How good does this look? So much of this chimes with the paper I’m currently struggling to finish

The Cultural Life of Machine Learning: An Incursion into Critical AI Studies
Preconference Workshop, #AoIR2018 Montréal, Canada
Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre, INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique)
Wednesday October 10th 2018

Machine learning (ML), deep neural networks, differentiable programming and related contemporary novelties in artificial intelligence (AI) are all leading to the development of an ambiguous yet efficient narrative promoting the dominance of a scientific field—as well as a ubiquitous business model. Indeed, AI is very much in full hype mode. For its advocates, it represents a ‘tsunami’ (Manning, 2015) or ‘revolution’ (Sejnowski, 2018)—terms indicative of a very performative and promotional, if not self-fulfilling, discourse. The question, then, is: how are the social sciences and humanities to dissect such a discourse and make sense of all its practical implications? So far, the literature on algorithms and algorithmic cultures has been keen to explore both their broad socio-economic, political and cultural repercussions, and the ways they relate to different disciplines, from sociology to communication and Internet studies. The crucial task ahead is understanding the specific ways by which the new challenges raised by ML and AI technologies affect this wider framework. This would imply not only closer collaboration among disciplines—including those of STS for instance—but also the development of new critical insights and perspectives. Thus a helpful and precise pre-conference workshop question could be: what is the best way to develop a fine-grained yet encompassing field under the name of Critical AI Studies? We propose to explore three regimes in which ML and 21st-century AI crystallize and come to justify their existence: (1) epistemology, (2) agency, and (3) governmentality—each of which generates new challenges as well as new directions for inquiries.

In terms of epistemology, it is important to recognize that ML and AI are situated forms of knowledge production, and thus worthy of empirical examination (Pinch and Bijker, 1987). At present, we only have internal accounts of the historical development of the machine learning field, which increasingly reproduce a teleological story of its rise (Rosenblatt, 1958) and fall (Minsky and Papert 1968; Vapnik 1998) and rise (Hinton 2006), concluding with the diverse if as-yet unproven applications of deep learning. Especially problematic in this regard is our understanding of how these techniques are increasingly hybridized with large-scale training datasets, specialized graphics-processing hardware, and algorithmic calculus. The rationale behind contemporary ML finds its expression in a very specific laboratory culture (Forsythe 1993), with a specific ethos or model of “open science”. Models trained on the largest datasets of private corporations are thus made freely available, and subsequently détourned for the new AI’s semiotic environs of image, speech, and text—promising to make the epistemically recalcitrant landscapes of unruly and ‘unstructured’ data newly “manageable”.

As the knowledge-production techniques of ML and AI move further into the fabric of everyday life, it creates a particularly new form of agency. Unlike the static, rule-based systems critiqued in a previous generation by Dreyfus (1972), modern AI models pragmatically unfold as a temporal flow of decontextualized classifications. What then does agency mean for machine learners (Mackenzie, 2017)? Performance in this particular case relates to the power of inferring and predicting outcomes (Burell, 2016); new kinds of algorithmic control thus emerge at the junction of meaning-making and decision-making. The implications of this question are tangible, particularly as ML becomes more unsupervised and begins to impact on numerous aspects of daily life. Social media, for instance, are undergoing radical change, as insightful new actants come to populate the world: Echo translates your desires into Amazon purchases, and Facebook is now able to detect suicidal behaviours. In the general domain of work, too, these actants leave permanent traces—not only on repetitive tasks, but on the broader intellectual responsibility.

Last but not least, the final regime to explore in this preconference workshop is governmentality. The politics of ML and AI are still largely to be outlined, and the question of power for these techniques remains largely unexplored. Governmentality refers specifically to how a field is organised—by whom, for what purposes, and through which means and discourses (Foucault, 1991). As stated above, ML and AI are based on a model of open science and innovation, in which public actors—such as governments and universities—are deeply implicated (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 2000). One problem, however, is that while the algorithms themselves may be openly available, the datasets on which they rely for implementation are not—hence the massive advantages for private actors such as Google or Facebook who control the data, as well as the economic resources to attract the brightest students in the field. But there is more: this same open innovation model makes possible the manufacture of military AI with little regulatory oversight, as is the case for China, whose government is currently helping to fuel an AI arms race (Simonite 2017). What alternatives or counter-powers could be imagined in these circumstances? Could ethical considerations stand alone without a proper and fully developed critical approach to ML and AI? This workshop will try to address these pressing and interconnected issues.

We welcome all submissions which might profitably connect with one or more of these three categories of epistemology, agency, and governmentality; but we welcome other theoretically and/or empirically rich contributions.

Interested scholars should submit proposal abstracts, of approximately 250 words, by 11:59pm EDT on June 30th, 2018 to CriticalAI2018 [at] gmail [dot] com. Proposals may represent works in progress, short position papers, or more developed research. The format of the workshop will focus on paper presentations and keynotes, with additional opportunities for group discussion and reflection.

This preconference workshop will be held at the Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre of INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique). The Centre is located at 385 Sherbrooke St E, Montreal, QC, and is about a 20-minute train ride from the Centre Sheraton on the STM Orange Line (enter at the Bonaventure stop, exit at Sherbrooke), or about a 30-minute walk along Rue Sherbrooke.

For information on the AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers) conference, see https://aoir.org/aoir2018/ ; for other preconference workshops at AoIR 2018, see https://aoir.org/aoir2018/preconfwrkshop/.

Organizers: Jonathan Roberge (INRS), Michael Castelle (University of Warwick), and Thomas Crosbie (Royal Danish Defence College).

Saving this interesting CfP for later look up

 

Contributors are invited to submit abstracts (about 200 words) toward our
new edited collection entitled: *Social Media and the Production and Spread
of Spurious Deceptive Contents,* to be published by IGI Global (Hershey,
PA), under the series: *Advances in Digital Crime, Forensics, and Cyber
Terrorism* (ADCFCT)

Topics being covered include:

·         *History, literature, perspectives and the prevalence of online
deception*

·         *Methods, techniques and approaches to researching digital
deception*

·         *Fake news, disinformation/misinformation and misleading reports
on Facebook and Twitter             (case studies are encouraged here)*

·         *Defamation and character assassination (case studies are
encouraged here)*

·         *Phishing *

·         *Business falsehood, employment scam and commercial lies*

·         *Investment/financial scam; Ponzi/Pyramid schemes*

·         *Deceptive online dating, romance scam and fake marriage *

·         *Religious deception and political lies (case studies are
encouraged here)*

·         *Deceptive contents by extremist and terrorist groups (other
online platforms are inclusive here)*

·         *Deception detection and behavioral control methods.*

·         *Etc.*

All proposals are to be submitted through the *eEditorial
Discovery®TM online* submission Manager. Please click on this link to
submit an abstract and for full description of the CFP:
https://www.igi-global.com/publish/call-for-papers/call-details/3356.

*Important Dates*

*June 30, 2018:* Proposal Submission Deadline
*October 31, 2018:* Full Chapter Submission

*Inquiries can be forwarded to:*

Sergei Samoilenko

George Mason University, Virginia, USA

ssamoyle@masonlive.gmu.edu

This looks fantastic! 

CALL FOR PAPERS:

MORAL MACHINES? THE ETHICS AND POLITICS OF THE DIGITAL WORLD

6-8 March 2019, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki

With confirmed keynotes from N. Katherine Hayles (Duke University, USA) and Bernard Stiegler (IRI: Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation at the Centre Pompidou de Paris)

As our visible and invisible social reality is getting increasingly digital, the question of the ethical, moral and political consequences of digitalization is ever more pressing. Such issue is too complex to be met only with instinctive digiphilia or digiphobia. No technology is just a tool, all technologies mark their users and environments. Digital technologies, however, mark them much more intimately than any previous ones have done since they promise to think in our place – so that they do not only enhance the homo sapiens’ most distinctive feature but also relieve them from it. We entrust computers with more and more functions, and their help is indeed invaluable especially in science and technology. Some fear or dream that in the end, they become so invaluable that a huge Artificial Intelligence or Singularity will take control of the whole affair that humans deal with so messily.

The symposium “Moral Machines? The Ethics and Politics of the Digital World” welcomes contributions addressing the various aspects of the contemporary digital world. We are especially interested in the idea that despite everything they can do, the machines do not really think, at least not like us. So, what is thinking in the digital world? How does the digital machine “think”? Our both confirmed keynote speakers, N. Katherine Hayles and Bernard Stiegler, have approached these fundamental questions in their work, and one of our aims within this symposium is to bring their approaches together for a lively discussion. Hayles has shown that, for a long time, computers were built with the assumption that they imitate human thought – while in fact, the machine’s capability of non-embodied and non-conscious cognition sets it apart from everything we call thinking. For his part, Bernard Stiegler has shown how technics in general and digital technologies in particular are specific forms of memory that is externalized and made public – and that, at the same time, becomes very different from and alien to individual human consciousness.

We are seeking submissions from scholars studying different aspects of these issues. Prominent work is done in many fields ranging from philosophy and literary studies to political science and sociology, not forgetting the wide umbrella of digital humanities. We hope that the symposium can bring together researchers from multiple fields and thus address the ethics and politics of the digital world in an interdisciplinary and inspiring setting. In addition to the keynotes, our confirmed participants already include Erich Hörl, Fréderic Neyrat and François Sebbah, for instance.

We encourage approaching our possible list of topics (see below) from numerous angles, from philosophical and theoretical to more practical ones. For example, the topics could be approached from the viewpoint of how they have been addressed within the realm of fiction, journalism, law or politics, and how these discourses possibly frame or reflect our understanding of the digital world.

The possible list of topics, here assembled under three main headings, includes but is not limited to:

  • Thinking in the digital world:
  • What kind of materiality conditions the digital cognition?
  • How does nonhuman and nonconscious digital world differ from the embodied human thought?
  • How do the digital technologies function as technologies of memory and thought
  • What kind of consequences might their usage in this capacity have in the long run?
  • The morality of machines:
  • Is a moral machine possible?
  • Have thinking machines made invalid the old argument according to which a technology is only as truthful and moral as its human user? Or can truthfulness and morals be programmed (as the constructors of self-driving cars apparently try to do)?
  • How is war affected by new technologies?
  • The ways of controlling and manipulating the digital world:
  • Can and should the digital world be politically controlled, as digital technologies are efficient means of both emancipation and manipulation?
  • How can we control our digital traces and data gathered of us?
  • On what assumptions are the national and global systems (e.g., financial system, global commerce, national systems of administration, health and defense) designed and do we trust them?
  • What does it mean that public space is increasingly administered by technical equipment made by very few private companies whose copyrights are secret?

“Moral Machines? The Ethics and Politics of the Digital World” is a symposium organized by two research fellows, Susanna Lindberg and Hanna-Riikka Roine at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki. The symposium is free of charge, and there will also be a public evening programme with artists engaging the digital world. Our aim is to bring together researchers from all fields addressing the many issues and problems of the digitalization of our social reality, and possibly contribute towards the creation of a research network. It is also possible that some of the papers will be invited to be further developed for publication either in a special journal issue or an edited book.

The papers to be presented will be selected based on abstracts which should not exceed 300 words (plus references). Add a bio note (max. 150 words) that includes your affiliation and email address. Name your file [firstname lastname] and submit it as a pdf. If you which to propose a panel of 3-4 papers, include a description of the panel (max. 300 words), papers (max. 200 words each), and bio notes (max. 150 words each).

Please submit your proposal to moralmachines2019@gmail.com by 31 August 2018. Decisions on the proposals will be made by 31 October 2018.

For further information about the symposium, feel free to contact the organizers Susanna Lindberg (susanna.e.lindberg@gmail.com) and Hanna-Riikka Roine (hanna.roine@helsinki.fi).

The symposium web site: https://blogs.helsinki.fi/moralmachines/.

An interesting CfP I’m saving for my future reference

*Imagining Radical Futures: Anthropological Potentialities?*
Princeton Anthropology Graduate Conference
October 5th, 2018
Princeton University

*“The facts, alone, will not save us. Social change requires novel fictions
that reimagine and rework*
*all that is taken for granted about the current structure of society”
(Benjamin 2016)*

Anthropology has traditionally practiced restraint to speak only of what we know by virtue of “being there”. Anthropologists have embraced the limitations of knowledge while demonstrating the power of attention to the specific and the particular, to contest positivism and moralizing normativity. Increasingly, governments and corporations attempt to mobilize anthropological knowledge about social change, geopolitical events, sustainability and resilience as a predictive tool. Yet productive recognition of indeterminacy that anthropological theory and practice evokes opens doors to the imaginary, the hopeful, the potential, and the dreamed. This conference will explore the potential of non-predictive futures in anthropological thought and the methodological complexities of imagining futures from the present. The binary of “dark anthropology” and “anthropology of the good” (Ortner 2016) belies complexities and tensions in anthropological approaches to social change: anthropology can report, embody, employ, and open toward or against utopian ideals. What are the implications of imaginative fictions for interlocutors, ethnographers, and the discipline? What radical possibilities can anthropology’s fundamental questions about difference, relationality, and power open for us as we attempt to engage with futurity?

We seek contributions from graduate students in anthropology whose work contributes to understanding imagined futures and extends the anthropological imagination. How can anthropology treat the imaginary as both a heuristic and a space of futurity? What social role can anthropology play in voicing potential futures otherwise? How can ethnographers engage differently with interlocutors’ imagined futures?

Potential areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to, the following:
– New technologies
– Queering Progress
– Novel Fictions/Anthrofictions
– Nonhuman futures
– Creativity and imagination
– Climate and environment
– Hope at the margins
– Aging
– Temporality of Markets
– Policy

Interested applicants should submit an individual abstract (250-300 words) in addition to brief biographies on or before July 1st to antcon@princeton.edu. Limited travel funds may be available TBD.

*References*
Benjamin, Ruha. “Racial Fictions, Biological Facts: Expanding the
Sociological Imagination through Speculative Methods,” Catalyst:
Feminism, Theory, Technoscience: Vol 2, no. 2 (2016), 1-28.
Ortner, Sherry B. “Dark Anthropology and Its Others: Theory since the
Eighties.” HAU : Journal of Ethnographic Theory: Vol 6, no. 1
(2016): 47–73.

For avoidance of doubt, CfPs I post in the ‘interested’ category of my blog are ones other people have organised which I’m archiving for my own use and sharing in case people are interested. If I’m organising an event or project, it’s in the ‘organising’ category of the blog. 

*Going Live: Exploring Live Digital Technologies and Live Streaming
Practices*

Organizers: Dr. Mia Consalvo & Dr. Stefanie Duguay, Concordia University

Website: https://goingliveconf.wixsite.com/goinglive

As a pre-conference event affiliated with the Association of Internet
Researchers (AoIR) annual conference, this full-day workshop will bring
together game studies scholars and social media researchers to discuss the
increasing popularity of live digital technologies. These technologies
include features on social media sites such as Facebook Live, standalone
smartphone apps (e.g., Periscope), and websites dedicated to live
streaming, such as the gaming platform Twitch.tv

Although live streaming has been possible for many years (e.g. Senft,
2008), the evolution of recording devices, data transfer speeds, mobile
apps, and other digital technologies has contributed to a recent
proliferation of live media. Live platforms encourage spontaneous sharing
but controversial incidents raise questions about what should be shared in
a live context. Live streaming game platforms showcase modes of
self-presentation and self-promotion (Consalvo & Altizer, 2017), which
social media influencers also adopt when broadcasting content to adoring
fans (Abidin, 2016). Gamers and influencers alike benefit from the
commercialization of these practices, generating revenue from brand
promotion and boosting attention to advertisements. Clearly, live streaming
and live digital technologies have social, political, economic, and
cultural impacts. However, research into these areas is still developing
and there have been few opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue among
scholars researching live streaming.

We invite you to tackle these topics with us at this pre-conference
workshop, taking place at Concordia University’s cutting-edge Milieux
Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology. We encourage participation from
a range of scholars, from graduate students to early career researchers and
established academics. If you are an AoIR member, you must register through
the AoIR conference website to reserve your place. If you are not an AoIR
member or if you are not attending the AoIR conference, please register
through our website <https://goingliveconf.wixsite.com/goinglive>. The day
will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. T.L. Taylor, Professor of
Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr.
Taylor is an internationally recognized scholar in game studies, having
written field-defining books about online games, the rise of competitive
esports, and the business of live streaming. Watch our website for
additional speaker announcements as we finalize our schedule.

The day will also include paper sessions for presenting and receiving
feedback about works-in-progress. We invite abstracts from scholars
researching live streaming and live digital technologies across a range of
topics, including but not limited to:

– Gaming and esports
– Platform infrastructures, algorithms, and automation
– Communities, practices, and audiences
– Microcelebrity and self-branding
– Political economies and labour
– Ephemeral and everyday media
– Data, policy, privacy, and governance
– Transnational liveness

Selected presenters will have the chance to submit their work-in-progress
papers prior to the workshop for circulation to attendees. If you are
interested in presenting, please submit an abstract of 250 words along with
your name, title, affiliation and a brief bio (50 words) to
goingliveconf@gmail.com by *June 29, 2018*.

*Call for Papers – (In)Equalities and Social (In)Visibilities in the
Digital Age – Journal Interações*

The influence of new technologies in public and private spheres of society,
rather than a reformulation, has given rise to a new social field and
directly interferes with how we perceive the world, relate to it and
others. In Pierre Bourdieu’s (2001) theory, field arises as a configuration
of socially distributed relations.

Progressively, a universe of socialisation has emerged and consolidated:
cyberspace. Although virtual, it exists and produces effects. It can be
defined as the space boosted by the different digital communication
platforms and assumes itself as an individual communication model, allowing
the receiver to be simultaneously emitter. Space of flows (Castells, 1996),
cyberspace translates the social dimension of the Internet enabling the
diffusion of communication/information on a global scale. This causes an
intense process of inclusion and exclusion of people in the network.

The reference to info-inclusive and info-excluded societies of the digital
scenario is imperative when it is reflected in the geography of the new
socio-technological spaces. The dynamics of these territories are directly
associated with the way social, demographic, economic and technological
variables condition each other, revealing the potential for dissemination
of information and knowledge through technologies.

In this special issue of the journal Interações we propose a reflection on
(In)Equalities and Social (In)Visibilities in the Digital Age. Unpublished
works that present research results and/or theoretical reflection on this
theme are accepted (although this special issue is not limited to these
topics):

– Digital and social and economic inequalities in different geographical
contexts;
– Promoting equality by digital;
– Visibilities and social invisible created by movements of exclusion or
social inclusion, digital, media, economic, etc.;
– Invisible social groups in the digital age;
– Digital literacy and vulnerable social groups;
– Digital as a geographical barrier;
– Conditioning created by technology to the individual in a social context.

Deadline for submission of articles: June 25
Notification of acceptance: July 10
Publication: July 31

The articles must be sent via email: interacoes@ismt.pt

Any questions should be addressed to the same email.

Guidelines and other instructions for authors can be found on the journal’s
website: http://www.interacoes-ismt.com/index.php/revista

Contributors are invited to submit abstracts (about 200 words) toward our
new edited collection *Twitter: Global Perspectives, Uses and Criticisms*
to be published by Nova Science (New York). We are interested in new
research and perspectives on, as well as criticisms of *Twitter
communication*.

Topics being covered (though not limited to these) include:

·         *Perspectives and concepts in Twitter communication*

·         *Methods & techniques in Twitter studies/research*

·         *Practices and uses of Twitter (e.g. business, journalism,
education *

*        etc.)*

·         *Activism, campaigning and political discourse on Twitter*

·         *Criticisms and the future of Twitter*

*Kindly note the following important dates*

*Abstract Submission deadline: May 31st  2018*

*Chapter Submission deadline: August 30th 2018*

The contributions for this edited book are intended to range from
4,000-10,000 words (chapters over 10,000 words can be updated by the author
for the e-version of their chapter).

Publication will be about *3-9 months* after the close of the volume.

Please, send your chapter proposals/chapters to:

innocent.chiluwa@covenantuniversity.edu.ng and/or  gwen.bouvier@mu.ie

Session 11.png

The Technology and New Media Research Cluster’s penultimate session of this academic year will be on Friday 25th May, 12-1.30pm in Room B of 17 Mill Lane. The session will be led by Dr Beth Singler from the Institute of Science and Religion on ‘The Fractured Mirror: Narratives of Artificial Intelligence and Humanity’.

All are welcome to attend this multi-disciplinary session and to encourage others to also come and participate in what will undoubtedly be a fascinating, very topical, discussion. Refreshments will be available at the session.

Any queries about the session or the Cluster’s activities can be directed to the current convenor, Amarpreet Kaur ak997@cam.ac.uk

This looks fascinating:

FROM THE HRC-SCHOLARS LISTSERV:

Dear members,

Please find attached for the call for papers from my institution’s anniversary conference. My institution being TILT (The Institute for Law, Technology and Society in Tilburg, The Netherlands), you might find this one a bit out there but we have several tracks for which we secifically hope to bring together a very interdisciplinary crowd. The track that I wanted to bring to your attention is “AI, Robotics and Responsibility”, I copy-pasted the text below. 

This is the website: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/upload/11d6299f-4ea0-4b39-bc88-a4631c328875_CALL_FOR_PAPERS_TILTing%202019.pdf

PLease feel free to spread the word!

Aviva.

Track: AI, Robotics and Responsibility

The complexity and autonomous character of Artificial Intelligent (AI) technologies and robotics challenge conventional ideas about responsibility. How will responsibility be distributed if self- driving cars no longer require the active attention of the driver? Can operators or commanders be held responsible for the targeting decisions of autonomous lethal weapons? To what extent can human beings be accountable for administrative decisions made by machine-learning
algorithms? Some scholars have argued that the more autonomous technologies become, the less we can reasonably hold human beings responsible. This particular conclusion is perhaps a bit too premature, but it does underline that these (envisioned) technologies require a rethinking of our conceptions of responsibility and associated concepts, such as accountability, liability, trust, autonomy, agency, and control.

In this track we want to explore how developments in AI and robotics affect established ways of
distributing responsibility and how concerns about responsibility can be addressed. We consider
responsibility in a broad sense as pertaining to various different kinds of responsibility, including
accountability, liability, role responsibility, professional responsibility or moral responsibility. As
such, AI and robotics have raised a range of questions and concerns. Are our existing concepts
of liability and accountability equipped to deal with machine learning algorithms? Should artificial
agents and robots at one point in the future be held liable or be considered moral agents? To
what extent can and should the outputs of AI algorithms be explained, for example to hold human
beings accountable for automated decisions? What does it mean to have meaningful control over
an AI technology? How do increasingly autonomous technologies mediate how we experience our
(moral) responsibility, for instance in terms of how they interact with feelings of guilt, regret or
duty? These different questions bring together a number of current and related discussions that
we want to connect in this track to examine how the changing relationship between human beings
and digital technologies affects the role of responsibility in the governance and regulation of AI and
robotics. We, therefore, welcome contributions from a range of different disciplines, including law,
philosophy, social science, cognitive science and computer science, on topics related to AI, robotics
and responsibility.

For questions about possible presentation topics for this track,
please contact Dr. Merel Noorman: M.E.Noorman@uvt.nl

The Cultural Matters Group at the Department of Sociology, Uppsala University on Sept. 27-28 organizes a symposium called Dis / Connection: Conflicts, Activism and Reciprocity Online and Beyond and we look forward to receiving your papers!

Deadline for submissions is June 18, 2018.

The symposium focuses on a fundamental aspect of social relationships, namely the idea of connection. We invite abstract submissions on the possibilities of connectivity, but also the problems and promises of the act of disconnection. Digital networks embedded in everyday lives have transformed virtually every aspect of social life – from intimate relations with family and friends to the collective acts of digital activism. Digital relations and connections are our starting point for a broader discussion of notions of connectivity and how they are developing, failing, or simply being reproduced. Therefore, we also focus on the idea of disconnection as a voluntary act to take control over one’s use of digital technologies, as an act of resistance and of saying no to the opaque structures of power and control in the networked society. The goal is to further the discussion on the gains, costs and possibilities of ethical life in the culture of hyperconnectivity. The symposium also aims to address destructive functions of connected living, such as surveillance, trolls, selfies, fake news, fake news accusations, sexual harassment, click baiting, commercialism, terrorism, viruses, spam, and the colonization of private life. In other words, we are interested in how connectivity and disconnectivity can give rise to and facilitate social inclusion and democratic processes, as well as exclusion, isolation and conflict.

Confirmed keynote speaker Adam Fish is a cultural anthropologist and senior Lecturer at the Sociology Department at Lancaster University. He will give a talk entitled “Anthropology, Atmosphere, Anthropocene: Drones, Disruptive Justice, and the Disruption of the Earth.” The talk will include insights from his latest research on the use of drones in various contexts: surveillance, environmental protection, and war. Fish is the author of Technoliberalism and the end of participatory culture in the United States (2017, Palgrave) and After the internet (2017, Polity), together with Ramesh Srinivasan, and is currently working on a book called Hacker States.

Further speakers to be announced.

Mako Ishizuka, Japanese artist based in Paris, will conduct a performance art piece in parallel with the talks and paper sessions. She has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions internationally, including France, Japan and the Netherlands. For more info see: http://makois.com<http://makois.com/>

Papers could address but are not limited to the following themes:

*   What is ‘connectivity’ and how can we analyze it?
*   Sexism, peer pressure and online harassment
*   Digital activism / hacktivism
*   Bad connection – communication networks gone awry
*   The digital underclass – outsourced journalists, click farm and troll factory workers, and networking refugees
*   “Someone is very wrong on the internet” – risk, edgework, and the rise of the internet as a polarized political space
*   Digital afterlives and post-humanism
*   Digital intimacies
*   Online radicalization and extremism
*   Epistemic enclosures (so called “Google Bubbles”) and the future of representative democracy
*   The colonization of attention and attention economy
*   The self promotion video as a technique of the self
*   1337 h4x0rz
*   Politicians’ tweets, dick picks, inappropriate tagging and other downsides of being connected
*   Analog relationships offline – embodied relationships between humans (and other animals) as a way to opt out of the digital
*   Voluntary disconnection

Abstract submission and fees: The symposium will be free of charge, including coffee and a dinner in the evening of the 27th September. The number of participants is limited.

Please submit your abstract to disconnection@soc.uu.se<mailto:disconnection@soc.uu.se> together with your name, affiliation and contact details. Use the same address for queries, and if you want to attend the conference without presenting a paper. Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. You will be notified concerning your participation in the beginning of July.

Deadline for submissions is June 18, 2018.

We’ re looking forward to receiving your papers!

On behalf of the Cultural Matters Group,

/Magdalena

#DQComm2018 The Deliberative Quality of Communication Conference 2018
Citizens, Media and Politics in Challenging Times: Perspectives on the
Deliberative Quality of Communication

November 8 – 9, 2018
Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), Mannheim, Germany

Keynote Speaker: Kaisa Herne (University of Tampere)

Roundtable on the Future of Deliberation Research with:
André Bächtiger (University of Stuttgart)
Céline Colombo (University of Zürich)
Christiane Eilders (University of Düsseldorf)
Hartmut Wessler (University of Mannheim)

Call for abstracts

Western democracies nowadays face a number of challenges induced by
political developments. These challenges have been affecting the way in
which citizens, the media and political elites communicate about politics.
Critical observers witness a deteriorating quality of political
conversations between ordinary citizens. It appears no longer possible to
discuss politics normally. A high-choice media environment facilitated by
online and in particular social media enables citizens to refrain from
exposing themselves to counter-attitudinal information and engaging in
cross-cutting political talk. The polarization of opinions within society
is promoted by increasingly fragmented media systems and a reporting style
that favors sensational and scandalous over a balanced and multifaceted
reporting. Rapid media cycles shorten time for balanced and thorough
argumentation and media outlets are steadily confronted with the accusation
of producing fake news. Political actors adapt to the media logic by
employing ever more simplified and emotionally arousing communication.
Instead of deliberating publicly on complex problems and finding
compromises or solutions, political elites rather prefer to communicate
through short soundbites and populist messages to promote their positions
and eventually attract voters at election time. Overall, these dynamics
indicate a deteriorating deliberative quality of political communication
among and between citizens, the media and political elites. While this
phenomenon has caused concern among scholars from both political and
communication science, it still needs further empirical substantiation and
demand a reflection on extant theories.

This conference aims at addressing the deliberative quality of
communication among and between citizens, media and political elites.
Within this research context, we welcome both theoretical, empirical and
methodological contributions focusing on the deliberative quality of
communication. The proposals can address – but are not limited – to the
following questions:

* To which extent does ordinary citizens’ talk about politics come close to
the genuine type of deliberation? Who participates in political talk, who
does not and why? Do citizens talk to those with viewpoints that conflict
with their own? What are the underlying motives and condition that give
rise to homogenous or heterogeneous talk about politics? Which variables
affect the quality of informal civic discussions? Do citizens’ daily
exchanges resemble reasoned and well-argued debates or harsh fights at the
expense of proper justification?

* To which extent does the online sphere of political communication promote
respectively impede deliberation? Are platform interventions (e.g.,
Facebook’s proposed policy of removing hate speech and fake news) a panacea
to improve the quality of online deliberation and to save deliberative
democracy?

* To which extent do different features of the media systems influence
mediated deliberation? How does the increased polarization and
fragmentation of media environments translate into the deliberative quality
of the media? How deliberative is the media system as a whole? How
deliberative are individual media types, formats, or programs?

* How do political, national and cultural climates shape deliberation? To
which extent do different types of the political system affect the
deliberative quality within the public sphere? How does the increased
polarization of the political environments affect formal deliberation? How
do political elites engage with populist actors who decline to engage in
reasoned and constructive dialogue?

* Which opportunities and challenges do big data offer for the analysis of
deliberation? What are the methodological challenges and pitfalls when
measuring deliberation? To which extent, and if so how, may computational
methods help in identifying the criteria for deliberation?

Submissions are due by June 15, 2018 (23:59 CET) and must be submitted via
this Google Form.

https://goo.gl/forms/xazX7B2E9C64drhB3

Abstracts must not be longer than 500 words (excluding title and
references). A committee composed of communication and political science
experts in deliberation will review each abstract. Only one proposal per
first author can be accepted. Notifications of acceptance will be issued in
July 2018. Limited funds are available to cover accommodation and travel
expenses of conference presenters. In order to host a family-friendly
conference, the parent and child room of the University of Mannheim can be
used for self-provided childcare.

Further questions, please visit the website
http://mzes.uni-mannheim.de/DQComm2018/

or contact the organizers directly: dqcomm2018@mzes.uni-mannheim.de

Christiane Grill, Anne Schäfer, Charlotte Löb and Chung-hong Chan
Organizing Committee of The Deliberative Quality of Communication
Conference 2018

ALW2: 2nd Workshop on Abusive Language Online
EMNLP 2018 (Brussels, Belgium), October 31st or November 1st, 2018
Submission deadline: July 20th, 2018
Website: https://sites.google.com/view/alw2018 <https://sites.google.com/view/alw2018>
Submission link: https://www.softconf.com/emnlp2018/ALW2/ <https://www.softconf.com/emnlp2018/ALW2/>

Overview
Interaction amongst users on social networking platforms can enable constructive and insightful conversations and civic participation; however, on many sites that encourage user interaction, verbal abuse has become commonplace, leading to negative outcomes such as cyberbullying, hate speech, and scapegoating. In online contexts, aggressive behavior may be more frequent than in face-to-face interaction, which can poison the social climates within online communities. The last few years have seen a surge in such abusive online behavior, leaving governments, social media platforms, and individuals struggling to deal with the consequences.

For instance, in 2015, Twitter’s CEO publicly admitted that online abuse on their platform was resulting in users leaving the platform, and in some cases even having to leave their homes. More recently, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft pledged to remove hate speech from their platforms within 24 hours in accordance with the EU commission code of conduct and face fines of up to €50M in Germany if they systematically fail to remove abusive content within 24 hours. While governance demands the ability to respond quickly and at scale, we do not yet have effective human or technical processes that can address this need. Abusive language can often be extremely subtle and highly context dependent. Thus we are challenged to develop scalable computational methods that can reliably and efficiently detect and mitigate the use of abusive language online within variable and evolving contexts.

As a field that works directly with computational analysis of language, NLP (Natural Language Processing) is in a unique position to address this problem. Recently there have been a greater number of papers dealing with abusive language in the computational linguistics community. Abusive language is not a stable or simple target: misclassification of regular conversation as abusive can severely impact users’ freedom of expression and reputation, while misclassification of abusive conversations as unproblematic on the other hand maintains the status quo of online communities as unsafe environments. Clearly, there is still a great deal of work to be done in this area. More practically, as research into detecting abusive language is still in its infancy, the research community has yet to agree upon a suitable typology of abusive content as well as upon standards and metrics for proper evaluation, where research in media studies, rhetorical analysis, and cultural analysis can offer many insights.

In this second edition of this workshop, we continue to emphasize the computational detection of abusive language as informed by interdisciplinary scholarship and community experience. We invite paper submissions describing unpublished work from relevant fields including, but not limited to: natural language processing, law, psychology, network analysis, gender and women’s studies, and critical race theory.

Paper Topics
We invite long and short papers on any of the following general topics:
related to developing computational models and systems:

NLP models and methods for detecting abusive language online, including, but not limited to hate speech, cyberbullying etc.
Application of NLP tools to analyze social media content and other large data sets
NLP models for cross-lingual abusive language detection
Computational models for multi-modal abuse detection
Development of corpora and annotation guidelines
Critical algorithm studies with a focus on abusive language moderation technology

Human-Computer Interaction for abusive language detection systems
Best practices for using NLP techniques in watchdog settings

or related to legal, social, and policy considerations of abusive language online:

The social and personal consequences of being the target of abusive language and targeting others with abusive language
Assessment of current non-NLP methods of addressing abusive language
Legal ramifications of measures taken against abusive language use
Social implications of monitoring and moderating unacceptable content
Considerations of implemented and proposed policies for dealing with abusive language online and the technological means of dealing with it.

In addition, in this one-day workshop, we will have a multidisciplinary panel discussion and a forum for plenary discussion on the issues that researchers and practitioners face in efforts to work with abusive language detection. We are also looking into the possibility of publishing a special issue journal to this iteration of the workshop.

We seek to have a greater focus on policy aspects of online abuse through invited speakers and panels.

Submission Information
We will be using the EMNLP 2018 Submission Guidelines. Authors are invited to submit a full paper of up to 8 pages of content with up to 2 additional pages for references. We also invite short papers of up to 4 pages of content, including 2 additional pages for references.

Accepted papers will be given an additional page of content to address reviewer comments.  We also invite papers which describe systems. If you would like to present a demo in addition to presenting the paper, please make sure to select either “full paper + demo” or “short paper + demo” under “Submission Category” in the START submission page.

Previously published papers cannot be accepted. The submissions will be reviewed by the program committee. As reviewing will be blind, please ensure that papers are anonymous. Self-references that reveal the author’s identity, e.g., “We previously showed (Smith, 1991) …”, should be avoided. Instead, use citations such as “Smith previously showed (Smith, 1991) …”.

We have also included conflict of interest in the submission form. You should mark all potential reviewers who have been authors on the paper, are from the same research group or institution, or who have seen versions of this paper or discussed it with you.
We will be using the START conference system to manage submissions.

Important Dates
Submission due: July 20, 2018
Author Notification: August 18, 2018
Camera Ready: August 31, 2018
Workshop Date: Oct 31st or Nov 1st, 2018
Submission link: https://www.softconf.com/emnlp2018/ALW2/ <https://www.softconf.com/emnlp2018/ALW2/>

Digital Infrastructures: Poetics, Politics and Personhood – AAA San Jose 14-18 November 2018
Lorraine Weekes (Stanford University)
Gertjan Plets (Utrecht University)

Government databases, digital archives, online voting systems, and e-portals enabling the submission of everything from insurance claims to income tax returns increasingly define mundane engagements between citizen-users and a suite of public and private institutions across social arenas. Because of efficiency and transparency digital technologies are seen as affording, reliance on digital infrastructures has become widely supported on the ground. At the same time, sociopolitical structures and assumptions encoded in many of these infrastructures—and the entanglements they produce—have received little attention. The tendency of infrastructure to remain invisible until something goes wrong is perhaps especially acute in digital and high-tech contexts where the scale, technological complexity, and physical diffusion encourages black boxing. By putting the politics and poetics of digital infrastructure into the limelight, this panel will consider the historical and ethnographic dimensions of digital infrastructures and how they produce individual subjectivities, mediate power relationships and further existing reifications of the social across the globe. By bringing the theoretical insights of the burgeoning anthropology of infrastructure and bureaucracy to bear on the digital networks and assemblages, the papers in this panel endeavor to make the materiality, social-embeddedness, and historical contingency of digital infrastructure visible.

Please submit an abstract before April 2 or send enquiries to g.f.j.plets@uu.nl<mailto:g.f.j.plets@uu.nl>

Minitrack: Collective Intelligence and Crowds

HICSS 52 http://hicss.hawaii.edu/ Track: Digital and Social Media

January 8-11, 2019, Maui, Hawaii, USA

This minitrack is open to analysis of collective intelligence, knowledge creation, and crowdsourcing. We think that assemblages of people and machines are making new forms of organization possible, and we are interested in research that explores these new forms of organization. The minitrack invites papers that look at crowd sourcing, at idea generation, at remixing communities, and hybrid organizations in which learning machines plays a strong role.

We live surrounded by socially constructed identities – organizations, nations, websites – all of which are constituted through a complex interplay of interactions, a kind of distributed cognition. These Internet platforms allow people to aggregate knowledge from socially distant areas. They also allow diverse groups of people – and maybe autonomous learning machines – to negotiate identities. With these socio-technical configurations we can build collective intelligences that themselves will steer the quest for knowledge. These collectives can be self-catalyzing, deciding individually or collaboratively what to do next, out of which novel and practical ideas emerge.
While these open design collectives rely on organic growth and slow embedding of members in the network, alternative structures based on crowds can be assembled more rapidly. Between the two extremes are a host of different organizational and social structures, in which committed members of a community create, improve, and share ideas. The output of these socio-technical systems often takes the form of digital media, and their traces are varied, ranging from ephemeral short messages to curated collaborative knowledge repositories.

We are interested in 1) papers that observe, analyze, or visualize these socio-technical structures and their outputs: for example, analyses of open design and open source collectives 2) papers that analyze the phenomena of crowdsourcing, collective intelligence and collaborative mass knowledge production; 3) design research that creates and evaluates new tools and processes for crowds and communities; and 4) papers that simulate the production processes and outcomes through software.

We are open to papers that explore unusual ways of modeling emergent organizations: models that demonstrate or reflect the influence of social systems on user behaviors, models that consider the multiple connections between people, technology, and institutions, models of technological and social affordances, models that break personal identity into sub-relations, models that examine the emergence of roles, identity, and institutions, as well as socio-technical models of deviance and disruption. We are particularly interested in papers that apply the foundational ideas of James Coleman, James March, Herb Simon, Mark Granovetter, Harrison White, Charles Tilly and related scholars to modern information systems. We are open to papers concerned with how to visualize large scale social phenomena. And papers that analyze the role machine algorithms and human processes play in our politics and our personal interactions.
In sum, the content of the minitrack is open to analysis of collective intelligence, new sociotechnical configuration of knowledge creation, and crowdsourcing. Included also is the analysis of social interaction as a way of describing underlying social structure. Thus, the track is open to a wide range of content areas that lend themselves to the analysis of relations between people, collectives, and machines, as well as the products produced as a result of these relations.

IMPORTANT DATES

– April 15: Paper submission begins
– June 15: Paper submissions deadline
– August 17: Notification of Acceptance/Rejection
– September 22: Deadline for authors to submit final manuscript for publication
– October 1: Deadline for at least one author to register for HICSS-52

Conference Website: http://hicss.hawaii.edu/
Author Guidelines:  http://hicss.hawaii.edu/tracks-and-minitracks/authors/

CALL FOR PAPERS: 52nd HICSS 2019, Maui, Hawaii
January 8-11, 2019 – Maui, Hawaii

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, COLLECTIVE ACTION AND SOCIAL TECHNOLOGIES MINITRACK
in the Digital and Social Media Track
URL: http://hicss.hawaii.edu/tracks-52/digital-and-social-media/

Submission Deadline: June 15, 2018 | 11:59 pm HST
Notification of Acceptance/Rejection: August 17, 2018

******************************************************
CfP HICSS-52 (2019) minitrack:

This minitrack focuses on three main themes: 1) theorizing about information systems through the study of collective action and social movement phenomena, 2) the application of collective action and social movement theory toward understanding technology phenomena, and 3) methodological advances that can help us better understand research topics at the intersection of social movements, collective action and social technologies. Our hope is to engage scholars and practitioners from diverse fields and generate cross-disciplinary dialogue.

We welcome submissions from authors conducting empirical and conceptual research along with practitioner reports and case studies. Potential topics include:

*   The role of digitization in shaping the nature of organization and collaboration
*   Platform design implications for message / frame diffusion
*   Why and how collective action dilemmas arise or resolve
*   Innovation through collective action
*   Cross-level (e.g., individual to societal) impacts of social technologies
*   Brand hijacking movements targeting corporate competitors
*   Implications of cyberactivism and hacktivism
*   Fake news movements and propaganda diffusion
*   Effectiveness of hashtag activism or clicktivism
*   Corporate strategy / involvement in social movements to shape public policy
*   Botivists (web bots programmed for activism), online petitions, and other tools for digital protest
*   Viral marketing of ideas and social agendas
*   Social media capabilities and facilitation of echo chambers
*   Financing of social agendas through crowdfunding or bitcoin exchanges
*   Any application of social movement or collective action concepts (e.g., frames and tactics, organization, claim making, etc.) toward understanding of social technology phenomenon (e.g., crowdsourcing, large group collaboration, social media use, etc.)

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Amber Young (Primary Contact)
University of Massachusetts Amherst
ayoung@isenberg.umass.edu<mailto:ayoung@isenberg.umass.edu>

Jama Summers
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
jdsummers@utk.edu<mailto:jdsummers@utk.edu>

Constantinos Coursaris
Michigan State University
coursari@msu.edu<mailto:coursari@msu.edu>