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Tacit Engagement in the Digital Age 2019

Tacit Engagement in the Digital Age, 28 June 2019: Call for Papers

Sponsored by AI & Society Journal in coordination with Re-Interdisciplinary Network and the Polanyi Society

In the 21st Century, being social is augmented by AI algorithms. Engagement with and through social media networks and mobile apps are re-shaping the notion of community and family and affecting wellbeing as well as the cultures of the workplace and institutions. The exponential rise of big data flows in networked communications causes vast gaps in translation, confusion about what is true and false, and mistrust of ‘experts’. In the shadows of machine thinking we are unable to engage with difference.

This challenges us to come up with technological futures rooted in us as persons, not as numbers, parts, sensory mechanisms, genes, and individual bodies.

  1. What alternative models might allow humans to better engage with technology?
  2. How can we reconsider the relation between a person and a collective intelligence?
  3. How can we reconceive the self as interaction in a digital age?

Ideas of performance reposition seemingly singular subjects and objects as collective phenomena, and help reconnect art and science after their separation in the 19th Century; but the arts in general can help us question and reframe our understandings by directing attention to the tacit assumptions, norms, and expectations embedded in all cultural processes. 

This conference is inspired by the work of Michal Polanyi (The Tacit Dimension, 1966) who questioned the idea of scientific objectivity, and developed an epistemology that framed knowledge as personal, and about commitment. The supposed neutrality he challenged is evidenced in the idea that human ‘intelligence’ can, in the absence of ‘person’, be artificially re-presented, re-constructed and re-produced through computation (AI). The conference explores in what ways the increasing hybridity of the arts and sciences is reconceiving augmentation as participatory, and ‘person’-creating. It questions what an ‘intelligence’ that is ‘artificial’ might be.

This is the third day of a three day conference, with the the first two days (26th and 27th June) held at CRASSH (Alison Building SG1). Online registration for the first two days will open shortly.

This third day (28th June) is in the Music Faculty (Recital Room). On this last day we will discuss the intersections of art, science, technology, and society drawing on Polanyi’s ideas, along with papers from the Polanyi Society covering a range of his work. This is a collaboration between the AI & Society Journal and the Polanyi Society, and in coordination with the “Re-“ Interdisciplinary Network.

Registration cost for attendees and presenters for this third day is £25 and includes lunch, coffee, and refreshments.  The deadline for registration for attendees and presenters is 24 May 2019 subject to places being available. To register for the event on 28 June 2019 please click HERE.

Accommodation is not provided, but please check the meet-cambridge website for some useful suggestions.

Call For Papers

We invite contributions from across the disciplines and practices of the arts, performance arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, neuroscience, technology, and healthcare to engage in reflections on these and other issues around tacit engagement in the digital age, and four central themes of the conference:

  • Performance as a Paradigm of Knowledge
  • Self as Interaction in the Digital Age
  • Trust in the Shadows of Machine Thinking
  • Future Possibilities in intersections of Art, Science, Technology, and Society

Proposals should be submitted in PDF format to Satinder Gill at by 11 March 2019. 

Participants include:

Victoria Vesna (UCLA USA, Art and Science)
Louise Amoore (Leeds UK, Ethics and Algorithms)
Peter Brodner (Siegen Germany, Human-Centred Technology)
Mihály Heder (Budapest Hungary, Philosophy and AI)
Charles Lowney (Hollins University USA, Polanyi and AI)
Ian Cross (Cambridge UK, Music and Science)
Caroline Nevejan (Amsterdam Holland, Witnessed Presence)
Sha Xin-Wei (Synthesis Centre Arizona State University USA, Responsive Media)
Karamjit S Gill (AI & Society Journal, Technology and Society)
Phil Mullins (Missouri Western State University, USA, Ethics and Philosophy of Science)
Walter Gulick (Montana State University Billings USA, Aesthetics and Epistemology) 
Jin Hyun-Kim (Humboldt Germany, Music and Technology)
Kathleen Richardson (Leicester UK, Ethics and Robotics)
Marlene Wynants (Crosstalks Belgium, Art and Society)