The University of Newcastle, Australia

Call for papers - Taking Control: the critical and creative uses of digital tools

Monday, 27 July 2020

Abstract proposals due by 15 December 2020 for the international edited collection entitled 'Taking Control: the critical and creative uses of digital tools in the now, the foreseeable future, and beyond, in screen, literature, and the visual arts'.

Artificial intelligence

Taking Control seeks to examine the current uses, and the potential for expansion and extension, and possible future uses of AI in relation to screen and literature and visual culture texts and narratives; as well as the little explored angle of cultural criticism and cultural meaning in those human-AI assisted productions.

Suggestions for potential contributions to Taking Control are: how the use of AI in these productions may sharpen, and ask for answers to, big questions that intersect with our society and environment and worlds; encourage further research that opens new possibilities as well as an open-mindedness in the quest for a deeper understanding; create platforms that cross cultures and borders, to become inter- and multidisciplinary; provide immediate access to resources that we can trust to provide accurate information, and that is enriching and productive; and bring to the table a common “language” that can create a shared experience, with the potential to cross borders into other disciplines, and sustain our cultural heritage. The aim of Taking Control is to highlight the human-AI blend in creativity as a vibrant multidisciplinary thematic area where we urgently need better understanding and clear parameters to judge success and failure.

Technology can be misused, yet in the human-AI blend humans have the power to intervene. In these interactions, there is the potential to take things to a different level. The power of the human, the ability to think differently, and critically and creatively, together with the technical abilities of the immediate computer for holding, sorting, and providing masses of big data, hold out the possibility of expanded human creativity. When you choose and use information fairly, it makes the outcome compelling and accurate. AI affects what people look for; what they enter, and how they respond, and what that reveals and changes about the people, can affect our societies and cultures. Wherever you add questions about our environment, for instance, AI it sharpens it so we can relate to it.  Thus, how it relates to the human experience, to our world, and human society, much depends on how we manage it, where we take it and what we do with it.

Questions remain: In what ways can human-AI assisted screen, literature and visual culture texts and narratives expand, grow, and bring deeper understanding of ourselves, our worlds, our environment, our culture and society, and bring about change?  How do these works address cultural criticism, and social and cultural meanings, and add to our understanding of our cultures and society? What is the potential for exploring human experience and that connect to our world, and the possible import of these productions for the future? Admittedly, there are differing views and opinions on the future of AI. Some think an Artificial General Intelligence  can exist and others think not. What does all this mean for our future society and culture?

For full submission details and instructions please contact Dr Jo Parnell, Conjoint Research Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Science, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Australia -

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