CALL FOR POSITION PAPERS & PROJECTS Interdisciplinary Machine Learning Design / Inter-Arts of AI Ethics

Call for Position Papers and AI Art Projects

Our program this year is focused on Gender Equality in Digital Economies with a focus on natural resource management. From the Development to the Governance of AI, we explore intersectional, feminist & global perspectives on Data and AI. We welcome working papers and art projects that address issues fundamental to sustainable and fair Digital Futures for all, and offer solutions at any point of the sociotechnical pipeline (from a technical, social, political, legal, cultural or economic perspective).

We accept projects ranging from data curation, to algorithmic design and output, to the governance of resulting technologies. Every year, the AI on a Social Mission Conference focuses on the social, legal, economic, cultural, political and ethical implications of AI, and aims to steer the use of AI towards the accelerated achievement of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. For that reason, all papers and projects should focus on specific issues such as, but not limited to, social justice, gender equality or climate change. For a complete list of the 17 SDGs, please click here.

Submission deadline: November 1st 2021 at Midnight "anywhere in the world". The conference will be held virtually November 18th and 19th 2021.

We currently have a 1500 CAN$ base fund for AI ART GRANTS to be awarded for 3 selected projects. We are currently confirming with our partners the possibility to increase this amount, or offer in-kind support such as technical expertise. Working artists will be prioritized for the allocation of that grant due to the harsh impact of COVID on the cultural sector, but all papers and projects are welcome and will be reviewed equally.

Admissibility, selection criteria & best practices

We are looking for publications that broadly incorporate interdisciplinary artificial intelligence design in their process. We also welcome art projects, especially inter-arts or transdisciplinary forms of art, such as : new media addressing algorithmic bias, traditional art exploring AI ethical implications, or public art projects involved in AI literacy.

Particular attention will be paid to the quality of curation, data collection and annotation. Indeed, new scientific frameworks and the inter-arts discipline in AI ethics can intervene in a sociotechnical "pipeline" of data collection and algorithmic design while helping to enrich a more inclusive narrative and understanding of the ethical, social, legal, cultural, economic, and political implications of AI.

We understand that interdisciplinarity in science is not new, however the integration of Arts and Humanities (STEAM approach) in AI is still subject to resistance when it comes to forming and funding research and development teams. This is why we favour a "design" of AI models integrating social sciences, law, humanities and arts, from the initial stages of preparation of datasets, foundations of machine learning models. From the body of work received, we hope to demonstrate this approach’s efficiency in contributing to high-quality AI models as well as a mission-driven (SDGs, human rights, reconciliation) governance.

The following best practices will also guide our committee in the evaluation of submitted AI art projects and publications

1- Avoid dystopia and foster a sense of "agency" or civic engagement. Research shows that a curation process designed to give participants a capacity to intervene and be part of the solution when facing complex social or environmental problems, are the most effective in achieving the desired change.

2- Pro-actively select methods that increase inclusion and diversity of perspectives in the design team. Please be mindful that tokenizing “consultation” methods tend not to include stakeholders right from the start, nor pay stakeholders for their expertise and experience. Feel free to show off your inclusion and diversity design process.

3- Make your art political, adapted to social context, and contribute to democratic evolution of AI governance. For example, notions of data sovereignty are leading to major policy and regulatory change internationally. We welcome projects that create iterative environments with citizens of the digital age and inform public policy.

4- Facilitate collective learning. Ex: interactive public art or immersive installations or collaborative data curation applications.

5- Get out of “institutions” & favour public places. Many researchers are showing the benefits of holding public art installations in easy to access locations that are not associated with the elite such as museums. However, some traditional museal institutions put this in practice by partnering with the community, holding their events outside of the physical structures of the museum.

6- Recognize the plurality of knowledge sources in the co-construction, co-creation processes that you might have used.

*Please note: An "inter-arts" practice is an art discipline recognized by the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). It is defined as “the exploration or integration of multiple traditional and/or contemporary artistic disciplines that are merged in such a way that no single artistic discipline dominates the final result. These transdisciplinary methods intersect the arts with other non-arts disciplines to explore a theme or issue.” This includes a practice at the junction of Art, AI, ethics, Sustainable Development Goals, human Rights, or other relevant fields to the call above.

Send your abstracts or project summary (700 words maximum) to v.goddard@allianceimpact.org. If you need to include sound or visual material, please limit to 2 or 3 examples. For large files, you can use WeTransfer or other safe application.