Naturecultures of immunological principles: A discussion on the politics of the CLONALG algorithm from a feminist materialist perspective

Pat Treusch


This article examines one object emerging from the field of the Artificial Immune System (AIS), namely the CLONALG algorithm, from a feminist materialist perspective. It traces the naturecultures of this object by asking how the computational technique of the CLONALG implements immunological principles in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how, through this, the CLONALG operates as a discursive-material agent in negotiating the boundary between artifice and nature. This involves mapping the politics of, firstly, algorithms as sorting techniques and secondly, immunity as an organizing principle. The suggested approach of entangled naturecultures allows “us” to develop an account of the politics of the CLONALG that traces the normative dimensions of the knowledge exchange between computational techniques and immunological theory that follows from bringing the concepts and practices of immunological principles into use within AI. It also encompasses a consideration of the mutual inspiration between biology and AI as a process of materializing—that is, as world-making practices. Thus, this article illustrates the entangled politics of the CLONALG as they figure in the naturecultures of immunological computational techniques.   


naturecultures; immunity; AI; feminist materialism; algorithms

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