A.I. – Panic or Panacea
The issue of intelligence lies at the heart of the scholarly lifeworld, although for much of history a topic focussed around a singular, human construct. Today though, algorithms, deep learning and artificial intelligence have emerged into the everyday world. From the seemingly trivial, to battling the pandemic or even fighting our future wars, applications of algorithmic intelligence are increasingly shaping critical decisions and policy helping meet emerging challenges. Should we be celebrating the transition to a more ‘automated’ workplace, freeing humankind from waged-labour exploitative drudgery or does it represent an existential threat to the livelihood of millions?
Some would argue humanity has cause to fear the unchecked rise of the machines in our society. For example, the recent examination debacle in the UK undoubtedly lays still sharp in the minds of many British students and their parents as an example of a misapplied technological aid. Other cautionary tales of unfettered algorithm use abound in fields as diverse as space imaging and earth observation, through to the evaluation of immigration applicants or ‘future crime’ prediction. Is the age of the 'Minority Report' a new era of safety to be trumpeted or a greater force for oppression and fear?
Conversely, many assert artificial intelligence, machine learning and algorithms offer humanity a brave new world of opportunity, advancement and potential achievement. Deployed in the service of humanity algorithmic intelligence could help us better plan for future building and habitation needs, predict cataclysmic acts of nature or even more efficiently discover curative treatments. Thus, the artificially intelligent enabled future may be a far brighter one than some currently anticipate. Where, if anywhere, does ‘the truth’ lay?
Hence, for the issue of Exchanges due for publication in Autumn 2021, we invite authors to submit original, exciting and insightful manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication consideration inspired by any aspect of this theme. We welcome papers written for a general academic audience exploring or reviewing the science, application and implementation of machine learning, artificial intelligence or algorithms within a broader societal setting. We also welcome submissions from the humanities, arts and social sciences dealing with the ethics, perceptions, interpretations and representations of these issues too.
First-time or early career authors may alternatively wish to consider submitting either a critical reflection or conversational (interview) piece inspired or informed by these themes. Such pieces would serve to provide much needed background to the topic for a general academic audience. Critical reflections and conversations only undergo editorial review ahead of publication and hence are especially suitable for first-time or early career authors.
All submitted manuscripts will undergo editorial review, with those seeking publication as a research article additionally undergoing formal peer-review. The online form should be used to make manuscript submissions.
> Peer-reviewed articles: 1st May 2021. | Conversations or critical reflections: 31st August 2021.
For more information on Exchanges and our activities, visit the journal’s website. For questions relating to this call, future submissions or other matters relating to the title please contact Editor-in-Chief, Dr Gareth J Johnson.