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Artificial intelligences and political organization: An exploration based on the science fiction work of Iain M. Banks

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... Futures scholars have paid attention to films, particularly sci-fi films, for their implications for Futures studies (Lombardo and Ramos 2015;Rumpala 2012). Fergnani and Song (2020b) studied the social imaginaries of the future through 140 films set in the future. ...
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We analyzed 30 pandemic films and developed a processual model to explain the social-level coping mechanisms to confront pandemics as portrayed in films. The model describes the underlying collective understanding of disease outbreaks. The model suggests that pandemic films divide the disease outbreak into three phases: emergence, transmission, and termination. Concurrently, three social processes tend to be activated to cope with the pandemic: healthcare, political, and public awareness. This model is used to compare the social imaginary reflected in films with the current COVID-19 outbreak. The resemblance of the model and the current outbreak suggests that fictional pandemic films may still follow our collective understanding of the pandemic dynamics. Four scenarios are suggested as road maps for futures and foresight practice concerned with future pandemic outbreaks.
... The papers also discuss the negative impacts of AI due to the distortion that can happen when online platforms and systems manipulate the content of traditional documents, such as books, newspapers, and legal documents, change the past, and eventually disseminate bad practices and criminal thoughts (e.g., Kane, 2017;Pueyo, 2018;Rumpala, 2012;Singh, Gaur, & Agarwal, 2017). ...
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This study provides an overview of state-of-the-art research on Artificial Intelligence in the business context and proposes an agenda for future research. First, by analyzing 404 relevant articles collected through Web of Science and Scopus, this article presents the evolution of research on AI in business over time, highlighting seminal works in the field, and the leading publication venues. Next, using a text-mining approach based on Latent Dirichlet Allocation, latent topics were extracted from the literature and comprehensively analyzed. The findings reveal 18 topics classified into four main clusters: societal impact of AI, organizational impact of AI, AI systems, and AI methodologies. This study then presents several main developmental trends and the resulting challenges, including robots and automated systems, Internet-of-Things and AI integration, law, and ethics, among others. Finally, a research agenda is proposed to guide the directions of future AI research in business addressing the identified trends and challenges.
... In line with mediatization, the attempts to envision and capture the effect of AI on the life of a community, especially from a social, political, or ethical point of view, have already been an issue in science fiction and novels. There, AI is often embodied in the existence of intelligent machines that autonomously manage trivial tasks and, therefore, free up time for people to pursue more spiritual and fun activities [26]. On the basis of this context, social processes and their regulation need to be seen in a new perspective. ...
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The recent practical advances realized by Artificial Intelligence, have also given rise to the phenomenon of deepfakes, which can be considered as a form of fake news. Deepfakes is the phenomenon of creation of realistic digital products, and a plethora of videos have emerged over the last two years in social media. Especially the low technical expertise and equipment required to create deepfakes, means that such content can be easily produced by anyone and distributed online. The societal implications are significant and far-reaching. This work investigates the deepfakes via multi-angled perspectives that include media and society, media production, media representations, media audiences, gender, law, and regulation, as well as politics. Some key implications of these viewpoints are identified and critically discussed. The results indicate that as a society, we are not ready to deal with the emergence of deepfakes at any level. That we have not witnessed any severe impacts so far is due to their early stage of development, that shows imperfections To address the issue, a combination of technology, education, training, and governance are urgently needed.
... Alternatively, humans may find work tedious and be glad for near-optimal autonomous task allocations [30]. In the Culture novels by science fiction writer Iain M. Banks, the AS 'Minds' make most human decisions that aren't spiritual or fun and the human populace are perfectly content [79]. 'Minds' are sentient hyper-intelligent AIs on space ships and inhabited planets that have evolved to become far more intelligent than their original biological creators. ...
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Effective robots and autonomous systems must be trustworthy. This chapter examines models of trustworthiness from a philosophical and empirical perspective to inform the design and adoption of autonomous systems. Trustworthiness is a property of trusted agents or organisations that engenders trust in other agent or organisations. Trust is a complex phenomena defined differently depending on the discipline. This chapter aims to bring different approaches under a single framework for investigation with three sorts of questions: Who or what is trustworthy?–metaphysics. How do we know who or what is trustworthy?–epistemology. What factors influence what or who should we trust?–normativity. A two-component model of trust is used that incorporates competence (skills, reliability and experience) and integrity (motives, honesty and character). It is supposed that human levels of competence yield the highest trust whereas trust is reduced at sub-human and super-human levels. The threshold for trustworthiness of an agent or organisation in a particular context is a function of their relationship with the truster and potential impacts of decisions. Building trustworthy autonomous systems requires obeying the norms of logic, rationality and ethics under pragmatic constraints–even though there is disagreement on these principles by experts. Autonomous systems may need sophisticated social identities including empathy and reputational concerns to build human-like trust relationships. Ultimately transdisciplinary research drawing on metaphysical, epistemological and normative human and machine theories of trust are needed to design trustworthy autonomous systems for adoption.
... What if the water that came out of the shower was treated with a chemical that responded to a combination of things, like your heartbeat, and your body temperature, and your brain waves, so that your skin changed color according to your mood? (…) Everyone could know what everyone else felt, and we could be more careful with each other, (…).[10]To reflect on the radicality the implementation of technological developments might get in practice, a range of spearing technology analyses in philosophy build upon catastrophes.[29]Martin Heidegger for example may be interpreted as a thinker for whom 'philosophy can only reflect on the catastrophe of technology'.[9, ...
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Human–computer interaction is the study on designing, implementing, and assessing computing systems involved in conversations and interactions between human users on the one hand, and an intelligent software on the other. Mobile banking provides business owners with the opportunity to meet the needs of their customers and provide effective ways to gain and maintain customer loyalty. Thus, currently, the importance of using mobile banking technology alongside Human–Computer Interaction is quite apparent. Banks need to acquire and develop new skills, provide integrated new technologies, strong organizational focus, and a voice-based marketing strategy to make a difference in their service delivery processes. Such capabilities can help banks better interact with users and understand their needs, and thus maximize the fulfillment of their expectations.
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Fun is central to entertainment—which both gives its consumers fun and offers them the intellectual resources to think about fun. In this chapter McKee explores a key ethical question that entertainment addresses: How much fun should we have? McKee presents the entertainment novels of Iain M. Banks as a thought experiment to show that even if we imagine a post-scarcity and post-labour world, some critics would still worry that we should not have too much fun as it is somehow soft or sinful. By contrast, Banks argues that fun is a vital part of a good life, and that were considerations of resource scarcity removed, it would be possible to imagine an ethical life which consists of nothing but fun.
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Fun is a central element of entertainment but there exists little research into what fun is or what purposes it serves for consumers. In this chapter McKee provides an overview of his arguments about fun and its place in entertainment. Fun is ‘pleasure without purpose’. Entertainment both offers its consumers fun and provides them with intellectual resources for thinking about its nature and functions. It commonly addresses three ethical questions about fun: What is good fun? When should we have fun? and How much fun should we have? He lays out areas for future fun research, including philosophical work on the limits of fun, and the need to develop quantitative approaches to fun.
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Ambient Intelligence technologies call for new space concepts building on an understanding of how humans interrelate with objects. This paper argues for an environmental perspective on the analysis of persuasive technologies. It assumes that dualistic thinking, which recurs to categories such as society/ technology or subject/object, has to be questioned. This paper resumes the approach of the PhD project 'Thinking Space' on the spatial dimensions of intelligent technologies. Space concepts from physics, sociology and literature theory form the basis for an empirically informed philosophical approach.
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Alors que le temps présent paraît marqué par une incertitude forte, voire croissante, comment (re)trouver des prises sur ce qui est en devenir et qui pourrait composer le futur ? Cette contribution propose de montrer que la science-fiction offre un matériau qui a aussi une pertinence et qui peut être travaillé pour être incorporé dans un processus de production de connaissance. Les textes de science-fiction peuvent en effet être pris à la fois comme un réservoir d’expériences de pensée et comme des formes de problématisations (au sens de Michel Foucault). En s’appuyant sur un corpus de textes francophones et anglophones orientés vers un futur plus ou moins proche et généralement considérés comme porteurs de positions engagées (fiction spéculative, anticipation sociale, cyberpunk et postcyberpunk, biopunk, etc.), une première base de démonstration précisera d’abord l’appréhension réflexive qui peut être faite de la science-fiction au-delà de la forme culturelle et de son expression littéraire. Une seconde avancera ensuite une série de propositions méthodologiques pour saisir l’objet et pouvoir traduire cet imaginaire en prises expérimentales sur le futur.
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La littérature de science-fiction n'a pas qu'une dimension narrative. Par ses montages spéculatifs, elle peut être un support et un vecteur de réflexivité collective. Cet article part ainsi de l'hypothèse que la science-fiction représente une façon de ressaisir le vaste enjeu du changement social, et derrière lui celui de ses conséquences et de leur éventuelle maîtrise. La science-fiction offre, certes plus ou moins facilement, des terrains et des procédés pour s'exprimer sur des mutations plus ou moins profondes, plus précisément sur les trajectoires qu'elles semblent pouvoir prendre. En considérant cette forme d'expression artistique comme un travail de problématisation, l'article propose donc d'examiner comment l'appréhension du changement social est travaillée par cette médiation littéraire et surtout de montrer comment cette appréhension pourrait nourrir des réflexions relevant d'une forme de pensée politique. Ce lien entre l'expression artistique et ses potentiels prolongements politiques est mis à l'épreuve à partir de l'exploration de courants généralement considérés comme porteurs de positions engagées (cyberpunk et postcyberpunk, biopunk, fiction spéculative, anticipation sociale, etc.).
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Recent reports from the European Parliament Technology Assessment unit and the UK Information Commissioner's Office have highlighted the need for debate on how society should balance the convenience that new technology affords with the need to preserve privacy. To date, most of the debate has addressed the more visible aspects of technology and privacy such as surveillance cameras, identity/loyalty cards, internet search engines and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. In this article we seek to use our experience as computer scientists to advance this debate by considering issues arising from our research related to intelligent buildings and environments, such as the deployment of autonomous intelligent agents. Intelligent buildings and environments are based on the use of numerous 'invisible', omnipresent, always-on, communicating computers embedded in everyday artefacts and environments. While most current intelligent building technology is based around automated reactive systems, research is under way that uses technology to gather personal information from people and use this information to deliver personalized services to them. While promising great benefits, this technology, by being invisible and autonomous, raises significant new dangers for individuals and society as a whole. Perhaps the most significant issue is privacy - an individual's right to control the collection and use of personal information. Rather than focusing on the 'here and now', this article looks forward to where this research could lead, exploring the issues it might involve. It does this by presenting descriptions of current work, interleaved with a set of short vignettes that are intended to provoke thought so that developers and the population at large might consider the personal and regulatory needs involved. We end this article by offering a conceptual framework for situating multidisciplinary socio-technical research in intelligent buildings.
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Murray Bookchin's works have been used in the past half century especially during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. His work is still being referenced to until these times especially for reference by the green Left. Today, Bookchin is known primarily for his polemics which offered brilliant lacerations of assorted misanthropes. Meanwhile, his legacy generates numerous ironies and perplexities in the present post-political times. At one level, the utopian-ecological-radical democratic project is clearly more distant than ever. At another level, it is difficult to know what to do with a thinker who located himself with pride as an ultra-left critic of the radical Left. Bookchin was one of the first and most articulate figures to firmly reject a politics of ecology premised on guilt, renunciation, denial and toil. On the other hand, he insisted a social ecology first and foremost had to be a politics of potentiality. Bookchin's writings on technology are an important part of his legacy for the green Left. They are important because Bookchin once again was one of the first left green thinkers to embark on a serious social and political investigation on the question of technology without descending into green technophobia or infantile primitivism.
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Ubiquitous computing is a new kind of computing where devices enhance everyday artefacts and open up previously inaccessible situations for data capture. ‘Technology paternalism’ has been suggested by Spiekermann and Pallas (Poiesis & Praxis: Int J Technol Assess Ethics Sci 4(1):6–18, 2006) as a concept to gauge the social and ethical impact of these new technologies. In this article we explore this concept in the specific setting of UK road maintenance and construction. Drawing on examples from our qualitative fieldwork we suggest that cultural logics such as those reflected in paternalistic health and safety discourse are central in legitimising the introduction of ubiquitous computing technologies. As such, there is little doubt that paternalism plays an essential role in people’s reasoning about ubiquitous computing in this setting. We argue, however, that since discourses such as health and safety are used by everyone (including both managers and workers) in the organisation to further their own aims, technologies transcend purely paternalistic conceptualisations and instead become a focal point for ongoing struggles for control between those deploying and using them. This means that the benefits and costs of such new technologies become harder to define from an ethical and social perspective.
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Global warming skeptics often fall back on the argument that the scientific case for global warming is all model predictions, nothing but simulation; they warn us that we need to wait for real data, “sound science.” In A Vast Machine Paul Edwards has news for these skeptics: without models, there are no data. Today, no collection of signals or observations—even from satellites, which can “see” the whole planet with a single instrument—becomes global in time and space without passing through a series of data models. Everything we know about the world’s climate we know through models. Edwards offers an engaging and innovative history of how scientists learned to understand the atmosphere—to measure it, trace its past, and model its future.
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Can computers change what you think and do? Can they motivate you to stop smoking, persuade you to buy insurance, or convince you to join the Army? "Yes, they can," says Dr. B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University. Fogg has coined the phrase "Captology"(an acronym for computers as persuasive technologies) to capture the domain of research, design, and applications of persuasive computers.In this thought-provoking book, based on nine years of research in captology, Dr. Fogg reveals how Web sites, software applications, and mobile devices can be used to change peoples attitudes and behavior. Technology designers, marketers, researchers, consumers-anyone who wants to leverage or simply understand the persuasive power of interactive technology-will appreciate the compelling insights and illuminating examples found inside. Persuasive technology can be controversial-and it should be. Who will wield this power of digital influence? And to what end? Now is the time to survey the issues and explore the principles of persuasive technology, and B.J. Fogg has written this book to be your guide.
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Computer models are powerful tools that allow us to analyze problems in unprecedented detail and to conduct experiments impossible with the real system. Reliance on computer models in science and policy decisions has been challenged by philosophers of science on methodological and epistemological grounds. This challenge is examined for the case of climate models by reviewing what they are and what climate scientists do with them, followed by an analysis of how they can be used to construct new trustworthy knowledge. A climate model is an executable computer code that solves a set of mathematical equations assumed to represent the climate system. Climate modelers use these models to simulate present and past climates and forecast likely and plausible future evolutions. Model uncertainties and model calibration are identified as the two major concerns. Climate models of different complexity address different question. Their interplay helps to weed out model errors, identify robust features, understand the climate system, and build confidence in the models, but is no guard against flaws in the underlying physics. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website
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Contemporary anarchist practices display a strong ambivalence toward technology, with active resistance residing alongside extensive use and development. This article theorizes a broad-based anarchist politics of technology, which can account for these diverse expressions within a coherent framework. I first examine the two major competing approaches to technology in anarchist literature—Promethean anticapitalism and the primitivist critique of civilization. Noting the limitations of both approaches, I then turn to the work of Langdon Winner and other critical theorists of technology who stress the inherence of social relations in technological design and deployment. Such a perspective allows anarchists to judge technologies according to their promotion of hierarchical or nonhierarchical social practices, leading to three options for action: abolitionism, guarded adoption, and active promotion.
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Since nanotechnology has been touted to bring about the next industrial revolution, the talk about nanotechnology has considerably shifted towards the future.
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This paper analyzes ethical aspects of the new paradigm of Ambient Intelligence, which is a combination of Ubiquitous Computing and Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI’s). After an introduction to the approach, two key ethical dimensions will be analyzed: freedom and privacy. It is argued that Ambient Intelligence, though often designed to enhance freedom and control, has the potential to limit freedom and autonomy as well. Ambient Intelligence also harbors great privacy risks, and these are explored as well.
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Typescript. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Duke University, 2001. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 300-316).
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Obra teórica de una sociología de las asociaciones, el autor se cuestiona sobre lo que supone la palabra social que ha sido interpretada con diferentes presupuestos y se ha hecho del mismo vocablo un nombre impreciso e inadecuado, además se ha materializado el término como quien nombra algo concreto, de manera que lo social se convierte en un proceso de ensamblado y un tipo particular de material. Propone retomar el concepto original para hacer las debidas conexiones y descubrir el contenido estricto de las cuestiones que están conectadas bajo la sociedad.
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This article assesses sci-fi novelist lain M. Banks' creation, the Culture, an interstellar post-scarcity civilisation based on access to unlimited energy and the existence of benign artificial intelligences of great power. The Culture, an anarchist utopian constructed on liberal/socialist lines, is obliged to formulate principles for its relations with other civilisations, a task for Contact and the small elite within Contact euphemistically named Special Circumstances. Their reasoning is examined in this essay, which concludes that Banks, an overtly 'political' novelist, has actually produced an account of a universe in which the 'circumstances of politics' do not apply.
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: This essay warns of eroding accountability in computerized societies. It argues that assumptions about computing and features of situations in which computers are produced create barriers to accountability. Drawing on philosophical analyses of moral blame and responsibility, four barriers are identified: (1) the problem of many hands, (2) the problem of bugs, (3) blaming the computer, and (4) software ownership without liability. The paper concludes with ideas on how to reverse this trend. If a builder has built a house for a man and has not made his work sound, and the house which he has built has fallen down and so caused the death of the householder, that builder shall be put to death. If it destroys property, he shall replace anything that it has destroyed; and, because he has not made sound the house which he has built and it has fallen down, he shall rebuild the house which has fallen down from his own property. If a builder has built a house for a man and does not make his wor...
Anarchy alive! Anti-authoritarian politics from practice to theory
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2010) and articles on various aspects of environmental policies and sustainable development In line with his exploration of the political potentialities of network thinking (see "Knowledge and praxis of networks as a political project
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Lormont: Le Bord de l'eau; 2010) and articles on various aspects of environmental policies and sustainable development. In line with his exploration of the political potentialities of network thinking (see "Knowledge and praxis of networks as a political project," 21st Century Society, Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences, 4(3), November 2009), Yannick Rumpala is working on ways to rebuild alternative solutions outside market and state regulation.
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