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AISB event Bulletin Item

CFP: AISB 2009 - Symposium: Killer robots or friendly fridges: the social understanding of Artificial Intelligence

AISB 2009 6-9th April 2009

Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland

Symposium: Killer robots or friendly fridges: the social  understanding of Artificial Intelligence

Call for papers

For the non-specialist, the whole notion of Artificial Intelligence  challenges fundamental understandings of what it is to be human, with  enormous implications for how we conceive ourselves, our artefacts  and our societies.  AIs foundational goal was the construction of  autonomous sentience. Yet, 55 years after Turings seminal paper,  publicly visible achievements, beyond science fiction speculations or  media exaggerations, still lie in faltering steps in voice and image  recognition, surveillance, computer games and virtual environments,  not in truly intelligent everyday machines.

This symposium will offer a major forum for the discussion of the  social understanding of Artificial Intelligence, in particular the  curious spaces between popular expectations of machines that meet our  every whim, fears of humans enslaved or eliminated by crazed super- brains, and the sober reality of toasters that still burn the bread.

At the start of the 21st century, it is timely to reflect not just on  the technical achievements and pitfalls of the now mature discipline  of Artificial Intelligence, but also on its wider social  understanding. While there have always been ill informed concerns  about robots taking over the world, the reality is both more  prosaic and more complex. People have long anthropomorphised complex  artefacts which are capable of seemingly autonomous interaction.  However, recent advances in the deployment of believable characters  and affective systems, both in graphical and robotic form, have  rekindled problematic social and ethical questions about our  relationships with machines.

This symposium offers a fresh opportunity for interdisciplinary  perspectives on the social understanding of Artificial Intelligence,  with the strong potential to bring together contemporary research in  key technical, social, psychological and philosophical domains

-   AI, Ethics and privacy
-   AI and Public Policy
-   Portrayal of AI in film, novel and other art forms
-   Anthropomorphism and AI
-   Attitudes towards robots and graphical characters
-   Believability, naturalism and the uncanny valley
-   Definitions of human-ness and AI artefacts
-   AI and gender
-   Social impact of AI
-   Social expectations of AI
-   Social perceptions of AI
-   Social/legal/economic status of AIs
-   Social/ethical implications of AI augmentation of humans
-   Human/AI construct co-working
-   If AIs could talk, would we understand them?
-   What is it like to be an AI?

We are seeking submissions of original papers that fit well with the  symposium theme and topics. Papers should be no more than 6 pages in  length in the AISB convention format ? see below. Electronic  submissions should be emailed as PDFs to BOTH symposium chairs by the  submission deadline given below. At least one author of each accepted  paper will be required to register and attend the symposium to  present their work.
All papers from the AISB convention will be published in the AISB  proceedings, with an ISBN number. Authors of papers must sign a  copyright declaration (to follow). However, this declaration is not  exclusive - it gives AISB the right to publish the paper, but does  not prevent the author from publishing it in other venues.
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5th January 2009 : Submission deadline
2nd February 2009: Deadline for notifications sent to authors
23rd February 2009 : Camera read copies due
8-9 April 2009: Symposium

Alison Adams, University of Salford
Ruth Aylett, Heriot-Watt University (co-chair)
Alan Bundy, University of Edinburgh
Bob Colomb, University of Technology, Malaysia
Roddy Cowie, Queens University Belfast
Ylva Fernaeus, Swedish Institute of Computer Science
Rudi Lutz, University of Sussex
Greg Michaelson, Heriot-Watt University (co-chair)
Margit Pohl, Vienna University of Technology
Noel Sharkey, University of Sheffield
Peter Wallis, University of Sheffield

Prof Greg Michaelson/Prof Ruth Aylett
Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, EH14 4AS
0131 451 3422/4189 (phone)
0131 451 3732 (FAX)