News

CEPE/IACAP 2021, Hamburg, July 5-9

CEPE/IACAP Joint Conference 2021: The Philosophy and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

Call for Abstracts

Conference: 5-9 July, 2021
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Abstracts due: October 1, 2020

Keynote Speakers: TBA

Advances in artificial intelligence, partly due to the availability of massive amounts of data, have recently stirred both public and academic debates about the opportunities, but also the risks posed by these developments. While debates around strong AI often appear to oscillate between utopian dreams and dystopian nightmares, developments in the context of so-called weak AI raise more mundane, yet more pressing ethical and philosophical questions. Automated decision-making, crime prediction, facial recognition, or deep fakes: technological advances and the increasing reliance on often opaque software systems raise thorny questions. The recent controversies around Covid-19 tracing or so-called immunity apps may serve as a telling example: from issues around surveillance and privacy over justice and discrimination to freedom and (relational) autonomy – the development and deployment of information and communication technologies poses numerous ethical, social, and political questions to be addressed from different philosophical perspectives.

The International Society of Ethics and Information Technology (INSEIT.net) and the International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP.org) are delighted to announce that submissions are now being accepted for their joint CEPE/IACAP conference on July 5-9, 2021, hosted by the Department of Informatics, Universität Hamburg, Germany. The meeting is organized by the Research Group for Ethics in Information Technology (http://uhh.de/inf-eit), chaired by Prof. Dr. Judith Simon (http://uhh.de/inf-simon). The philosophy and ethics of artificial intelligence will serve as a guiding theme for the CEPE/IACAP Joint Conference 2021. While submissions to this broad topic are encouraged, other topics within the field of philosophy of computing and computer ethics are also very welcome.

We invite submissions of extended abstracts for individual papers and proposals for symposia.

Submission:

Extended abstracts and proposals for symposia shall be submitted via https://www.conferences.uni-hamburg.de/e/cepe-iacap2021 by October 1, 2020.

Individual Papers: Submissions should

  • be prepared for blind review;
  • provide an extended abstract of 1000-1500 words;
  • provide a short abstract of 150-200 words suitable for inclusion in the conference program.

Symposia/Panels: Proposals should indicate

  • the title of the proposed symposium;
  • a description of the topic (500-800 words);
  • the list of participants;
  • the number of slots required. A regular slot for symposia is 90 minutes. In exceptional cases, two slots may be available for a symposium.

Important Dates:

Extended abstract and symposia proposals due: October 1, 2020

Reviews due: November 15, 2020

Paper and symposia acceptance/rejection: November 30, 2020

Final full paper due: May 1, 2021

Conference: July 5-9, 2021

Full Papers:

Upon acceptance of the extended abstracts, full papers of 5000-7000 words are invited for submission. A selection of these submitted papers will be invited for joint submission to a journal, possibly to be published in a special issue (depending on the acceptance of SI proposals). Submission of full papers is not mandatory unless (a) you want to participate in the best paper award (see below) or (b) you want your paper to be considered for submission to relevant journals.

Best Paper Award:

There will be two best paper awards: one for all submissions and one specifically for graduate students. The graduate students, of course, are also eligible for the general best paper award. Please indicate in your submission that you are a graduate student to qualify for the student best paper award.

Mentoring Program:

There will be a dedicated mentoring session in the program where graduate students or junior faculty members can meet with mentors to discuss their research. If you are interested in such a mentoring program as a) a mentor or b) a mentee, please indicate this in your proposal. The availability of mentors as well as the matching between mentors and mentees will be decided upon after the review process has been finalised.

Program Committee: TBA

Fees:

Further details on the conference registration and payment options will be provided later on. While having to cover the costs for the conference, we will try to keep the fees as low as possible. Students and members of INSEIT and IACAP will receive a reduced registration fee.

Website:

All further information will be provided through the conference website at http://uhh.de/inf-cepe-iacap2021.

E-mail:

You can contact us by email at cepe-iacap2021@informatik.uni-hamburg.de.

Best wishes,
The Organizing Committee

Special Extended CFA: IACAP 2019 Distributed Computing and Epistemic Logic Track

The International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP) announces that submissions are now being accepted for the IACAP 2019: Distributed Computing and Epistemic Logic Track, June 5, to be held at and sponsored by the Institute of Mathematics, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). This special track is being organized by,

Alexandru Baltag: ILLC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(http://www.illc.uva.nl/People/show_person.php?Person_id=Baltag+A.B.)

Sergio Rajsbaum: Institute of Mathematics, UNAM.
(http://www.matem.unam.mx/~rajsbaum/)

This year the IACAP Annual Meeting will include a special, one-day track on research related to computing and epistemic logic, with special interest in concurrency; computing systems where multiple sequential computers or microprocessors interact. Knowledge-theoretic tools have been applied to theoretical and practical problems in distributed and multi-agent system, both to design solutions and to prove impossibility results. They and have turned out to have interesting connections with topology. From the computability perspective, fault-tolerant distributed systems are of a very different nature than Turing machines. We are looking to have interesting discussions, presentations, and foster further collaborations on these topics. The track will include introductory talks to the exciting new interconnections between computing, logic and philosophy. We invite submissions of extended abstracts for this track.

Important Dates:

Paper Presentations (Extended Abstracts):

Submission: March 24, 2019

Notification of Acceptance: May 4, 2019

Confirmed participants:

Alexandru Baltag, ILLC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Armando Castañeda, Instituto de Matematicas, UNAM, Mexico
David Fernández-Duque, Universiteit Gent, Belgium
Sergio Rajsbaum, Instituto de Matemáticas, UNAM, Mexico
Aldo Iván Ramírez-Abarca, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Sonja Smets, ILLC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ana Lucia Vargas-Sandoval, ILLC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Fernando Velázquez-Quesada, Amsterdam University, The Netherlands

Paper submissions should be provided at:

https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iacap2019

Submissions for paper presentation should:

  1. Explicitly indicate (in the title or as the first sentence of the abstract) that it is a submission for the Distributed Computing and Epistemic Logic Track;
  2. Be prepared for blind review;
  3. Provide an extended abstract of 800-1200 words; and,
  4. Provide a short abstract of 150-250 words suitable for inclusion in a program.

2018 Covey Award: Professor Deborah G. Johnson

Dear Colleagues,

It is my privilege to announce that the International Association for Computing and Philosophy’s Executive Board has selected Deborah G. Johnson for the Covey Award recognizing senior scholars with a substantial record of innovative research in the field of computing and philosophy broadly conceived.

Deborah G. Johnson recently retired as the Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics in the STS Program within the Department of Engineering and Society. She continues to hold that title with emeritus status and she continues to be active in research and occasional teaching.

During her career, Johnson has taught engineering students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Virginia. Her teaching and her research have been broadly focused on Computer/Information Technology Ethics, Engineering Ethics, STS Theory and Policy Implications, and most recently she has been writing about Ethics, AI, and Robots.

Johnson published one of the first textbooks on computer ethics in 1985. The book was revised three times and translated into multiple languages. Drawing on her training in philosophy and ethics, she has published on a wide range of topics all directly or indirectly having to do with ethical, social, and policy implications of technology, especially information technology. Her publications include 7 books and over 80 pieces in journals, books, and other venues.

Johnson’s research has repeatedly received support from the National Science Foundation. Most recently she received awards focused on Surveillance and Transparency as Sociotechnical Systems of Accountability and a project on Ethics for Developing Technologies: An Analysis of Artificial Agents. She is currently working with a team of researchers at the University of Bergen who have funding from the Norwegian Research Council to explore the social implications of visual surveillance technologies in the news media.

Active in professional organizations, Johnson has served as President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, President of the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology (INSEIT), Treasurer of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and Society, Chair of the American Philosophical Association Committee on Computers and Philosophy, and a member of the Executive Board of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

In 2009 Johnson received the Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Linköping University in Linköping, Sweden. In 2004 Johnson received the John Barwise Prize from the American Philosophical Association for contributions to computing and philosophy; in 2001 she received the Sterling Olmsted Award from the Liberal Education Division of the American Society for Engineering Education; and in 2000 she received the Making a Difference award from the ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and Society (SIGCAS).

Due to a scheduling conflict, the Covey Award will be presented to Professor Johnson in absentia with her letter of acceptance preceding Dr. Edward N. Zalta’s Keynote Address. Please join us at IACAP 2018, June 21-23, Warsaw to extend Professor Johnson congratulations on this well-deserved award for her outstanding contributions to computing and philosophy.

http://www.iacap.org/iacap-2018/

Best,

Don Berkich
IACAP President

IACAP 2018 CFP Extended

Dear Colleagues,

Due to numerous requests, the executive board of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy has authorized an extension of the deadline for paper submissions from February 15th to March 15th for its June 21-23 meeting in Warsaw. The program committee will aim for an April 15th notification deadline.

Blind reviews will commence promptly for papers submitted by February 15th, observing the initial notification deadline of March 15th.

For revised submission guidelines and the updated CFP, please see

https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iacap2018

Best Wishes,

Don Berkich
IACAP President

2018 Simon Award: Dr. Thomas C. King

Dear Colleagues,

It is my privilege to announce that the International Association for Computing and Philosophy’s executive board has selected Dr. Thomas C. King for the 2018 Herbert A. Simon Award for Outstanding Research in Computing and Philosophy, which specifically recognizes scholars at an early stage of their academic career whose research is likely to reshape debates at the nexus of Computing and Philosophy.

Dr. King is a postdoctoral Artificial Intelligence (AI) researcher at the University of Oxford working on the Ethical and Social Implications of AI (ESIAI) project in the Digital Ethics Lab (Oxford Internet Institute).

Dr. King’s research focuses on the ethical and social implications of AI and Machine Learning. His current research focuses on, from a technical (analytically and empirically) and societal perspective, AI’s potential use as an essential causal or instrumental factor in crime, in what sense AI-Crime is a novel phenomenon, and the technical and legal mitigating, redressing, and disincentivising policies available to relevant stakeholders. Dr. King’s background is in AI and Computer Science, particularly logic-based AI, having previously investigated Deontic and Institutional Logic, which are formalisations of norms, and related ethical or legal concepts. In short, Dr. King’s research takes an AI and computational perspective to investigate the ethical and social implications of AI, and AI-techniques for ethics and law.

Dr. King holds a PhD in AI from the Technical University of Delft specialising in non-monotonic Deontic Logic, the logic of social institutions, and AI governance. In his PhD, he investigated formal logic for capturing the legality of rule change within legal systems and compliance of laws within multi-level and cross-national contexts. Case studies included past judgements on data privacy in EU directives and European human rights law, and tensions between UK and EU law on rule changes. From formalisation, investigation focussed on automation for governing autonomous AI systems towards goals across systems and systems-of-systems, considering heterogeneity between agents and systems.

Dr. King will present the Simon Award Keynote Address at IACAP 2018, June 21-23, Warsaw. See http://www.iacap.org/iacap-2018/ for conference information and submission guidelines.

Please join us at IACAP 2018 to congratulate Dr. King on this well-deserved award.

Best Wishes,

Don Berkich
IACAP President

IACAP 2018 CFP

International Association for Computing and Philosophy – Annual Meeting

June 21-23, 2018, Warsaw, Poland

CFP

The International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP) is delighted to announce that submissions are now being accepted for its 2018 annual meeting June 21-23, to be held at the Staszic Palace, Warsaw, the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The meeting is being organized by Marcin Milkowski (the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences); keynote speakers include Ned Block (NYU) and Ed Zalta (Stanford).

Please note that IACAP 2018 is scheduled to dovetail with the 22nd meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, June 26-29, Kraków, which Professor Milkowski is co-organizing (http://theassc.org/assc-22/).

The International Association for Computing and Philosophy promotes philosophical dialogue and interdisciplinary research on all aspects of the computational and informational turn. Coming to these issues from a rich variety of disciplines, IACAP’s members have a tradition of helping to shape philosophical and ethical debates about the nature, development, application, and limits of computation, information technologies, and artificial intelligence.

IACAP’s 2017 meeting will gather philosophers, ethicists, logicians, roboticists, computer scientists, and cognitive scientists to explore topics including,

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Life
Automated Warfare
Cognitive Science, Computation, and Cognition
Computational Modeling in Science and Social Science
Computer-Mediated Communication
Ethical Problems and Societal Impact of Computation and Information
Ethics and Epistemology of Big Data
History of Computing
Information Culture and Society
Metaphysics and Epistemology of Computation
Philosophy of Computer Science
Philosophy of Information
Philosophy of Information Technology
Philosophy of Mind
Robotics
Virtual Reality
… and related issues

We invite submissions of papers and proposals for symposia.

Important Dates:

Symposia:

Submission: January 15, 2018
Notification of Acceptance: February 1, 2018

Papers:

Submission: February 15, 2018
Notification of Acceptance: March 15, 2018

Paper and symposia submissions should be provided at: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iacap2018

Paper submissions should:

  • Be prepared for blind review;
  • Be between 3000 and 6000 words; and,
  • Provide an abstract of 150-250 words.

Proposals for symposia should indicate:

  • The title of the proposed symposium;
  • A description of the topic and of its relevance for the IACAP membership;
  • A list the participants (indicating particularly those who have confirmed their participation); and,
  • The number of hours required.

Program Committee:

Patrick Allo
Brian Ballsun-Stanton
Paul Bello
Don Berkich
Selmer Bringsjord
Elizabeth Buchanan
Charles Ess
Luciano Floridi
Nir Fresco
Frances Grodzinsky
John Licato
Patrick Lin
Steve Mckinlay
Marcin Milkowski
Keith Miller
James H. Moor
Gualtiero Piccinini
Thomas Powers
Giuseppe Primiero
Miguel Angel Sicart
Judith Simon
Johnny Søraker
John Sullins
Mariarosaria Taddeo
Herman Tavani
Orlin Vakarelov
Shannon Vallor
Wendell Wallach
Marty Wolf

IACAP 2017 CFA Special Announcement: IT and Democracy

Dear Colleagues,

After many discussions about how best to respond to the selective Muslim travel ban in the U.S.–about which please see http://www.iacap.org/the-muslim-travel-ban-and-iacap-2017/–IACAP’s executive board has among other things opted to create a special track at IACAP 2017 (Stanford University, June 26-28) on Information Technology and Democracy, viz., the corrupting or preserving roles IT has played and could play, and the roles IT ought to play.

Submissions for the Information Technology and Democracy track in the form of extended abstracts (800+ words) should be submitted by March 15th via https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iacap2017. Decisions will be made by April 15th.

Topics might include, but certainly are not limited to,

1. The fabrication and dissemination of “fake news”:

  • Fabrications created/disseminated through social media and blogs.
  • News-like advertising.
  • Conflict of interest in advertising and editorial processes.
  • The obligations of social media companies.

2. The creation of “alternative facts” in a “post-truth” world:

  • ‘Truth’ and the authoritarian uses of IT.
  • Exploiting confirmation bias.
  • Creating readily manipulable online communities.
  • The epistemic obligations of citizens.

3. The role of IT in evidence-gathering and verification:

  • Manipulating photographic and video evidence.
  • IT methods of creating and preserving trust.
  • Protecting and disseminating scientific data.
  • System hacking, leaks, and the obligations of whistle-blowers.

4. Trolling:

  • Trolling vs. engaging in online discussion.
  • Anonymity and sowing distrust.
  • Political and corporate online astro-turfing.
  • Protecting and promoting online democratic deliberation.

5. Democratic processes:

  • Poll-monitoring.
  • Digital voter verification.
  • Trust in voting mechanisms.
  • Online plebiscites.

6. Technology, protest, and political resistance:

  • Online civil disobedience.
  • Creating and coordinating protest movements.
  • Democratic controls on Big Data in massive digital surveillance.
  • Digital footprints and citizen vulnerability.

The Muslim Travel Ban and IACAP 2017

Dear Colleagues,

In light of the deplorable Muslim travel ban and the inspiring petitions to boycott conferences held in the States in response, IACAP’s executive board has been weighing our alternatives as we prepare for the 2017 meeting at Stanford University. Given the timing and the work that has already gone into preparing for the conference, we have decided to move forward with the conference as planned, with the final submissions deadline of February 15th fast approaching.

In doing so we seek neither to carry on as if business were as usual–it decidedly is not–nor in the slightest way to repudiate or ride roughshod over the concerns of those who choose to honor the boycott–with whom, frankly, we entirely agree.

We will do the best we can under the circumstances. To wit, we plan to

  1. Develop a special track on the role of information technology in protecting and corrupting democracy (an announcement and call for extended abstracts forthcoming shortly);
  2. Arrange for remote presentations from those affected by the travel ban, facilities permitting;
  3. Live stream the conference for the same, again facilities permitting; and,
  4. Take up a resolution at the conference business meeting–open to all members–whether to move future North American IACAP meetings to Canadian and Mexican venues, at least for the time being.

Respectfully Yours,

IACAP’s Executive Board

Don Berkich, President
Steve McKinlay, Executive Director
John Licato, Membership and Promotions Coordinator
Tom Powers, Director for Minds and Machines S.I.G.
Rosaria Taddeo, Member at Large and Past President
Giuseppe Primiero, Member at Large
Judith Simon, Member at Large

2017 Simon Award: Professor Andrea Scarantino

Dear Colleagues,

It is my privilege to announce that the International Association for Computing and Philosophy’s executive board has selected Andrea Scarantino for the 2017 Herbert A. Simon Award for Outstanding Research in Computing and Philosophy, which specifically recognizes scholars at an early stage of their academic career whose research is likely to reshape debates at the nexus of Computing and Philosophy.

Andrea Scarantino is Professor in the Department of Philosophy and in the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University, where he has served since 2005. He holds doctorates in History and Philosophy of Science (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) and Economics (Università Cattolica di Milano, 2000). Professor Scarantino has been awarded a John Templeton Foundation Grant on the Philosophy and Science of Self-Control (2016) and a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany (2015-ongoing).

He is the editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Emotion Theory, a unique interdisciplinary resource that features chapters on all central theoretical challenges of contemporary emotion theory in a variety of disciplines. Professor Scarantino also serves as editor of Emotion Researcher (www.emotionresearcher.com), the sourcebook of the International Society for Research on Emotions, the main online reference resource on emotions currently available.

Professor Scarantino’s work encompasses two main topics: information and emotion. His primary objective has been to provide an explicative definition for both concepts that sharpens them while serving useful theoretical purposes. In more recent times, Scarantino has started to connect the two principal strands of his research. He is exploring what kinds of information the expression of an emotion broadcasts and how emotional expressions may have provided our ancestors with an informational infrastructure for the emergence of language.

With respect to information, Scarantino has argued that we are dealing with a mongrel concept in need of disambiguation, and offered a general theory of (natural) information as consisting of anything that makes a probabilistic difference to an uncertain outcome. This probabilistic understanding of information is shown to derive from converging insights of Shannon’s theory of communication and Bayesian confirmation theory and to be satisfactory with respect to the desiderata of contemporary cognitive science.

Some of his most significant articles on the nature of information and the role it plays in communicative episodes include “Information as a Probabilistic Difference Maker” (Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2015), “Contextually Variable Signals Can Be Functionally Referential,” co-authored with Zanna Clay (Animal Behavior, 2014), “Rethinking Functional Reference” (Philosophy of Science, 2013), “Animal Communication as Information Mediated Influence,” in Animal Communication Theory: Information and Influence (2013, Ulrich Stegmann, ed.), “Information Processing, Computation and Cognition,” co-authored with Gualtiero Piccinini (Journal of Biological Physics, 2011), and “Information Without Truth,” co-authored with Gualtiero Piccinini (Metaphilosophy, 2010).

Professor Scarantino has also written extensively about emotions, arguing that the field has gone astray in trying to define emotions as either cognitions or feelings. As an alternative, Scarantino has proposed a general theory of emotions as action control systems, arguing that it is the only theory that makes sense of the distinctive way in which emotions motivate us to act, namely with urgency and with only a partial assessment of the information relevant to the decision at hand.

Some of his most significant articles on the nature of emotions and their complex connections to actions include “Do Emotions Cause Actions, and If So How?”(Emotion Review, 2017), “The Philosophy of Emotions and Its Impact on Affective Science”, in The Handbook of Emotions (2016, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Michael Lewis, and Jeanette Haviland-Jones, eds.), “Voodoo Dolls and Angry Lions: How Emotions Explain Arational Actions”, co-authored with Michael Nielsen (Philosophical Studies, 2015), “The Motivational Theory of Emotions”, in Moral Psychology and Human Agency (2014, Daniel Jacobson and Justin D’Arms, eds.), “Basic Emotions, Psychological Construction and the Problem of Variability,” in The Psychological Construction of Emotion (2015, James Russell and Lisa Feldman Barrett, eds), and “Insights and Blindspots of the Cognitivist Theory of Emotions” (British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2010).

Professor Scarantino will present the Simon Award Keynote Address at IACAP 2017, June 26-28, Stanford University. See http://www.iacap.org/iacap-2017/ for conference information and submission guidelines.

Please join us at IACAP 2017 to congratulate Professor Scarantino on this well-deserved award.

Best Wishes,

Don Berkich
IACAP President

IACAP 2017 CFP Extended

Dear Colleagues,

Due to numerous requests, the executive board of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy has authorized an extension of the deadline for paper submissions from January 15 to February 15 for its June 26-28 meeting at Stanford University.

Symposia proposals should, however, still be submitted by the original January 15 deadline.

Blind reviews will commence promptly for papers submitted by January 15.

For submission guidelines and the updated CFP, please see

http://www.iacap.org/iacap-2017/

Paper and symposia proposals may be submitted to

https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iacap2017

Best Wishes,

Don Berkich
IACAP President