Message posted on 03/12/2023

Open panel '(Re)Making AI through STS.'

Dear all,

I'm delighted to announce that the call for abstracts for the panel '(Re)Making AI through STS.' is out!

The panel, scheduled within the EASST-4S 2024 conference in Amsterdam (16-19 July 2024), is co-organized with Simone Arnaldi (University of Trieste) and Stefania Milan (University of Amsterdam). Find below the abstract of our call, for additional information about the conference, please visit this link. The deadline for submissions is February 12, 2024.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Best regards

Francesco Miele

Title: '(Re)Making AI through STS.' Convenors: Francesco Miele (University of Trieste), Stefania Milan (University of Amsterdam), Simone Arnaldi (University of Trieste).

Short Abstract: How can STS contribute to (re)make the transformations brought about by the advance of AI in society? We welcome empirical, theoretical and methodological contributions helpful for providing non-deterministic, anti-heroic and ‘flat’ narratives about AI and ongoing societal changes. Long Abstract:

The recent renaissance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its growing relevance in public debate have fueled never died hopes and fears about the disruptive role of innovative machines in our societies. Whether social scientists have often partaken in the deconstruction of seductive myths concerning AI and its miraculous role in tackling pivotal issues of modern societies, this open panel aims to examine how STS can contribute to govern the transformations emerging around AI technologies. First, we encourage STS researchers to explore the advance of AI in high-stake areas - including education, employment, credit scoring, entertainment, environment preservation, cultural consumption and healthcare – providing accounts that move away from the dystopian and utopian narratives very common in popular science as well as in certain academia. Where enthusiastic and critical positions about AI have been often sustained by technological or social determinism, in contrast we welcome theoretical and empirical contributions that adopt a ‘flat’ ontology that put all forms agency on a par, without taking for granted that power asymmetries and transformative capabilities belong to specific human and non-human actors. Second, we invite scholars to reflect on the methodological ability of STS to give voice to the voiceless, supporting the theoretical and empirical efforts of proposing anti-heroic and non-deterministic narratives about AI. We believe that this can happen developing methods and techniques that, one the one hand, explore the power of acting of actors generally excluded by the grand narratives about AI and, on the other hand, involve these actors in the enactment and the evaluation of AI technologies. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

• Deconstruction of seductive myths

• Appropriation and resistance practices from below

• Distributed agency

• AI and vulnerable populations

• Non-human world(s)

• Failures and pitfalls of AI

• Power asymmetries and re-negotiations

• Digital and computational methods

• Post-qualitative research

• Participatory methods

Francesco Miele Ricercatore | Senior Assistant Professor, University of Trieste Department of Political and Social Sciences Piazzale Europa 1, 34127, Trieste, Italy.

Recent Publications Miele, F. (2022). On the persistence of coercive practices in dementia treatment. When plans, spaces, and discourses matter. Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, 63(4), 853-877.

Rossi, P., Miele, F., Piras, E.M. (2022), "The co-production of a workplace health promotion program: expected benefits, contested boundaries”, Social Theory & Health. Online first 17 August, 2022.


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