EMERGE 2022: Forum on the Future of AI Driven Humanity & International Conference Digital Society Now

Abstract Submission

Deadline: October 15th, 2022

The topics of the EMERGE 2022 Conference include, but are not limited to:

  • AI technology
  • The question of creativity in digital society
  • Virtual and augmented reality in philosophical and theoretical perspectives
  • Journalism and emerging technologies
  • Users and emerging technologies
  • Metaverse
  • Cyber order
  • Societal impact of blockchain
  • New normal or new vision for society
  • Techno-narratives
  • Posthumanism

EMERGE 2022: Call for Papers

Abstract Submission

Deadline: October 15th, 2022

EMERGE is an annual event organised by the Digital Society Lab of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade. Its goal is to connect actors from the tech industry, policy makers, and academic researchers in discussing the social and economic impact of emerging technologies. EMERGE 2022 will consist of the EMERGE Forum on The Future of AI driven Humanity and the International Scientific Conference on Digital Society Now. It will take place in Belgrade, Serbia and online, 16–18 December.

We invite scholars from diverse fields to evaluate the risks, benefits, and potential outcomes of emerging technologies and to critically examine the ways these technologies affect and shape societies. We welcome submissions examining different aspects of emerging technologies from the perspective of specific disciplines as well as interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary approaches to the topic.

Emerging technologies have brought about ground-breaking changes to societies across the globe. Leading global regulators are struggling to keep up with technological development and impose new rules and regulations. Our choices and habits, personal freedoms, human rights, and power relations are being fundamentally transformed through our constant interaction with and reliance on technology. The development of autonomous vehicles, military drones, and other types of AI systems opens up significant questions in the domains of ethics and law.

In interacting with media such as news content, ads, and search engine results, citizens are exposed to algorithmic decisions by AI-based recommendation systems on an individual level and are subjected to echo chambers, misinformation, and personal data misuse by big tech and third parties. Freedom of speech and regulation of social media have been the battlefields of leading global tech corporations.

New markets are constantly being opened by the creative industry sector propelled by the evolution of digital technologies. This has become a sector of strategic importance. New apps are being developed on multiple platforms, offering additional functionalities and transforming the needs and habits of digital consumers. The fusion of creativity, art, advertising, and start-up culture has become a driving force of creative economy growth across the world.

Immersive virtual spaces are being introduced under the umbrella term Metaverse designated as an open and shared sum of all virtual reality spaces (worlds). The shift to the virtual realm has been significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and military conflicts around the world. Major corporations are investing billions to create a new market that will transport our daily activities, such as shopping, work, leisure, entertainment, and socialization, into the virtual realm.

Beyond its use in cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has promising potential in handling misinformation and fake news and therefore could serve the purpose of regaining trust in online news media. At the same time, blockchain technology has a very significant environmental impact, it is vulnerable to cyberattacks, and any information stored on it (including, for example, child pornography) cannot be corrected or erased.

The fast pace of technological development is followed by the development of posthumanist concepts, shedding light on implants, cognitive enhancement, bio-hacking, and other emergent technologies. EMERGE 2022 seeks both specific and broad perspectives on current technological advancements. As Nick Montfort wrote in his exploration of the concept of the future, our goal should be consciously trying to contribute to future-making rather than anticipating and predicting the future.

The topics of EMERGE 2022

  • AI technology (the ethics and implications of machine learning algorithms, the impact of AI on the future of societies, quantum computing, non-human agency)
  • The question of creativity in digital society (creative industries, the future of art and culture, machine creativity)
  • Virtual and augmented reality from philosophical and theoretical perspectives (tool or media, real virtuality, ubiquitous technologies, pervasive content)
  • Journalism and emerging technologies (citizen journalism, fake news and post-truth discourse, blockchain, AI automated fact checking)
  • Users and emerging technologies (digital citizens, privacy, activism, democratic processes, the digital divide, addictions, data monetisation, the impact of health tech, autonomous vehicles and IoT)
  • Metaverse (cognitive load, the Brain-Computer Interface, interoperability, NFTs, digital twins)
  • Cyber order (hybrid warfare, cyber security, surveillance and biometrics, Internet governance, digital capitalism)  
  • The societal impact of blockchain (NFTs, the ecological impact of blockchain tech, cryptocurrencies, security)
  • The new normal or a new vision for society (the Covid-19 pandemic, human rights, Universal basic income technologies, attention economy, the (anti)sociality of social media, space technology, posthumanism)
  • Techno-narratives (postdigital, science fiction as social reality, dystopia, film/literature/art, futurism, human – nonhuman relations)
  • Posthumanism (trans/post/meta-humanism, post-nature, non-human cultures and communities, religious context, anthropocene)