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[Commlist] Call for Papers – Conference and Edited Volume: Artificial Intelligence and the Human – Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Science and Fiction
Mon Nov 16 18:18:11 GMT 2020
C A L L F O R P A P E R S
Conference and edited volume
Artificial intelligence and the human – Cross-cultural perspectives
on science and fiction
A Japanese-German conference in Berlin, Germany (17 and 18 June 2021) &
edited volume (2022)
Current debates on artificial intelligence often conflate the realities
of AI technologies with the fictional renditions of what they might one
day become. They are said to be able to learn, make autonomous decisions
or process information much faster than humans, which raises hopes and
fears alike. What if these useful technologies will one day
develop their own intentions that run contrary to those of humans?
The line between science and fiction is becoming increasingly blurry:
what is already a fact, what is still only imagination; and is it even
possible to make this clear-cut distinction? Innovation and development
goals in the field of AI are inspired by popular culture, such as its
portrayal in literature, comics, film or television. At the same time,
images of these technologies drive discussions and set particular
priorities in politics, business, journalism, religion, civil society,
ethics or research. Fictions, potentials and scenarios inform a society
about the hopes, risks, solutions and expectations associated with
new technologies. But what is more, the discourses on AI, robots and
intelligent, even sentient machines are nothing short of a mirror of the
human condition: they renew fundamental questions on concepts such as
consciousness, free will and autonomy or the ways we humans think, act
Imaginations about the human and technologies are far from
universal, they are culturally specific. This is why a cross-cultural
comparison is crucial for better understanding the relationship between
AI and the human and how they are mutually constructed by uncovering
those aspects that are regarded as natural, normal or given. Focusing on
concepts, representations and narratives from different cultures, the
conference aims to address two axes of comparison that help us make
sense of the diverse realities of artificial intelligence and the ideas
of what is human: Science and fiction, East Asia and the West.
Papers are invited on the following topics (among others):
- Which meanings and functions are ascribed to AI technologies and robots?
- How is science informed by popular discursive images of AI?
- Which cultural differences are there concerning the relationship
between the natural and the artificial? What are the particular
traditions of how to represent the human and its technological surrogates?
- What can the different cultural and conceptual histories tell us about
our present and future with artificial intelligence?
Besides papers on these more general topics, we also invite case studies
on innovative technologies and their fictional precursors as well as on
the social, ethical or political contexts in which they are applied. All
contributions are expected to address the comparative perspective on
East Asian and Euro-American discourses.
Relevant issues and perspectives for these comparisons include but are
not limited to cyberpunk and science-fiction in literature and film,
public debates and imaginations of AI, the relation between simulation
and reality, materiality, historical and legal accounts, sociotechnical
imaginaries and politics.
We welcome contributions from scholars of diverse disciplines, such as
cognitive science, computer science, cultural studies, literature and
film studies, media and communication studies, psychology, political
science, science and technology studies or sociology. Interdisciplinary
approaches (e.g., those combining social, cultural and technical
perspectives) as well as perspectives from practitioners and developers
are particularly encouraged.
- Extended abstracts of approximately 4,000 to 6,000 characters in
length (excl. references) should be submitted no later than 10
February 2021 to (ai21 /at/ hiig.de) <mailto:(ai21 /at/ hiig.de)>
- Speakers will be notified by 15 March 2021.
- No payment from the authors will be required.
Conference and publication of selected papers in an edited volume:
- The conference will take place on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 June
2021 in Berlin.
- Invitations for the submission of selected full manuscripts sent out
in July 2021.
- Full manuscripts of between 30.000 to 50.000 characters (excluding
references) to be submitted by September 2021.
- Comprehensive review returned to authors in December 2021; final
papers due in February 2022.
- The edited volume will be published in early 2022.
If you have any questions, you can contact the conference organisers via
(ai21 /at/ hiig.de) <mailto:(ai21 /at/ hiig.de)>.
For more information, visit our website at hiig.de/events/ai21
Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin
Thomas Christian Bächle, Christian Katzenbach
Japanese-German Center Berlin
Phoebe Stella Holdgrün
Waseda University, Tokyo
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