Authorpreneurs Unleashed

History & Future of A.I. with Dr. Hugh Burns, Part 1

August 21, 2022 Kathryn McClatchy Season 1 Episode 6
Authorpreneurs Unleashed
History & Future of A.I. with Dr. Hugh Burns, Part 1
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Episode Summary/Introduction:

In order to figure out where we are going, it always helps to know where we have been. As working writers are adjusting to algorithms and A.I, Kathryn called on one of her favorite professors, and went back to class to get her questions answered. Hugh Burns was one of the pioneers who literally wrote the book, and the code, 45 years ago.

Hugh Burns’ dissertation (PhD in Rhetoric, University of Texas) broke ground when he combined composition instruction with artificial intelligence research. His work created a program that led to the award-winning education platform Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment (DIWE).

In this episode, Kathryn discusses the history, current applications, and future of artificial intelligence as it applies to writers with Dr. Hugh Burns.


About Our Guest:

Hugh Burns, Professor Emeritus, Texas Woman’s University, is best known for his career of encouraging writers across all disciplines, pioneering exploratory research in rhetoric and technology. 

A retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, he served the majority of his military career investigating how artificial intelligence may improve education and training. He’s taught writing and digital humanities courses at The University of Texas at Austin, Smith College, Texas Woman's University, and the Air Force Academy. He has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a Visiting Scholar of Digital Media and Composition at The Ohio State University, and as Chairman of the Board of the Daedalus Group. 

Since 1990, the Hugh Burns Dissertation Award has been given annually to the best dissertation in the field of computers and composition. In 2011, he was appointed as the Holland H. Coors Endowed Chair at the Air Force Academy. 

He and his wife, Mary, live in Colorado Springs; they have three daughters, seven grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. 

Connect with Dr. Burns on Facebook and Twitter.


Topics Discussed in the Episode:

 See the tab above “Chapter Markers” for a list of timestamps. 

Highlights include:

  • Currently reading
  • Reading journal practice
  • Rhetorical principles apply to everything
  • About Kathryn’s grad school research
  • From interesting to necessary, from artificial to authentic
  • From drama & speech to the Air Force
  • Writing code for A.I. in 1977
  • Current A.I. applications
  • A.I. Research Lab – Air Force
  • Internet Security
  • Deep A.I. management of distribution
  • Back to teaching English

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Welcome & Currently Reading
Reading Journal practice & Cicero’s “Servile Copying”
Make friends of the librarian
Rhetorical Principles apply to everything
Intertwining all the interests and education and careers
Dr. Burns asks about Kathryn’s research, Follow the Bibliographic Trail!
Research can spur creativity imagining "what if"
Moving from interesting to necessary, from artificial to authentic
From Drama & Speech teacher to the Air Force 1966
Writing code for artificial intelligence in 1977 for educational use for PhD Dissertation
Rhetorical Invention
Takes the AI code back to the Air Force… Discovery & Recovery
Applications for writers like Jasper, MIT’s Shelley, and InferKit
Potential for misuse and abuse
1986 Daedalus Group
Founding Director of Artificial Intelligence Research Lab and Human Systems, Air Force
University education inspiration and networking
Internet changed the economics of business and education
Internet security
Deep A.I. management of distribution
Consulting with Smith College
Transitioning to Chair of English Department at Texas Woman’s University