Deadline: March 1, 2020
Special Issue of Culture Machine
Machine Intelligences in Context: Beyond the Technological Sublime
Edited by Peter Jakobsson, Anne Kaun & Fredrik Stiernstedt
We are seeking contributions for a special issue of Culture Machine – an international open-access journal of culture and theory – exploring Machine Intelligences in Context.
Culture Machine is a series of experiments in culture and theory. Its aim is to seek out and promote scholarly work that engages provocatively with contemporary technical objects, processes and imaginaries from the North and South. Building on its open ended, non-instrumental, and exploratory approach to critical theory, Culture Machine calls for creative scholarship and research that contests globalizing technical narratives and their environmental logics of extraction.
This special issue is a long overdue confrontation with the hype surrounding artificial intelligence. The supposed blessings that AI will bestow upon datafied societies, as well as the associated dangers, are now well-known both to the academic specialist and to the general public. Representatives from the tech sector and the world of politics claim that the fourth industrial revolution will be powered by AI and that AI will eventually become ubiquitous within politics, industry, culture and in everyday life. The impulse behind this special issue is to interrogate these prophesies a bit closer and to get a look behind the shiny surfaces of these new, often unseen technologies. Because it does seem that what AI actually promises, and most of all, what it actually delivers, is neither found in the realm of the fantastic nor the uncanny, and a lot of it is not even particularly new, intelligent or artificial.
The task of this special issue is thus to provide a counter-narrative to the dominant accounts of AI. It is not a matter of debunking AI, of unmasking the ideological interests behind it or revealing its dirty algorithmic secrets, but of putting AI in its critical contexts beyond the technological sublime – ie. the myths surrounding current technological developments that are meant to inspire both awe and fantasies of control and mastery. By combining phenomena that do not normally go together, such as AI and intersectionality, this special issue seeks to un-familiarize the familiar and to make unexpected connections, while also exploring potential critical and more just futures. One question that seems particularly pertinent to ask is of the relations, substitutions and combinations of different forms of intelligence, both human and more than human, and to explore how these come together in different contexts. Contributions that employ critical perspectives from either the social sciences or the humanities are welcome, but we also invite and encourage experimental and transdisciplinary approaches, including contributions from the information sciences, software studies, and articles focused on case studies of AI with stakes for Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
It is time to move past an understanding of AI that borders towards viewing it as a technological sublime. In order to do so we should analyse it as a broad phenomenon that questions the integration of machinic forms of intelligence in lived settings, particularly across the relations it is generating in the Global South.
We welcome proposals that address, build upon and expand the following topics:
• Critical interrogations of definitions and conceptualizations of intelligence(s)
• Pluralities of machine intelligences
• Sensory capacities and AI
• The biopolitics and geopolitics of AI
• Sex, gender and AI
• Race and AI
• Critical interrogations of AI narratives
• Critical perspectives on AI sited in the Global South
• Progressive regulation of AI
Please submit a 500-word abstract and 2 page CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 March 2020
Submission of abstracts 1 March 2020
Notification of acceptance 20 March 2020
Submission of full papers 1 September 2020
Peer Review 15 November 2020
Revision 15 December 2020
Publication January 2021