CFP – Autonomy and Automation: Robotics, AI and the Digital Cultural Future

CFP: Autonomy and Automation: Robotics, AI and the Digital Cultural Future

A One Day Seminar at DCRC – UWE Bristol

Saturday March 8, 2014

Call for Papers

Through a curiously ambivalent wave of media attention robotics and AI have emerged as major topics for media and cultural research to address in a more substantial fashion. The oscillation between accounts of drones and surveillance applications on the one hand and promises of beneficial medical and social uses of ‘helpful’ robots and intelligent systems on the other is symptomatic of increasing uncertainty about what philosopher Bernard Stiegler calls the ‘pharmacological’ (both poison and cure, necessary but hazardous therapeutic supplement) character of technoscience and the technocultural transformation it hastens onward.

This one day seminar seeks to contribute toward the placing of robotics and AI firmly on the critical agenda via an interdisciplinary approach bringing humanities, science and science and technology studies into dialogue. In doing so it will respond to questions around autonomy and automation that robotics and AI developments are posing today in social, cultural, political and military registers. If these questions are not entirely new, the rapid advances in these fields of technoscientific endeavour make it increasingly urgent to repose them, not least because what seems to be looming on the horizon is the disappearance of the critical autonomy to interrogate and to reshape the cultural and political adoption of such advances.

Keynote speakers will be Lucy Suchman of Lancaster University’s Sociology Department, member of Lancaster’s Centres for Science Studies and for Gender and Women’s Studies and member of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, and Joanna Bryson of Bath University’s Computer Science Department, leader of its Artificial Models of Natural Intelligence research sub-group and co-author of the EPSRC Principles of Robotics.

Submissions for Papers/presentations dealing with one of the following areas are invited:

Creative, artistic or activist uses, reflections or interventions related to AI and robotics developments
Ethical, juridicial and political issues related to the use of automatic decision-making systems autonomously or in combinations with human decision-makers
Media debates and discourses concerning AI and robotics developments
Emerging developments in robotics and AI and their cultural, social and political implications

Abstracts of 200 words for a presentation of 20 min.maximum by 3 February, 2014.

Email abstracts to Notification of acceptance by 14 February, 2014. Presenters can apply for domestic UK travel costs.

We encourage all submitters to attend and participate as we hope to develop the Seminar activities further through subsequent exchanges and collaborations. The event is free, but registration is required – go to

Venue: Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed Media Centre, Bristol BS1 5TX

Time: 10 am – 6.00 pm

Refreshments will be provided

Contact for further information

Leave A Comment

Culture Lab @ ASC.

The Culture Lab is a forum for researchers at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania committed to exploring, enriching, and elucidating the contours of culture and communication. We are interested in culture as it is, as it takes shape, and as it is remembered. We are interested, in other words, in culture anywhere that it exists.
Skip to toolbar