Who is the father of story 21

List of publications in the KITopen media portal


  • Philosophy, Theory and History of Artificial Intelligence
  • Theory of Science and History of Science
  • Media studies, material culture studies, science and technology studies
  • Research project: "Drawing the future - technical images as an element of historical technology futures in early artificial intelligence", HEiKAexplore research bridge 2019/2020 "Autonomous systems in the field of tension between law, ethics, technology and culture".
  • Dissertation: “Alan Turing and the difference between man and machine” (working title) (Heidelberg University, Philosophical Seminar, Philosophy of Science and History of Science, Prof. Peter McLaughlin).



  • Since January 2020: Research assistant in the HEiKAexplore research project "Drawing the future - technical images as an element of historical technology futures in early artificial intelligence" (KIT - ITZ - history of technology)
  • July 2014 - August 2019: Research Associate at the Collaborative Research Center 933 "Material Text Cultures" of the DFG at the University of Heidelberg (sub-project Ö "Written artefacts in new media")
  • January 2012 - June 2014: Scientific speaker in various startups on artificial intelligence and semiconductor technology.
  • February 2011: Master's thesis in philosophy on the subject of “Can machines think? - Artificial intelligence and the Turing test. ”(University of Kassel, Institute for Philosophy, Prof. Dr. Gottfried Heinemann, Prof. Dr. Dr. Kristian Köchy).


Conferences, workshops and lectures (selection)

Workshop: "The Early History of Artificial Intelligence in German-speaking Countries - Manuscripts, Artifacts, Sources, Methods. (Internal Tandem Workshop 1)", (together with the IGGI working group of the Deutsches Museum Munich at KIT), September 17, 2020 - September 18. 2020 (https://heika-research.de/de/events/die-fruehe-geschichte-der-kuenstlichen-intellektiven-im-deutschsprachigen-raum).

"Artificial Intelligence and Understanding the World" - Spring Conference of the Center for Science Research of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina September 30th - October 2nd 2020, Halle. Co-Chair, Program Committee.

January 2020: "Turing's machines - a reassessment between symbol manipulation, diagrammatics and cybernetics". Conference "Hacking the Computable" (annual conference of the German Society for Aesthetics - platform 2 - Stuttgart).

May 2019: "About the sealing and opening of black boxes - dispositives and artefact arrangements as analytical instruments" - interdisciplinary authors' workshop, 3 days (guests from German-speaking countries). Organization, jointly by SFB933 "Material Text Cultures" sub-project "Artefacts in New Media", KIT ITZ History (Prof. Dr. Marcus Popplow) and INSIST Network.

April 2019: Lecture "{Singularity} as a Concept and as a Myth of Research on Artificial Intelligence". Heidelberg Spring, "Castor && Pollux" - Future Talks.

May 2018: Lecture “Turing's machines, a test of lies and thinking-about-thinking. A suggestion on how AI research and philosophy can work together ”. 1. Villigster Dialogue on Artificial Intelligence (Heidelberg, Talent Fund).

August 2017: Session “Two Years of Cooperation. The University of Heidelberg, the CRC 933 and Wikipedia ".13. WikiMania, Montréal (World Conference of Wikipedians). (Cooperation between community, university and Wikimedia, together with cooperation partners).

WiSe 2015 - today: Workshops on Wikipedia for university members (different target groups, different topics).




 Peacock, Dinah; Father, Christian (ed.) (In preparation 2021), Artificial Intelligence and Understanding the World. Interdisciplinary perspectives on epistemic, practical and historiographical challenges of the key technology of the early 21st century, Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft (= Acta Historica Leopoldina N.N.).
2020: Eckhard Geitz, Christian Vater and Silke Zimmer-Merkle (eds.) (2020): Black Boxes - Sealing Contexts and Attempts at Opening. Interdisciplinary perspectives. Berlin, among others: De Gruyter (= Materiale Textkulturen 32).

2017: Michaela Böttner, Ludger Lieb, Christian Vater and Christian Witschel (eds.) (2017): 5,300 years of writing. Heidelberg: Wunderhorn. Extended web publication with digital additions: www.5300jahreschrift.de (OpenAccess)

 2016: Spectrum of Science - Special Issue: The Magic of Writing. Researchers use new methods to make old writings speak (Spectrum Special 3/16 - Archeology, History, Culture). (With Friederike Elias: Concept. Project management. Responsible editing for Collaborative Research Center).

2015: Charlotte Lagemann, Tina Schöbel and Christian Vater (eds.) (2015): LebenDingeTexte. Booklet accompanying the exhibition. Heidelberg: heiBOOKS (Heidelberg University Museum. Catalogs) (OpenAccess)



Father, Christian (in preparation 2021), Alan M. Turing and the difference between man and machine. A problem between the history of science and technology, Heidelberg: Manutius.


Technical article

Christian Vater (2020): "Turing's Machine and Blacks Box - Mechanical Intelligence after Feedback", in: Eckhardt Geitz, Christian Vater and Silke-Zimmer Merkle (eds.) (2020): Black Boxes - Sealing Contexts and Attempts to Open. Interdisciplinary perspectives. Berlin and others: de Gruyter (= Materiale Textkulturen 31).

Eckhard Geitz, Christian Vater and Silke-Zimmer Merkle (2020): "Introduction: Black Boxes. Building blocks and tools for their analysis", in: Eckhardt Geitz, Christian Vater and Silke-Zimmer Merkle (eds.) (2020): Black boxes - sealing contexts and attempts to open them. Interdisciplinary perspectives. Berlin and others: de Gruyter (= Materiale Textkulturen 31).

2020: "Alan M. Turing and the Computing-Dispositiv 1950", in Geitz et al. (2020): Black Boxes. Interdisciplinary perspectives on sealing contexts and opening attempts. Berlin, among others: De Gruyter (= Materiale Textkulturen 32).

2019: “Wikipedia and the software dispositive. A digital cooperative online encyclopedia for the 'Turing galaxy' and the history of the hypertext ”, in Eva Gredel, Laura Herzberg and Angelika Storrer (2019) (eds.): Linguistic Wikipedistik (= special edition Diskurse - Digital), p. 1- 25th (online, OpenAccess).

2017: “Hypertext. A font for networked, dynamic typewriters ”, in: Böttner et al. (Ed.) (2017): 5,300 years of writing. Heidelberg: Wunderhorn, pp. 166-169. (Print and online, OpenAccess).



"A critical look can lead to more caution" - Goethe-Institut, [online] https://www.goethe.de/en/kul/ges/21890502.html [22.06.2020].

“A critical look can lead to more care” - Goethe-Institut, [online] https://www.goethe.de/de/kul/ges/21890502.html [07/02/2020].

"Interview on fear of technology - a critical look can lead to more care" - netzpolitik.org, [online] https://netzpolitik.org/2020/ein-kritischer-blick-kann-zu-mehr-sorgfalt-fuehren/ [01.07 .2020].



Functions and memberships

  • February 2019 - today: program committee "artes liberales - universitas", philosophical and humanities event location, Heidelberg.
  • July 2015 - August 2019: Participants in the “Communication and Marketing” round table at Heidelberg University.
  • WiSe 2015/2016 - WiSe 2017/2018: Adviser of the Philosophical Seminar of the University of Heidelberg (representative of mid-level faculty).
  • Winter term 2003/2004 - summer term 2004: Member of the Senate of the University of Kassel.
  • DGPhil (German Society for Philosophy)

  • INSIST (Interdisciplinary Network for Studies Investigating Science and Technology)

  • MAD HD (methods & applications in the digital humanities | Heidelberg)

  • AG Digital Humanities Theory



  • 2016: Wiki Owl in the "Swing Owl" category. Community prize of the German-speaking Wikipedians for exemplary cooperation between the university and the community.



2014 - today: Heidelberg University, Philosophical Seminar and Max Weber Institute for Sociology. Teaching assignments on the theory of science and the history of technology of artificial intelligence and hypertext. Concepts, history and theory of the "network" and the "program". Artifact theory and diagrammatics. Exercises for scientific work in Wikipedia (between lexicography and digital literacy).

2012 - 2014: University of Kassel, Institute for Philosophy. Teaching assignments in logic, character theory, truth theory and artificial intelligence.



Christian father has the genealogy of the Artificial intelligence as the automation of mental work brought into a cinematic narrative form. The science video "300 years of mechanical intelligence. Of arithmetic servants and think tanks" was created as part of the 2019 Science Year "Artificial Intelligence" in the Technoseum in Mannheim and in the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe.




Podcast: "Karl Steinbuch - Trailblazer of Artificial Intelligence" in the current dossier "Technology.Following.Visions. Technology futures in the focus of research".

Artificial intelligence is ubiquitous these days; Hardly any other topic is so much researched and published. One of the pioneers of artificial intelligence in Germany was Karl Steinbuch, who was appointed professor of communications engineering at the Technical University of Karlsruhe in 1958 and who is considered to be the inventor of the word "computer science". Christian Vater, a science historian at the KIT Institute for the Future of Technology, deals with him and his achievements.

Author: Almut Ochsmann

Speaker: Moritz Chelius and Almut Ochsmann

Duration: 9:58 minutes

Date of publication: 01/12/2021

Interview partner: Christian Vater, science historian at the Department of History at the Institute for Future Technology

With original sounds by Karl Steinbuch from the KIT archive

Link: https://mediaservice.bibliothek.kit.edu/#/details/DIVA-2021-9


Podcast: Self-confident AI # 4: "The founding fathers of AI didn't worry about awareness. Karsten Wendland in conversation with Christian Vater."For the technology historian Christian Vater, who conducts research in Heidelberg and Karlsruhe, research on AI has archaeological qualities. He unearths finds that shape our understanding of AI today, even if they were meant differently in their time. He explains the perspective from which human consciousness could be viewed as a “Turing onion” with an empty core, and what role women researchers played in the early days of AI.

Questioner in this episode: Jennifer Heier, Head of UX-driven AI, SIEMENS

Author: Karsten Wendland
Editing and production manager in the field: Konstantin Kleefoot
Production: Tobias Windmüller

License: CC-BY, DOI: http://doi.org/10.5445/IR/1000124235