Jon Chun has degrees in electrical engineering, computer science and biomedical engineering with a focus on cognitive science. Chun has published research in gene therapy and medical informatics and worked in physics and semiconductor research at Lawrence Berkeley Labs and SEMATECH. He co-founded several international startups and was CEO and COO of the world’s largest anonymity service. He also served as director of development for the world’s largest computer security corporation and as entrepreneur in residence at UC Berkeley. His most recent scholarship appears in the Journal of Cultural Analytics, and his current work leverages AI natural language processing for the humanities.

Chun believes in the importance of bringing diverse voices to debates surrounding technology’s growing impact on society. His courses "Programming Humanity" and "AI for the Humanities" are the first to bridge the gap between technology and the humanities by providing an integrated intellectual framework grounded in the liberal arts.

Areas of Expertise

Artificial intelligence, natural language processing and cognitive science

Education

1995 — Master of Science from University of Texas at Austin

1989 — Bachelor of Science from Univ. of California Berkeley

Courses Recently Taught

Artificial Intelligence is poised to surpass humans in intellectual abilities that we often associate with being human. What are the implications for how we think about digital humanities? Can we program humanity by employing AI to generate music, analyze vast quantities of literary text, or produce great visual works of art? Or will humans be programmed through predictive policing, manipulations of social media, and domestic surveillance? Can the non-profit OpenAI build an AI to benefit humanity, or will the prophecies of Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk (who all claim AI as the greatest existential threat to humanity) come true? This course will bridge the gap between humanities and technology in both a theoretical and practical manner. Each week we will present a fundamental technology like data visualization, social media hacking or machine learning through both lecture and hands-on labs. In parallel, we will contextualize our understanding of new technologies with discussions of the larger social impact and ethical dilemmas through case studies like computational literary analysis, digital profiling for predictive policing or issues stemming from potential broad structural economic unemployment. The broader goal of the course is to understand technologies driving seismic social change in order to be able to speak with an informed voice. This is an introductory survey course with no prerequisites. It is designed for both humanities students seeking to understand technology and technology-oriented students seeking to understand the larger social and ethical issues surrounding technology. No prerequisite.

Centered around the big questions emerging from the rise of big data and AI, this course offers an interdisciplinary, humanities-centered introduction to programming and data analysis. As part of the new Data Humanities movement, our focus is on telling the stories we find in data, exploring how to count what counts, and critically quantifying issues of bias and representation. With hands-on projects like analyzing Netflix data and exploring the Twitterverse, we will also build the foundation for topics covered more fully in intermediate courses: natural language processing, social network models, and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Seats are reserved for students in each class year. No prerequisite.

Artificial Intelligence is poised to surpass humans in intellectual abilities that we often associate with being human. What are the implications for how we think about digital humanities? Can we program humanity by employing AI to generate music, analyze vast quantities of literary text, or produce great visual works of art? Or will humans be programmed through predictive policing, manipulations of social media, and domestic surveillance? Can the non-profit OpenAI build an AI to benefit humanity, or will the prophecies of Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk (who all claim AI as the greatest existential threat to humanity) come true? This course will bridge the gap between humanities and technology in both a theoretical and practical manner. Each week we will present a fundamental technology like data visualization, social media hacking or machine learning through both lecture and hands-on labs. In parallel, we will contextualize our understanding of new technologies with discussions of the larger social impact and ethical dilemmas through case studies like computational literary analysis, digital profiling for predictive policing or issues stemming from potential broad structural economic unemployment. The broader goal of the course is to understand technologies driving seismic social change in order to be able to speak with an informed voice. This course is designed for both humanities students seeking to understand technology and technology-oriented students seeking to understand the larger social and ethical issues surrounding technology. No prerequisite.

Cultural analytics is the study of culture using diverse sources and data-driven methods. We will analyze language from texts to tweets and social networks from film to the Twitterverse. Project-based in nature, students will code ways to explore phenomena like the social networks in Game of Thrones and the classification of tweets as Trump or Trudeau. You will apply what you have learned for a final project of your choice. Students new to coding should contact the instructor for information on how to complete a self-paced mini coding course before the start of the semester. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.

This course is an interdisciplinary, humanities-centered coding course that explores the philosophical and ethical questions raised by AI. Ethical questions include issues of bias, fairness and transparency, as well as AI-Human value alignment. We will explore AI as a mirror to both our best and worst natures: how it can surveille, disemploy and police, but also play games, write text, create images and compose music. Prerequisite: IPHS 200.