A Conversation with Mustafa Suleyman” Making Sense podcast, episode #332, 2023.

_____, “Debating the Future of AI: A Conversation with Marc Andreessen” Making Sense podcast, episode #324, 2023.

Alex Heath, “Poe’s New Desktop App Lets You Use All the AI Chatbots in One Place.” The Verge, August 28, 2023.

Sheila Heti, “According to Alice,” The New Yorker, 2023.

Wayne Holmes and Ilkka Tuomi, “State of the art and practice in AI in education.”  European Journal of Education, volume 57, issue 4, December 2022, pp 542-570.

Ayanna Howard & Jason Borenstein, “The Ugly Truth About Ourselves and Our Robot
Creations: The Problem of Bias and Social Inequity.”  Science and Engineering Ethics 24, 1521–1536 (2018).

Alex Langstaff, “The Bulgarian Computer’s Global Reach: On Victor Petrov’s ‘Balkan Cyberia,’” Los Angeles Review of Books, November 10, 2023.

A bearded college prof works with an AI.

DALL-E: “an AI helping a professor create a bibliography.”

Donella Meadows, “How to Dance with and Intervene in Systems.”  2001.

Anna Mills, Maha Bali, and Lance Eaton, “How do we respond to generative AI in education? Open educational practices give us a framework for an ongoing process,” Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching, vol. 6 No. 1 (2023).

Melanie Mitchell and David C. Krakauer. “The Debate over Understanding in AI’s Large Language Models.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 120, no. 13, Mar. 2023, p. e2215907120,

Melanie Mitchell, Alessandro B. Palmarini, Arseny Moskvichev, “Comparing Humans, GPT-4, and GPT-4V On Abstraction and Reasoning Tasks,” arXiv, November 14, 2023.

Ethan Mollick, “What people ask me most. Also, some answers. A FAQ of sorts.”  Substack, October 2023.

Frank Pasquale, The New Laws of Robotics.  Harvard University Press: 2020.

Billy Perrigo, “OpenAI Used Kenyan Workers on Less Than $2 Per Hour to Make ChatGPT Less Toxic,” Time Magazine, January 18, 2023.

“Prepare for truly useful large language models,” Nature Biomedical Engineering volume 7, pp 85–86 (2023).

Mitt Regan and Jovana Davidovic. “Just Preparation for War and AI-Enabled Weapons.” Frontiers in Big Data, vol. 6, May 2023, p. 1020107.

Paola Ricaurte, “Artificial Intelligence and the Feminist Decolonial Imagination”. Bot Populi, March 4, 2022.

Alberto Romero, “Fear Wins: The US and the UK have decided what the future of AI looks like.”  Substack, Novermber 3, 2023.

Daniel Rosenberg, “Data before the fact.” In “Raw Data” Is an Oxymoron, edited by Lisa Gitelman Also available here.

Jane Rosenzweig, “What Happens When A Novice Writer Asks Chatgpt For Editing Advice?”, CriticalAI, 2023.

Tahereh Saheb, “Ethically Contentious Aspects of Artificial Intelligence Surveillance: A Social Science Perspective.” AI and Ethics, vol. 3, no. 2, May 2023, pp. 369–79. (Crossref),

Ilia Shumailov et al, “The Curse of Recursion: Training on Generated Data Makes Models Forget.” arXiv, May 2023.

George Siemens et al. “Human and Artificial Cognition.” Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, vol. 3, 2022, p. 100107.

Sara Solarova et al. “Reconsidering the Regulation of Facial Recognition in Public Spaces.” AI and Ethics, vol. 3, no. 2, May 2023, pp. 625–35.

Jane Southworth et al, “Developing a model for AI Across the curriculum: Transforming the higher education landscape via innovation in AI literacy,” Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, volume 4, 2023, 100127,

Lucy Suchman, “The uncontroversial ‘thingness’ of AI.”   Big Data and Society, November 2023.

Clive Thompson, “Warning Labels For AI-Generated Text: Maybe we should just start sticking icons on this stuff.”  Medium, October 31, 2023.

Krista Tippett,  “Reid Hoffman –  AI, and What It Means to Be (More) Human,” On Being with Krista Tippett, updated October 5, 2023.

Victoria Turk, “How AI reduces the world to stereotypes,” Rest of World, 2023.

United States Department of Education, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning, Office of Educational Technology, May 2023.

Universal Paperclips, computer game.

Vauhini Vara, “Ghosts,” The Believer, 2021.

Joana Varon and Paz Peña, “Artificial intelligence and consent: a feminist anti-colonial critique”. Internet Policy Review, volume 10, issue 4, December 7, 2021.  DOI: 10.14763/2021.4.1602

Angie Wang, “Is My Toddler a Stochastic Parrot?” The New Yorker, November 15, 2023.

Stephen Wolfram, “What Is ChatGPT Doing … and Why Does It Work?”  Stephen Wolfram Writings, February 14, 2023.

Shoshana Zuboff. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. New York, PublicAffairs, 2019. (Our online book club read it in 2019.)

There are also some treasure troves of resources from an Axim Collaborative workshop, Anna Mills. and Mark Corbett Wilson.

Remember, we can keep expanding this list.

(thanks to many people, including Jessie Cheng, Maha Bali, Anna Mills, Lance Eaton, people across social media, and everyone who contributed to that blog post)

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9 Responses to Some critical readings on AI for my graduate students: an updated reading list

  1. Steve Woodside says:

    Lisa Titus’ recent “Does ChatGPT have Semantic Understanding” is fantastic! Highly recommend!

  2. Jon Mason says:

    hi Bryan,

    a short piece I wrote a few months back may also be of interest:
    The search continues: Content used to be king, but context is now everything – and ‘smart’ can morph into ‘stupid’

    … the only thing is, the editor changed the title on me. It was originally ‘Leaving Behind the Search Paradigm’

  3. Rachel Rigolino says:

    Super helpful Bryan!

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  5. Alex Grech says:

    Great curation, Bryan

  6. Dan Russell’s blog Search/Research and his Google Group of the same name are all about research, but he has a recent search question about medical research efficacy that is a model of how to evaluate generative AI platforms. Seems like an anodyne to much blind acceptance of AI as an unalloyed good:

  7. Dale Hale says:

    Brian, I haven’t made it through your list yet, so you may already have this included. But, take a look at this helpful guide. Love this stuff.

  8. Pingback: Digital Literarcies Pathway – Zeina Creates

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