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[ecrea] Call for Papers - Face-Off: Facial Recognition Technologies & Humanity in an Era of Big Data

Wed Jan 17 13:30:40 GMT 2018

Call for Papers - Boston University Symposium

Face-Off: Facial Recognition Technologies and Humanity in an Era of Big Data

When: April 18, 2018
Where: Boston University
Florence and Chafetz Hillel House,
213 Bay State Rd, Boston, MA 02215


As facial recognition technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, and the presence of such devices proves ubiquitous in both public and private spheres, it is critical for researchers to examine the potential effects on both individuals and society as a whole.  To this end, the Division of Emerging Media Studies of Boston University’s College of Communication is holding an international symposium to bring together diverse perspectives from social scientists, philosophers, policy-makers, and computer scientists to explore the social, behavioral, and psychological dimensions of this new technological terrain. This unique collection of voices intends to illuminate the various and often competing dimensions of a challenging, complex area of research. Ultimately, it hopes to trace out the implications for society, and the choices that we must collectively and individually make.

Call for Papers:
The Division of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University invites research-based perspectives on facial recognition technology.  Limited travel support for presenters is available on an as-needed basis. Send abstracts to (krongard /at/ <mailto:(krongard /at/>.

Symposium Format:
The symposium will be composed of brief research-based papers, in-depth scholarly panel discussions, and lively audience participation. The event will be live-streamed, and ongoing discourse via Twitter is anticipated.  As a clear understanding from an informed viewpoint is our goal, advocacy for particular partisan perspectives is discouraged.

Key Dates:
February 16th, 2018: Extended abstracts (~250 words) due to organizers. Send abstracts to (krongard /at/ <mailto:(krongard /at/>.
March 2, 2018: Notification of acceptance decision.
March 30, 2018: Completed papers (~2500 words) due to organizers.
April 17, 2018: Welcome reception for speakers and panelists.
April 18, 2018: Symposium held at Boston University.


Efforts to understand facial expressions and determine identity through technological means has existed since at least the 1960s (Gates, 2011).  Decades of technological advancement have amplified the capacity for machines to discern individual identities, and today, facial recognition technology offers promising opportunities in sundry domains; algorithmically- informed predictability can offer substantial benefits in policing and security (Ricanek & Boehnen, 2012), medicine (Tan, Gilani, Mayberry, Mian, Hunt, Walters, & Whitehouse, 2017), and commercial endeavors (Deng, Navarathna, Carr, Mandt, Yue, Matthews, & Mori, 2017).  However, these opportunities are simultaneously met with several challenges, such as the lack of regulation (Garvey, Bedoya, & Frankle, 2016), potential for flawed data through algorithmic bias (Introna, 2005; Introna & Wood, 2004), and infringements on personal privacy, particularly with the influx of photo sharing via social media platforms and resultant access to big data (Gasser, 2016; Mohapatra, 2016; Nakar & Greenbaum, 2017; Shaw, 2012).

To more fully understand the complexities of facial recognition technology and its consequences, the Division of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University presents an international symposium, where scholars from a variety of fields will discuss the promises and perils.  An interdisciplinary, cross-cutting approach will help to facilitate an in-depth examination of the topic through paper presentations, panel discussions, and a poster session. The symposium will encourage the audience, both in-person and via virtual livestream, to participate actively with questions and debate.  The goal of the event is for participants to not only develop a deep understanding of the competing issues at play but also identify actionable next steps within their fields of study.

Practitioners, researchers, and noted scholars of facial recognition technology will be invited to present their work.  The Division of Emerging Media Studies invites additional perspectives through the peer-reviewed call for papers. Talks will be organized into panels, where each presenter will each briefly share their work, followed by an extended discussion among panelists.

International Scientific Advisory Board:
Chen, Yi-Fan – Miami University
Cushman, Ellen – Northeastern University
Floyd, Juliet – Boston University
Laugier, Sandra – Sorbonne University
Lim, Sun Sun – Singapore University of Technology & Design
Neff, Gina – Oxford University
Poiger, Ute – Northeastern University
Soysal, Zeynep – Boston University

For registration and additional information:

Please contact Sarah Krongard at (krongard /at/ <mailto:(krongard /at/> with any questions about the event.
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